Was born in Winstead, Litchfield county, Connecticut, May 12, 1812. His father, Rufus Cleveland, was born in Windham, Connecticut, in the year 1761, and there received a good common school education. Though quite young, he served as a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and did good service for the cause of liberty, receiving, on the expiration of his term of service, an honorable discharge. After returning to his home he became acquainted with, and married, a Miss Chamberlain. They had a family of seven children. After several years of happy married life, he was left alone, by the death of his partner, in 1806, and in the year 1808, he was married to his second wife, Miss Alice Kent. They had born to them two children, of whom the subject of this sketch is the youngest. Mrs. Cleveland died in 1832. Her husband survived her until 1837. His vocation was that of a farmer.
The subject of this sketch received his early education in his native state, "The Land of Steady Habits." He became a fork manufacturer, and continued that business with success while residing in Connecticut. On arriving at the age of twenty-one, he married Miss Emeline, daughter of Lucius and Emeline Canfield, of Derby, Connecticut, since named Seymourville. They have had a family of seven girls, five of whom are now living — all married.
In 1836, he removed to Illinois with his family, locating in Perry, Pike county, near Griggsville, where, for three years, he carried on farming. He then engaged in blacksmithing, in the town of Perry, and continued that business for a period of eighteen years, after that turning his attention to mercantile pursuits, and is so engaged at the present time, being senior member of the firm of Cleveland & Williams, at Perry. For a quarter of a century he has been an acting justice of the peace, and a portion of the time the township has been republican, thus showing the confidence and esteem reposed in him by his fellow-citizens. While other town officers were laid by, he, although a democrat, has always been retained. In politics he has always been a strong advocate of democratic principles, and all acknowledge that he exercises more than an ordinary influence in the ranks of that party in his county. As a sharp, shrewd, wire-puller, his equal is seldom found; so say his neighbors. He is a frank, open-hearted, straightforward gentleman, and as such, is highly respected for his generosity and public spirit. He is now residing at his residence, hale and hearty, active as ever in business, and surrounded by his family, enjoying the happy fruits of a well spent life. A view of his residence is shown in this work.