James Cleave, 1880-1966, was born in Blackburn, Lancashire, England. He was injured in an industrial accident at the age of 11, and subsequently apprenticed for a career in business. In 1910, on the advice of his doctor, he emigrated to Calgary, Alberta.
He became a partner in a real estate, insurance, and investment business; he became its sole owner in 1912; and renamed it James Cleave Agencies in 1914. He was the first in Calgary to sell auto insurance, beginning in 1915. James Cleave rented office space on the main floor of the prominent Lougheed building; his tenancy lasted from 1915 to the late 1960s. Cleave was known for being a hard worker; he worked well into his 70s, putting in 10 hour days.
Apart from his real estate, insurance and investment activities, Cleave was also active in the Alberta Motors Association, contributing a monthly column to their bulletin, the Voice of Motordom, and serving as president in the 1940s. He became a member of the Calgary Stock Exchange in 1926 and maintained his membership until 1966, the probable year of his death. He married Carrie Sherlock in 1908, and they had no children.
For further information, see: "Profile: James Cleave", Herald Magazine, April 19, 1958, p. 3.
This biography is adapted from the James Cleave fonds of the Glenbow Archives. Copyright © Glenbow Archives.References
Green, Dave. Profile: James Cleave. Herald Magazine, April 19, 1958, p. 3.
Smith, Donald B. Calgary’s Grand Story. Calgary: University of Calgary Press