Galena Weekly Gazette
9 February 1933

Michael H. Cleary

Michael H. Cleary, Doctor of Medicine and Attorney at Law, passed to his eternal reward on Thursday at noon, February 2, 1933. His death has taken from the ranks of the citizens and statesmen of Illinois, a splendid character, and from his home, a loving and kind husband and father. Dr. Dleary was a faithful servant of God, and in his lingering illness and approaching death, enjoyed to the fullest extent the comforts and rites of the Catholic church.

Dr. Cleary was born on a farm in Walworth county, Wis., on August 4, 1853, and in his youth was educated in the schools of that county, and later was an instructor in its various schools. He received his degree of Doctor of Medicine at Cincinnati, O., in 1877. He came to Galena in 1878 and opened an office for the practice of medicine. Although recognized as one of the leading physicians of the community, he was always greatly interested in legal matters, and studied law and was later admitted to the bar. In 1898 Dr. Cleary was elected to the state House of Representatives from this district. Upon his return from his term of office he opened a law office in Galena and followed that profession since that time. In 1912, he was elected to the state Senate, and served the term from 1913 to 1917. During his activity in professional life he served as president of the Board of Education, as City Attorney, and City Treasurer. When the Galena Council, Knights of Columbus, was instituted in Galena, about thirty years ago, he was the first Grand Knight, and as a member of that society, was faithful in his devotion to its Christian principles. At the time of his death he was an Honorary Member of that Society, and Council No. 696.

He is survived by his wife, Julia, and daughter, Edith. His son, James, preceded him in death five years ago. His brothers, Rt. Rev. James M. Cleary and Joseph, of Minneapolis, and Francis, of Monrovia, Calif., are also left to mourn his loss. Funeral services were held for the deceased, Saturday morning at nine o’clock at St. Michael’s Catholic church in Galena. Rt. Rev. James M. Cleary was the celebrant of the Requiem Mass. Rev. J. T. Donahue and Rev. J. K. Nilles, were assistants in the sanctuary. A splendid tribute to the life of the deceased was paid by his pastor, Rev. J. T. Donahue, portraying, as of Simeon of old, as the teacher and healer of the wounds of men.

Services at the grave in the family lot were conducted by Monsignor J. M. Cleary, assisted by Revs. J. T. Donahue and J. K. Nilles. Casket bearers were Thomas Smith, Dubuque, Ia.; John McMullen, Walter Jennings, Frank T. Sheean, A. F. Ambre and Michael J. Murphy. The esteem in which he was held in this community was attested by the attendance at the services. The Knights of Columbus, and members of the Jo Daviess County Bar Association attending in their respective capacities. Floral tributes were many and also were the massages of condolence. —May He Rest In Peace.

Submitted by Tim Doser.