John A. Leavy. — The subject of this sketch has spent practically his entire life in Williams County and his persistent and commendable efforts have benefited alike himself and the community, for he has always had deeply at heart the well being and improvement of the county, using his influence whenever possible for the promotion of enterprises of public benefit, besides taking a part in all movements for the advancement of the community along social, civic and moral lines. Consequently he richly merits the high standing which he enjoys among those who know him best.
John A. Leavy, the well-known secretary and treasurer of the Stryker Building & Supply Company and ticket agent at Stryker for the New York Central Railroad Company, was born in Stryker on April 16, 1866, and is a son of Patrick and Helen (Fox) Leavy, both of whom were natives of Ireland. The father was born on May 1, 1815, and died on June 21, 1911, at the advanced age of ninety-six years, while the mother, who was born on September 29, 1834, died on July 19, 1894, when almost sixty years of age. They were reared and married in their native land, and in 1852 came to the United States. He was employed at railroad work and on July 28, 1861, he located in Stryker, where he spent the remainder of his days. Though he was not a large wage earner, he was steady and industrious and wisely economical of his earnings and succeeded in buying a comfortable home, where he and his wife spent their last years. He was an active member of the Catholic Church and took a leading part in advancing its interests in this community. He was a democrat in his political views. To him and his wife were born six children, four sons and two daughters, namely: Thomas, a resident of Archbold, Ohio, who for many years was employed in the railroad service; Patrick, who lives in Coldwater, Michigan, is a conductor on the New York Central Railroad; Joseph is a telegraph operator for the Michigan Central Railroad Company at Albion, Michigan; Ellen is the wife of Thomas Retaiczak; John A. is the immediate subject of this review; Anna is the wife of D. J. Mattison.
John A. Leavy was reared in Stryker and secured his educational training in its public schools. His first active employment was in the brick yard, where he worked for three summers. In the fall of 1883 he began to learn telegraphy under Charles Elliott, and on June 15, 1884, he entered the employ of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad Company as telegraph operator. He was employed at different places, including Englewood, Illinois. Later he became connected with the New York Central at Stryker and in 1892 he was made manager of this office, which position he still retains. He has proven his qualifications for this responsible position and enjoys the fullest measure of confidence on the part of both the company and the patrons of the road.
In addition to his duties in connection with the railroad, Mr Leavy is otherwise interested in local commercial affairs, and was one of the organizers and is now part owner of the Stryker Building Supply Company, one of the prosperous and well-known enterprises of this town. He owns a comfortable and attractive residence property on the corner of South and Defiance streets, and other property
On May 7, 1901, Mr. Leavy was married to Maggie F Knight who was born in Bryan, Ohio, on November 7, 1869, and received her education in the public schools of Minneapolis, Minnesota
Religiously, Mr. Leavy is a member of the Roman Catholic Church at Stryker, while Mrs. Leavy belongs to the Universalis! Church Politically, Mr. Leavy has been a life-long and active supporter of the democratic party and has taken a keen and intelligent interest in local public affairs. He has served as township and village clerk for six years and as a member of the school board for three years His hfe history exhibits a career of unswerving integrity, indefatigable industry and wholesome home relations, and because of his success and his sterling character he holds the confidence and esteem of the entire community.
Source: Bowersox, Charles A. ed. A standard history of Williams County, Ohio: an authentic narrative of the past, with particular attention to the modern era in the commercial, industrial, educational, civic and social development , Vol. 2. Publisher Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co. 1920.