Military Wiki
Cleveland Dear, Sr.
Dear in 1935
United States Representative for Louisiana's 8th congressional district (since disbanded)

In office
March 4, 1933 – January 3, 1937
Preceded by John H. Overton
Succeeded by A. Leonard Allen
Personal details
Born (1888-08-22)August 22, 1888
Beauregard Parish
Louisiana, USA
Died December 30, 1950(1950-12-30) (aged 62)
United States Alexandria
Rapides Parish, Louisiana
Resting place Greenwood Memorial Park in Pineville, Louisiana
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Marion Suzanne Anderson Dear
Relations Dee D. Drell (great-nephew by marriage)
Children Marion Dear Weber

Cleveland Dear, Jr.

Parents James Mackburn and Sarah Jane Harper Dear
Alma mater Louisiana State University

Louisiana State University Law Center

Occupation Attorney
Religion Baptist
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Battles/wars World War I

Cleveland Dear, Sr. (August 22, 1888 – December 30, 1950), was a two-term U.S. representative for Louisiana's 8th congressional district, since disbanded, a district attorney, a state court judge, and a candidate in 1936 for governor of Louisiana. A Democrat from Alexandria, Louisiana, he was allied with the anti-Long political faction.


Dear was the youngest of eleven children born to Mississippi natives James Mackburn Dear (1846–1925) and the former Sarah Jane Harper (1849–1932) in Sugartown in Beauregard Parish in western Louisiana. After early education in country schools, Dear graduated from Louisiana State University and its Paul M. Hebert Law Center, both in Baton Rouge. He was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. In 1914, he received his law degree and was admitted that same year to the bar. At first, he was in partnership in Alexandria in Rapides Parish in Central Louisiana, with Frank H. Peterman in the firm Peterman & Dear. When V. H. Peterman, the father of Frank Peterman joined the firm, it became Peterman, Dear & Peterman. The firm handled local interests of the Texas & Pacific Railway and the Louisiana Railway and Navigation Company.[1]

On April 8, 1917, two days after the American entrance into World War I, Dear entered the United States Army officers' training camp at Fort Logan H. Roots in Arkansas, where he achieved the rank of first lieutenant in the field artillery. He was thereafter assigned to Camp Pike in Arkansas and then Fort Meade in Maryland, where he was discharged on December 14, 1918. He was then a captain in the Department of the Organized Reserve Corps. After his discharge, he was active in the newly established American Legion.[1]

In April 1921, Dear married the former Marion Suzanne Anderson (died 1969), a native of Chicago, Illinois, who later resided in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The couple had a daughter, Marion Dear Weber (1923-2009),[2] and a son, Cleveland "Cleve" Dear, Jr. (1928-2015), a petroleum engineering graduate of both the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado, and LSU, who spent his later years with his wife and three children in Junction in Kimble County, Texas, where he died at the age of eighty-seven.[3] Marion Weber's son-in-law is Dee D. Drell, a judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, based in Alexandria.[3]

One of Dear's nephews, Joseph W. "Joe" Dear (1917–2004), the son of Cleveland Dear's brother, Webb Dear (1870–1936), and Webb's wife, Mary Simms Dear,[4] was the municipal purchasing agent in Alexandria. With his wife, the former Florine Weathersby (1917-1995), he also owned a flower shop. A namesake nephew, George Cleveland "Jack" Dear (1918-2014), brother of Joseph Dear, operated a truck and equipment repair business in Alexandria. During World War II, Jack Dear was a bomber pilot who flew B-24 and B-25 flight crews in the Pacific Theater of Operations, including Fiji Islands, New Guinea, and New Caledonia.[5]

Dear was a Baptist deacon; his wife was Episcopalian. He was active in the Masonic lodge, the Shriners, and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.[1]

Political life

In 1920, Dear was elected district attorney for the 9th Judicial District based in Alexandria, a position that he held until his election in 1932 to the U.S. House. In Congress, he was the chairman of the House Committee on Elections No. 1.[1]

In 1936, Dear attempted to succeed Governor James A. Noe of Monroe, who had briefly served upon the death of Oscar K. Allen of Winnfield. He was defeated by another Democrat, the pro-Long Richard Webster Leche of New Orleans. A third candidate, Mason Spencer, an outgoing state representative from Madison Parish, ran too but withdrew to support Dear. His withdrawal came too late to remove his name from the ballot, and Spencer polled nearly two thousand votes.[6]

Dear then resumed the practice of law and was subsequently appointed judge in the Ninth Judicial District, a position which he retained with subsequent successful elections until his death. His last judicial nomination was in the Democratic primary held in August 1948.[7]

He died in Alexandria and is interred at nearby Greenwood Memorial Park in Pineville, along with son Cleveland, Jr.[3]


United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
John H. Overton
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 8th congressional district

Succeeded by
A. Leonard Allen

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