Thomas McCleery

Thomas William McCleery (1860 - 1930)

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Thomas William McCleery
Born in Near Baylis, Pike, Illinois, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married in Baylis, Pike County, Illinoismap
Descendants descendants
Died in Muskogee, Muskogee County, Oklahoma, USAmap
Profile last modified | Created 25 Feb 2017 | Last significant change: 10 Jun 2019
13:19: Alexis (Lovelace) Nelson edited the Biography for Thomas William McCleery (1860-1930). [Thank Alexis for this]
This page has been accessed 416 times.


Thomas William McCleery was born in Baylis, Illinois on 2 Dec. 1860. His father, who he was named for, died when he was only 5 months old. His mother remarried Eibe Henry Hillmann, a German Immigrant, in 1865. His mother, nee Margaret Pine, had nine more children. It appears that four of his half siblings died very young, but photos show him with his three half brothers. Thomas married Clara McIntire when he was 22 years old. They had five children together, but one of them also died young.

McCleery Family

Tragedy hit the family when on Thanksgiving Day 1901 they all ran from their burning home, and the house burnt to the ground and they lost everything inside. The photo above is the house that burned. Shortly after this their even worse tragedy hit when Clara died of some kind of a flu type illness in 1902. She and Thomas had been married 18 years. Sometime before 1910 Thomas moved with his daughter and two youngest boys to Morris, Oklahoma, as his oldest son had moved to Oregon. A third major tragedy in his life was the death of his son Kyle in WWI during the awful battle of the Argonne Forest in France in 1918.

Thomas McCleery

Thomas always kept a good attitude about life, as he believed that happiness was a choice. He would say: “You can go to a picnic and have the best time there of anyone, or you can have the worst time. It all depends on you.” He spent a great deal of his time in Muskogee, 34 miles from Morris, with his daughter and only grandchild, who was born only one week after Kyle"s death. In 1925, he moved into his daughter's home at 1023 Boston. He died in this house in 1930. This home was bought by his great granddaughter and his great great grandson on 9 Aug 2017, Alexis and Mitchell Nelson; however, it was sold on 3 Jan 2019 to Rick Riggs after the renter caused an electrical fire. The time line on this is interesting in that it was bought by his great grandchildren 100 years after his daughter and her husband bought it, and it was sold fifty years after his daughter sold it.


  • "United States Census, 1900," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 10 June 2019), Thomas Mc Cleery, New Salem Township Baylis village & New Salem town, Pike, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration distric...
  • "Illinois, County Marriages, 1810-1940," database, FamilySearch ( : 3 March 2016), Thomas W Mccleary and Clara Mcintire, 04 Mar 1883; citing Pike, Illinois, United States, county offices, Illinois; FHL microfilm 1,315,808.
  • "Illinois, County Marriages, 1810-1940," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 5 November 2017), T.W. Mccleery in entry for C.A. McCleery and M.A. St Clair, 25 May 1906; citing Pekin, Illinois, Illinois, United States,...
  • Muskogee Daily Phoenix, Date 20 Dec. 1930

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Memories: 2

On 6 Jun 2019 Alexis (Lovelace) Nelson wrote:

Thomas’ daughter Pearl had a great respect for her father especially when it came to money. Her favorite story was when she came home, and he had bought a new rug for their living room, and she said, “Oh daddy the new rug is beautiful.” Then he came back with, “If you saw the same number of one dollar bills that the rug cost lying on the floor, they would be even more beautiful.”

On 20 Mar 2017 Alexis (Lovelace) Nelson wrote:

He had a wonderful outlook on life, and his daughter Pearl said that he would often say-- You can go to a picnic and have the best time there of anyone, or you can have the worst time. It all depends on you.

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Thomas by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Thomas:

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Images: 7
Thomas McCleery Image 1
Thomas McCleery Image 1

Sons of Margaret Pine Hillmann
Sons of Margaret Pine Hillmann

Thomas William McCleery Obituary
Thomas William McCleery Obituary

Thomas W. McCleery with his children: Pearl, Kyle and Harry
Thomas W. McCleery with his children: Pearl, Kyle and Harry

Thomas McCleery potty training his grandson
Thomas McCleery potty training his grandson

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