McCleery, George Oliver

Submitted by mercercounty on Wed, 08/18/2010 - 04:47

GEORGE OLIVER McCLEERY.—The old Pymatuning Grist Mill, of which George O. McCleerv is the proprietor, is father of the industries of Mercer county, and one of the most picturesque and interesting land marks for the pioneer and local historian. Mr. McCleery comes of an old and cultured Irish family, his grandfather, George McCleery, being a native of County Tyrone. After completing a thorough literary training, he entered the University of Edinburgh to prepare for the Presbyterian ministry, and in 1818, after the completion of his theological course, he emigrated to the United States and located at Coitsville, Ohio. For fifteen years he spent his strength and abilities in educational and missionary work, afterward attending the Beach Medical School of Columbus, Ohio, and, after his graduation therefrom, practicing his new profession with faithfulness and success. While thus engaged he passed to the rewards of a useful and Christian life in the year 1848. After his arrival in America George McCleery sent to Ireland for his parents and seven brothers, and by their location in Mercer county the family became firmly planted in this section of the state. This founder of the family in the United States married Mary Beggs, a native of Coitsville, Ohio, who died in 1876.

James McCleery, father of George Oliver, was born at Hubbard, Ohio, on the 1st of April, 1820, followed farming all his life, and married Anna Allen, who was born in 1824, daughter of Oliver Allen and Jane (Henderson) Allen. They both died in 1904, he dying in Ireland.

George O. McCleery, of this review, was born at Sharon, this county, on the 26th of August, 1854, and was an only child. He received the usual practical and thorough education on the farm and in the district school until he was sixteen years of age, after which he pursued a course of one year at Hiram (Ohio) College. Then, after teaching for two years in Hickory township, he followed agriculture and also mastered the trade of carpentry. His thorough knowledge of agriculture, in connection with his talents and training in mechanics, finally induced him to invest his capital in the purchase of the old Pymatuning Grist Mill in 1907. That historic landmark, which has been in operation for more than a century, is one or the oldest mills in Mercer county; but this fact, interesting historically though it is, did not prevent the new proprietor from completely remodeling the old structure. Mr. Samuel Koonce rebuilt the structure, but Mr. McCleery introduced the improved devices, making it modern throughout and arranging everything so ingeniously that the mill is now operated solely by water power. Mr. McCleery is a Democrat, and as a good citizen has always been deeply concerned in the progress of the public schools. He has served for six years as a member of the school hoard of Hickory township, and is now identified with the Clarksville hoard as one of its most active members. Fraternally, he belongs to the Odd Fellows’ Lodge No. 347 of Sharon and the Shenango Encampment No. 186.

Twentieth Century History of Mercer County, 1909, pages 756-757.

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