Willis Leary was born on February 15, 1846, in Mohawk, Hancock county, Indiana. His father was Thomas J. Leary. Thomas J. Leary was born in Bourbon county, Kentucky, and was married twice. His first wife was Rebecca Price, who was born in Maryland and who was the daughter of Willis F. Price, who later moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. The children by this wife were: John, Parry, Willis and Jane. The second wife was Marjorie Johnson, of Wayne county, Indiana, who was the daughter of Peter Johnson, who was born in South Carolina. The children by his second wife were: Sarah, Thomas B., James and Louisa D., who is deceased. John Leary, the grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was born in Maryland and after his marriage moved to Franklin county, Indiana, where he purchased a farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Blooming Grove township. Thomas J. Leary, the father of the subject of this sketch was a man who took great interest in politics. He made many trips to Cincinnati after he located near Greenfield, Indiana, and he drove large herds of stock to market. He died on March 5, 1889, and his second wife died on September 17, 1907.
Willis Leary was educated in the common schools and went to school in an old log school house and sat on split benches with peg legs. He was a farmer all his life. He was twice married, and his second wife was Polly Chanler, who was the daughter of Daniel Chanler, a general carpenter. She was the widow of T. T. Barrett. The first wife of Willis Leary was Margaret A. Ready, who was the daughter of Jeremiah Ready, a blacksmith of this county. Jeremiah Ready was for two years a soldier in the Civil War. Mr. Leary had one child by his first wife, Oliver, who married Viola Curry, had one child, whose name was Avery. Mr. Leary is a member of the Masonic Lodge. Mrs. Polly (Chanler) Leary had one child by her first husband, Vernon Barrett, who died at the age of seven years. Mrs. Leary's first husband was a well-known farmer and stock buyer. Both of Mrs. Leary's parents are dead. Her father, Daniel Chanler, was a carpenter of Owen county, Kentucky, where he died and his wife died there also. Mrs. Leary had three brothers and four sisters, of whom five are now living.
Transcribed from History of Hancock County, Indiana, Its People, Industries and Institutions by George J. Richman, B. L., Federal Publishing Co., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1916. Page 1068-1069.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI November 8, 2001.
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