History of Daniel Leonard (1830-1913) of Taylor County, Iowa
Daniel Leonard (b. 24 June 1830, m. Jane Heath 25 Mar. 1855, d. 30 Mar. 1913), born in Washington County, Pennsylvania, like his father and grandfather before him, was the third* of nine children born to William and Mary (Van Ort) Leonard of Somerset township. Jane Heath (b. 30 Sept. 1836, d. 23 June 1909) was the daughter of William and Sarah Ann Heath of Delaware County, Ohio. Her father was a wagon-maker.*There is some indication that Daniel and brother Isaac may have been twins. Daniel's birth date is consistently listed as June 24, 1830 in biographies and census records, while his brother Isaac alternately listed the year of his birth as 1827, 1830, and 1833. Isaac's tombstone lists his date of birth as June 24th, 1830 - exactly the same as Daniel's. There is no mention, however, of twins anywhere else in considerable Leonard documentation.
Census Summaries for Daniel Leonard
1830 - The US Census of 1830 shows Daniel's father, William Leonard, living in Somerset township, Washington County, PA., with a wife and three children under the age of five. The 1830 census does not list individual names beyond the head of household, but three children is consistent with the birth dates of Daniel (1830) and his two brothers Edmund8 (b. 1825) and Isaac (b. 1827 or 1830). Later census reports have Isaac's birth date variously at 1830, 31, and 32.
1840 - The 1840 census shows Daniel's father in the same location, this time with six children: two below the age of five, one between the ages of five and ten, and three between the ages of ten and fifteen. Again, the names are not listed, but these numbers are consistent with the birth dates of William (b. 1836 - under five) and Joseph (b. 1837 - under five), Lydia (b. 1833 - between five and ten), and the earlier children Edmund, Isaac, and Daniel.
1850 - The 1850 census is the first to list each individual family member, their age at the time of census, their occupations, and the value of their real estate. The family is still residing in Somerset township, Washington County, PA. Daniel, 19, is listed as one of six children still living at home. His father William, age 43, is a farmer with $1780 in real estate. Three more children were born since the last census (Mary Jane, b. 1840; James Herron, b. 1842; and Thomas, b. 1844). James Herron isn't listed in the Leonard household, but he does reappear in the next census. [Daniel's entire family, save for Edmund and Isaac, would move to Delaware County, Ohio in 1854. Siblings who moved to Ohio included Daniel, Lydia, William H., Joseph, Mary Jane, James Herron, and Thomas.]
1860 - By 1860, Daniel, 30, had moved three times, married, and started a family of his own in Washington township, Taylor County, Iowa. He had moved to Delaware County, Ohio with his parents and six siblings in 1854, married Jane Heath in 1855, and then moved to Fulton County, Illinois with her parents in 1856. By September of that year, Daniel and Jane were looking for shelter on the Iowa prairie. The 1860 census shows Daniel, age 30, and Jane, age 25, raising their first child, young William, age two, in Washington township, Taylor County, Iowa. He lists $1200 in real estate and $200 in personal property in his occupation as a farmer. [Daniel's mother, Mary, died of typhoid in September of 1868. His father re-married Catharine Somerlot in April of 1870.]
1870 - In 1870, the census misspells Daniel's surname is as "Lenard", but he and Jane are the proud parents of five children: William, age 12; Guy, age 10; "Charley"�, age 8; "Rosana" (actually Luzanna), age 6; and Arthur, age 4. A sixth child, Sarah, was born in March of 1862, but died sixteen months later. Daniel and the rest of the family live in the same location, but it's now Holt township, created out of Washington township, Taylor County, Iowa, in 1863. Daniel, still farming at age 40, has $7500 in real estate and personal property worth $1500, both were considerable sums in post-Civil War Iowa. [Daniel was enrolled in the Civil War draft, but never called to serve.]
1880 - The 1880 census shows Daniel, age 50, still farming in Holt township. Jane has delivered three more sons: Harry, age 9; Smith (Elisha Smith), age 6; and John, age 3. But one daughter, Luzanna (previously listed as "Rosanna"�), had passed away a year earlier at age 13. The remaining seven of their surviving children are all living at home, along with three boarders. In addition to the Leonards living in dwelling 189, the census lists Henry Harmon, a divorced cousin and farm laborer, age 43. Two Harman (spelling variation) children, Fay, age 6, and Mary, age 8, are boarding in the Darius Kerns household a short distance away. Also listed in the Leonard household in 1880 are Nora Dickison, an 18-year-old "servant" born in Illinois and Frank Randal, a 43 year-old farm laborer born in Ohio. [Daniel's father, William, died 26 Oct. 1881, in Marion County, Ohio, 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 Taylor County, IA., were destroyed in a 1921 fire at the Commerce Department building in Washington, D.C.
