Becoming connected with the public school system of the town of Burrillville, Providence County, almost immediately after he had completed his education in the schools and colleges of his native State, Maine, Mr. Sweeney served as the principal of Burrillville High School for five years, and has been superintendent of schools since 1910. In this capacity he has proven himself a very able teacher and educational administrator, and has gained, to a remarkable degree, the respect and goodwill of pupils, teachers, and parents. Naturally, he is regarded as one of the useful and representative members of the community, to the progress and welfare of which he has made many and important contributions during the quarter century he has been a resident of Burrillville.
Joseph Cleveland Sweeney was born at Sabattus, Maine, March 11, 1883, a son of Patrick and Cora (Perkins) Sweeney. His father was for many years paymaster and assistant treasurer of the Webster Woolen Company. Mr. Sweeney received his early education in the public schools of Sabattus and, after graduating from the local high schools in 1900, entered Bates College, Lewiston, Maine, from which he was graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1904. During the first year after leaving college he was a member of Bates College faculty, being an instructor in the department of physics. In 1905 he came to Burrillville, Providence County, as principal of the local high school, a position he filled with ability for five years. In September, 1910, he was appointed superintendent of public schools of the town of Burrillville, having ten schools under his survey. How capably he has filled this position, is proven by the fact that he has been repeatedly reappointed to it. After coming to Burrillville, Mr. Sweeney took a course at the Rhode Island College of Education. He is a member of the Woonsocket Lodge, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. In politics he is an Independent. His religious affiliation is with the Roman Catholic Church.
Mr. Sweeney married Clotilda J. Clavin, a native of Harrisville, Township of Burrillville, and a daughter of Frank and Mary (Cunningham) Clavin. Mr. and Mrs. Sweeney are the parents of two sons: Edward J., and George F.
Source: Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy, vol 3 of 4. New York: Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1932.