Dispatch from Leonard, IowaMar 29th, 2010 | By Rick@Leonard Family Legends & Legacies | Category: Featured Articles, Real People, Real Stories
Early on in my family history research, I had the impression that my great-great-grandfather was either estranged from his birth family or completely cut off from the civilized world. That impression was based on the lack of evidence that they had communicated or visited one another.
Turns out I couldn’t have been more wrong, as demonstrated by the following letter mailed from Leonard, Iowa (the post office named in Uncle Dan’s honor) to the editor of the Adams County (Iowa) Free Press:
March 3rd, 1901
Mr. Editor: This will be my report of our late visit in Pennsylvania and Ohio. (Home to five of his eight siblings.)
Our first notable observation was to find it snowing in Marion County, Ohio, (home of brother James Herron Leonard) with good sleighing, and hauling logs to the sawmills was the principal occupation of all we saw at work. Timber seems at this season of the year to be the only product moving. We saw the watereim (?) logs hauled to the hoop factory, as well as the monster oaks fifty feet in length used in ship building. Our Iowa boys have no conception of their greatness. I was surprised to see how scarce timber is becoming.
It was noticeable to miss the herds of cattle as all were in barns if they had any. No straw or hay stacks; corn all cut up and in neat shocks, scarcely a corn crib to be seen, maybe they put it under the bed(?) as as they do in Pennsylvania.
Our first meal in Ohio was eaten in Bell Fountain in company with Mr. Devore’s(?) relations and consisted of buckwheat cakes, dairy butter, sugar maple ‘lasses, and the regular stuffed sausages. Ge whiz wasn’t they good. It was the first square meal we had had in forty years.
…to be continued…