1900 - By the turn of the century, Daniel, age 70, has stopped listing his occupation as "farmer", but he and Jane still live on the family homestead in Holt township, Taylor County, Iowa. The census shows them married for 45 years; Jane lists herself as the mother of nine children with six still surviving. Sons Charley and Elisha Smith are still living at home. Sons William, Guy, and Arthur have all married and started families of their own on Holt township land gifted to them by Daniel. Son John has also married and started a family on his father-in-law's land in Adams County.
1910 - The census of 1910 shows Daniel, age 80, still living on the old homestead, but son Charles, age 46 is now the head of the household. Wife Jane passed away a year earlier and the surviving six sons have taken to farming the more than one-thousand acres Daniel accumulated in his lifetime. [Daniel Leonard died at his home on March 30, 1913, three months short of his 83rd birthday. He and Mary are buried in Prairie Rose Cemetery, Adams County, Iowa.]
Additional Notes on Daniel Leonard
In references outside of his biographical sketches, the Taylor County Histories of 1881 and 1913 consistently refer to Daniel as "Uncle Dan" Leonard, even though he had no nieces or nephews living within the state of Iowa. The nickname suggests Daniel may have had a personality that made him everyone's "favorite uncle."
Oral history holds that Daniel was a short but powerfully built man, once walking away from a trading post with a barrel of salt under each arm. The same traditions claim that Frank and Jesse James once slept in Daniel's barn. While the tale is common among Midwestern farmers and largely unsubstantiated, the author notes that the James brother's family home (near St. Joseph, Missouri) was 70 miles directly south of the Leonard homestead and the site of their first train robbery (1873, near Adair, Iowa) was forty miles directly north.
Daniel was politically active, attending the county's first Republican convention in 1856, serving two terms on the Board of Supervisors, and twice appointed rural postmaster (Holt, 1863; Dan, 1870-1867). Daniel served on the board of directors for the county Agricultural Society and as the president of the Bluegrass District Sheep Breeders and Wool Growers Association. In an appearance before the Iowa Railroad Commission in 1894, Daniel claimed to be the largest supplier of sheep to the Chicago stockyards five years running.
He also appeared, in person or by proxy, before the Iowa Supreme Court on two occasions. One case involved a neighbor's fence line and the second involved county maintenance of a bridge on son Guy's farm access road. Daniel lost both cases.
There has been some speculation that Daniel may have been a member or supporter of the Underground Railroad in his earliest Taylor County years. There were known railroad stops in Bedford to the south and Quincy to the north. Logic dictates there should've been an intermediary stop in between. There is no direct evidence to date that Daniel was a part of the Underground Railroad, but a newspaper clipping in the personal possessions of son Guy raises the curiosity level considerably. From the Adams County Free Press, circa 1920:
"An Old Sale Bill Seventy Years Old" (Unknown newspaper clipping submitted by Elda Jones)
Guy Leonard presented the following clipping from a newspaper telling of an old sale bill printed seventy years ago. The old bill was as follows:
"Having sold my farm and intending to move to Missouri, I will sell at public sale, 1 mile west and 4 miles south of Harrisburg, Ky. on Saturday, September 26th, 1850 the following described property, to-wit: One (unreadable) nigger, 25 years old, weight 210 lbs.; 4 nigger wenches, from 18 to 24 years old; 3 nigger boys, 6 years old; 13 nigger hoes; 1 fine sled; 6 yoke of oxen, well broke; 10 ox yokes with hickory bows; 2 ox carts, with 6-inch tires; 1 saddle; 3 double-shovel plows; 2 barrels of soap; 2 barrels of kraut; 1 extra good nigger whip; 2 tons of tobacco, 2 years old. Sale will start at 10:30 sharp. Terms cash. I need the money. Col. H.W. Johnson auctioneer, Bill Crawford (unreadable). Joe Cooley, owner."
"Uncle Dan"� Leonard was well documented in local county histories and newspapers of the day, each publication dropping hints of other potential sources of information to be pursued.
From the Taylor County Republican, May 9, 1878:
"Farms and Farmers of Taylor County"
The hand that holds the plow is the hand that feeds the world
Our country rambles lead us through Holt township this week and we still find much to gratify the eye and employ the pencil. From our note book we extract the following accounts of various farms visited and of the farmers who till them.
