FLGenWeb Digital Library and Archives
Miami-Dade Co. Biographies
CLEARY, A. J.
Author: The History of Florida: Past & Present, The Lewis Publishing Co., 1923, Vol. II pg.132
CLEARY, A. J. As a result of his experience and unusual abilities Mr.
CLEARY is without doubt one of the best known and most popular citizens of
Miami. He has a wide circle of friends and admirers who appreciate his
versatile gifts and interests. Mr. CLEARY regards himself as permanently
established in Miami, where he is engaged in the real estate business, and is
also a large individual property owner.
He was born, reared and educated at Medina, New York, and as a young
man took up telegraphy as a profession. For several years he divided his time
between this work during the winter seasons and professional baseball during
the summer seasons. He played shortstop with the Rochester Club of the
Eastern League in 1907 and 1908. For several following years he was an umpire
with this league, and just before America entered the war with Germany in 1917
he had contracted as an umpire with the National League. He surrendered this
contract in order to give his services to the Government.
For several years before locating permanently in Miami, in the winter
of 1917, Mr. CLEARY had been coming here for the winter seasons, having charge
of the Western Union Telegraph Office in the Royal Palm Hotel. On the sixth
of April, 1917, the day war was declared, he enlisted at Miami as a second
class electrician in the United States Navy, Seventh Naval District. All his
duties until after the armistice were at Key West. He was commissioned an
ensign and put in charge as communication officer of the Seventh Naval
District, including all the Florida Coast from Pensacola to St. Augustine.
Mr. CLEARY was honorably discharged December 10, 1918.
For several years he has given most of his time to his interests as
owner of business property in Miami and the handing of real estate generally.
One very notable achievement for a man of his years and which has given him a
deservedly high reputation in business and financial circles was his
performance as receiver for the Fidelity Bank, which failed in 1920. He was
commissioned to take charge of the settling up of the bank’s affairs for the
benefit of the stockholders and depositors. He handled this matter with such
efficiency that all concerned have been paid in full and the Fidelity
certificates are now at par.
During 1920-21 Mr. CLEARY was commander of Harvey B. Seeds Post,
American Legion, at Miami. He did not regard this as merely an empty honor,
but devoted a large part of his time while president to promoting the
interests of the post and enlarging its membership. The greater part of the
permanent membership of the post today is due to the energetic efforts he put
forth at that time.
Mr. CLEARY is a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Elks, the
Civitan Club and the Miami Realty Board. He married Mrs. MARY J. MORSE, of
Transcribed by Nancy Rayburn
©2010 Fran Smith
This page presented August 14, 2010