Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol. II, p. 1326
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902
Joseph LeClere is the proprietor of one of the fine farms of Victoria township, Rice county, and he is accounted one of he leading and successful agriculturists of his section of the state. His birth occurred in Lorraine, France, on the 11th of May, 1845. His father, Nicholas LeClere, was a native of the same province and was a shoemaker by trade. In his native land he served as a soldier in the regular army, under Napoleon. The mother of our subject was in her maidenhood Marie Reine Trognard, and was a native of Lorraine, France. This worthy couple were the parents of five children, namely: Tourier, who served with distinction in the Civil war and is now an editor in the state of Washington; John B, who also wore the blue in defense of his country, and resides in Harrison township, Rice county; A S, a resident of Reno county, Kansas; Drouot, who resides on the old homestead in Hancock county, Illinois; and James, the subject of this review.
The last named was only five years of age when his father joined a colony bound for the United States, their destination being Red River, Texas, but on account of sickness the family decided to locate in Hancock county, Illinois, settling near Nauvoo, the old Mormon town. There Mr LeClere was early inured to the labors of the farm, and his education was received in the district school of the neighborhood. In March, 1864, he donned the blue in defense of his adopted country and ably assisted in maintaining the Union. During the Red River campaign, under General Steele, he was taken prisoner at Tyler, Texas, and was held in captivity at Hempstead, that state, for four months. During eight months of his army experiences he served in the quartermaster’s department, After the close of hostilities Mr LeClere returned to his home in Illinois. In 1872 he sought a home in the Sunflower state. For a time he traveled over different portions of the state, being employed in railroading and steamboating, and also followed lumbering in Wisconsin, rafting lumber on the rivers of Wisconsin and Mississippi. In 1875 he located permanently in Rice county, securing a homestead in Victoria township, and he now owns two hundred and forty acres of valuable land. The place is well improved, and Mr LeClere is recognized as a leading and progressive farmer of his locality.
In 1900, in Hutchinson, Kansas, he was united in marriage to Emma Lawrence, who was born, reared and educated in Iowa. She is a daughter of Dr Lawrence. Mr LeClere is independent in his political affiliations, casting his ballot for the men whom he regards as best adapted for office. He served as postmaster of Pollard, Kansas, proving an efficient and capable officer. In his social relations he is a Mason. His interests are thoroughly identified with those of his adopted country, and at all times he is ready to lend his aid and co-operation to any movement calculated to benefit this section of the state or to advance its wonderful development.