Joseph David Cleary, who is identified with the J. D. Cleary Commerce Detective Agency, Columbus, has through
close attention to his interests over a period of years built up one of the leading agencies of its kind in this
section of the state. Mr. Cleary was born at Columbus, March 1, 1886, the son of James C. and Margaret (Reedy)
Both James C. Cleary and his wife were natives of Boston, Massachusetts. He served throughout the Civil War in
the U. S. Navy, and after the close of the war came to Columbus where he engaged in the grocery business until
the time of his retirement in 1909. He died April 4, 1911, and his wife died January 10, 1915. Both are buried
in Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Columbus. Mr. Cleary was a Democrat and took an active part in local politics. He held
membership in St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Ancient Order of Hibernians, Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, and Grand
Army of the Republic. Mr. and Mrs. Cleary were the parents of seven children: John C., who died January 26, 1909;
Elizabeth, married P. H. Freeman; Nora, married W. L. Case; Mazie; Margaret; Gertrude, married R. L. Wertz; and
Joseph David, the subject of this sketch. All live in Columbus.
Joseph David Cleary attended St. Patrick's school and is a graduate of Central High School in the class of 1904.
He then became associated with the John Mahoney Detective Agency as office manager, and later became an investigator.
In 1910 he established the J. D. Cleary Commerce Detective Agency, located in the Brunson Building on North High
Street. Later the offices were located in the Chamber of Commerce Building, and in September, 1929, were moved
to the A. I. U. Building.
In 1914 Mr. Cleary married Miss Lora J. Lewis, the daughter of Robert B. and Minnie (Stump) Lewis, natives of New
Jersey, now residents of Worthington, Ohio. Mr. and Mrs Cleary have two sons, James and Robert.
Mr. Cleary is a Democrat, a member of Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church, and is affiliated with Knights of Columbus,
Council No. 400, and Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, No. 37.
History of Franklin County, Ohio
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka - Indianapolis 1930
Franklin County, OH
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