History of Thomas L. Leonard (1844-1928) of Lorain County, Ohio
Thomas L. Leonard (b. 12 Dec. 1844, m. Molly Thornburg 1873, d. 1928), born in Washington County, Pennsylvania, like his father and grandfather before him, was the ninth of nine children born to William and Mary Van Ort Leonard of Somerset township. Little is known of Mollie Thornburg, other than her birth in October of 1857 in Ohio. She may or may not have been the daughter of Samuel and Lucinda Thornburg of New Market township, Highland County, Ohio.Census Summaries for Thomas L. Leonard
1850 - The 1850 census lists Thomas' family in Somerset township, Washington County, PA. His father William, 45, is a farmer, mother Mary is also 45. They list $1780 in real estate. Thomas, 6, is listed as one of six children still living at home. Oldest brother Edmund (b. 1825) has married and moved away from home. Brothers Isaac (b. 1827 or 1830) and James Herron (b. 1842) are missing in this census, but would reappear later. [Thomas’ father William would move the entire family, save for Edmund and Isaac, to Delaware County and later Marion County, Ohio in 1854. Siblings who moved to Ohio included Daniel (b. 1830), Lydia (b. 1833), William (b. 1836), Joseph (b. 1837), Mary Jane (b. 1840), James Herron (b. 1842), and Thomas (b. 1844).]
1860 - Thomas, 15, is one of three children living at home in Pleasant township, Marion County, Ohio in July of 1860. The others are Mary Jane, 20, and James Herron Leonard, 19. William, still farming, and Mary Leonard list $400 in personal property, but no real estate. Older brother Daniel has married and moved to Taylor County, Iowa, sister Lydia has married and moved to Waldo township, Marion County. Brothers William and Joseph have vanished from census reports, but may have been living in Kansas and Indian (Oklahoma) Territories, respectively. [Thomas’ mother, Mary, died of typhoid in September of 1868. His father re-married Catharine Somerlot eighteen months later.]
1870 - By 1870, Thomas, age 24, has moved in with his older brother James Herron Leonard and his wife Mattie in LaRue, Montgomery township, Marion County Ohio. He is still single, clerking in his brother’s dry good store, and shows personal property worth of $400. [Thomas married Mollie Thornburg on Christmas Day, 1873.]
1880 - The census of 1880 finds Thomas, 35, and Mollie, 28, in their own home in LaRue, Montgomery township, Marion County, Ohio. They have four children: Mattie E., age 6; William T. age 4; Jennie, age 2; and John, age 7 months. Thomas is a working in his brother’s dry goods store. [Thomas’ father, William, died on October 26th, 1881, making James Herron Leonard his executor and naming all nine children in his will.]
1890 - The vast majority of census records for 1890, including those for Marion County, Ohio were destroyed in a 1921 fire at the Commerce Department building in Washington, D.C.
1900 - By 1900, Thomas, 55, and Mary (Mollie), 48, are living in Black River township, Lorain County, Ohio, on Lake Erie west of Cleveland. Thomas is running the boarding house where the family and seven unrelated boarders live. Thomas and Mollie have four more children: Daisy, age 18; Leland, age 15; Lula, age 13; and daughter Zanza, age 5. Son John, 20, is also living at home and working as a clerk, the remaining children have moved away. The family has one servant, Maud Claus, age 20. The census reports Thomas and Mollie are the parents of eight children, all eight still surviving. They have been married 28 years.
1910 - In 1910, Thomas, 64, and Mollie, 56, have moved to Sheffield township, Lorain County, Ohio. Thomas lists his occupation as “constable.” Sons William T., 33, and John T., 30, are living at home, as are daughters Daisy Sipple, 28, and Zanza, 15. Daisy is listed as the divorced mother of one, one surviving. A grandson, William Leonard, age 5, is living in the house, as are boarder Joseph Parson and servant Lydia Howard. Mollie is the mother of eight children, but one has died since the last census.
1920 - In 1920, Thomas, 75, and Mollie, 67, are living on East 29th Street in Lorain, Sheffield township, Lorain County. Son William T., 44, is living with them and working in a steel mill, as are most of their neighbors. [Thomas L. Leonard died on 06 Nov. 1929, Mollie died 4 Mar. 1928, both in Lorain County according to the Ohio Department of Health, Ohio Deaths, 1908-1932, 1938-1944, and 1958-2002.]
Sources for Thomas L. Leonard
Some Ancestors and Descendants of Avery Leonard of Seneca County, Ohio, Harry S. Blaine, Press of Gordon A Blaine, 1933. Page 18 contains a list of William Leonard and Mary Van Ort's children, their birth dates, spouses, and wedding dates. Copies available through the Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, Ind., among others.
Annals of the Leonard-Hutchinson Families, Jennie Leonard Hutchinson, 1949. Page 44 contains a list of William Leonard and Mary Van Ort's children, birth, marriage, and death dates where available. Jennie was a daughter of Edmund Leonard, William and Mary's oldest child. She was also the children's librarian at the Uniontown (Fayette Co., PA.) Free Public Library founded by her brother McClellan Leonard. Jennie exchanged information with Harry S. Blaine and was duly credited for such in his work. Copies of Annals available through the Uniontown Public Library, Uniontown, PA., among others.
Jennie Leonard Hutchinson Special Collection - Notes of Wilbur Leonard
Jennie left a collection of letters, photographs, and assorted items to the Uniontown Public Library. Other family members have added notes, transcriptions, and information in the years since her death in 1953.
US Census Reports of 1840-1930: Washington County, PA; Delaware, Marion, Lorain Counties, OH. Available through LDS Family History Centers, National Archives and Records Administration, most libraries, and online at Ancestry.com.
Leonard Family History, Nine Generations Descending from Solomon Leonard and Sarah Chandler Leonard, Granddaughter of James Chilton, Mayflower Pilgrim, G. Allan Vaughan, 1994-2005. Extensive documentation on the Eighth Generation from Solomon, among others. A work still in progress.
The History of Marion County, Ohio, and It's Representative Citizens, Edited and compiled by J. Wilbur Jacoby, A.M., Marion, Ohio, 1907, James Herron Leonard biographical sketch, p. 483
Probate records for William Leonard, Marion County, Ohio, 1881.
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