MRS. ADA L. McCLEARY
Wife of Henry McCleary, the founder of our town
Contributed by Charles H. Fattig
Ada L. Johnson was born 5 January 1861 in Winchester, Ohio. She married our Henry McCleary on 29 October 1885 in Guernsey County, Ohio.
They came out west to Washington state in the early 1890s. Eventually, after exploring around for a likely place, Henry settled down and built the first saw mill here in 1898. It was an ideal location with much standing timber and a railroad nearby. He could ship his lumber and cedar singles anywhere in the world.
By all accounts, Ada McCleary was a great supporter of the community. Mrs. McCleary was active in her new community. She helped establish the first library in McCleary; started the Women’s aid Society which fed and clothed the needy in this region. She was instrumental in getting the American Red Cross to let her set up shop in her home during WWI. The women of the town ardently went to work at knitting and sewing sweaters, socks and bandages to be sent to the boys in France. She penned a poem which she mailed to each of the men from McCleary who was fighting over there in 1918. They certainly must have appreciated it, as well as the Care Packages they received from home.
Yes, she also rolled up her sleeves when the sick and injured needed assistance. The people of this area must have been really grateful for a person of her caliber.
Ada Passed away on 25 Sept 1923 at her home in McCleary and was entombed in the Tacoma Mausoleum. Her Henry followed on 8 May 1943.