It is now 23 years since he whose name heads this paragraph then in the flush of lusty, vigorous manhood, camped for the first time on the spot of ground where now runs the northern limits of his magnificent orchard. Since then, what changes have come over the landscape next morning's sun presented to his view! Far as the eye could see on either side stretched the wild prairies, unmarked save by the wild luxuriance of Nature's profuse county. [ed. note: probably a typo meaning "bounty."] Now rich farms abound on every side, and all around the scene is dotted with the dwellings of thrifty husbandmen. But time has dealt with the animate as well and the inanimate since that day, twenty-three years ago. The erect form of the sturdy pioneer, though yet unbent and vigorous, bears impact of the years; the elastic step of youth has given place to the firm tread of mature manhood; the once smooth, ruddy cheek is now browned and weather-beaten. She who joined her fortunes to his in far off time, who with a girl's enthusiasm entered into all his plans with heart and soul, who stood with him and viewed the glories of that morn on that old camping ground, who, with all a woman's self-abnegation and uncomplaining fortitude, bore the privations and toils of pioneer life, is now a sedate matron, whose motherly care and wifely counsel are the comfort and guide of a numerous household. Three hundred and twenty acres of that then raw prairie, on section 10, now yield the varied products of a cultivated soil to the hand of him who, when his eyes first saw this land had naught to depend on but his own labor. All but forth acres are broke out and that will be done the present season. Mr. Leonard is chiefly interested in the raising of stock; principally hogs of the Berkshire breed, which branch of farming he has brought to rare perfection. Of the animals he has one hundred and thirteen head, one being a full blooded boar; seven are splendid pedigreed sows, the rest being half and three-quarter bloods. All are in excellent health and the impression of form and breeding in the eye of the connoisseur in such matters. A visit to the pen will well repay any farmer who desires to improve his stock, and a talk with the owner cannot fail to give him many valuable hints of the management and raising of these animals. But Mr. Leonard does not confine himself to the hog interest alone. He also has fifty head of fine cattle, among them two thoroughbred short horn bulls which have taken premiums at both Bedford and Conway. There are eighteen cows in the herd, three-quarter bloods and several head of other improved stock, mainly young heifers. Of the horse kind there are five work teams, one extra work horse, four spring colts, and eleven other young horses from yearlings to three-year-olds. The grain and hay raised on the place is commensurate with the needs of the family and the stock, and will so continue, but Mr. Leonard sells but little if any grain off the place, and confines his attention chiefly to stock. It is his intention to introduce sheep raising among his other stock interests, they being valuable not alone for the fleece and increase, but are great destroyers of noxious weeds, especially the wild rose bushes which give so much trouble. Referring again to the subject of the really unusually excellent specimens of the hog kind to be found on this place, we mention the fact that Mr. L has twenty-five brood sows, which will raise pigs this season. For the past two years he has been selling the best-bred Berkshires in these parts in such large numbers that to give the actual figures might challenge belief, and has not had enough to supply the demand. He is better prepared this year to fill orders than ever before. One thing we found by neutral inquiry among those who have bought of him which redounds to his credit, and that is that whatever he tells to a purchaser as to the merits of the pigs sold, can be implicitly relied on. No half bloods are palmed off for fall by Dan Leonard, but the man who does not know one breed from another is as sure to get the kind of animals he wants as the best judge of breeds in the country. Did space permit, much might be said of other interesting attractions about this farm--of the large well-kept orchard, probably the equal of any in southern Iowa, of the lawn before the house, with its evergreens and shrubbery, of the small fruits, the groves, the buildings, and a hundred and one other things in which all farmers are interested, but merely remarking that there are twenty acres of timber on section 14, also Mr. Leonard's property, we pass to the quarter-section on section 2 owned and worked by....Henry Coulthard (next article).
From History of Taylor County, State Historical Company, 1881 p. 714 (portrait on p. 261):
Leonard, D., farmer and stock raiser, section 10, post office Corning, was born June 24th, 1830, in Washington County, Pennsylvania. He was raised on a farm and received his education in the subscription schools. In the spring of 1854 he moved to Delaware County, Ohio, and after a residence there of about 18 months started west by team, arriving in this county in September of 1856. The following spring he moved to his present farm. At that time his nearest neighbor on the west was four miles, and on the north twelve miles. He was married in the spring of 1855 to Miss Jane Heath, of Delaware County, Ohio. Of their children, seven are living: William, Guy, Charlie, Arthur, Harry, Smith and John. Two, Sarah Anna and Lee Ann (tombstone says Luzanna - ed.), are deceased. Mr. Leonard owns a farm of 320 acres, beautifully situated, and in a high state of cultivation. He has a fine residence, commodious barn, and a large bearing orchard of 624 trees, being one of the finest orchards in Taylor County. He has a superabundance of small fruits. Mr. L. has experienced all the hardships and privations of pioneer life. Commencing when the county was new, and having little means, he set to work with a determination, and by industry and frugality conquered all obstacles and acquired for himself and family a pleasant home. He has been honored with numerous offices. His official record is without stain - having performed the duties devolved upon him with marked ability, and always with unswerving integrity and unyielding firmness. He is an unassuming man, honest in his dealings, and commands the respect of his fellow men. The interest of Taylor County he has always made a study.
From The History of Taylor County, Iowa from earliest times to 1910, Frank E. Crosson, 1910; S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. Chicago p. 392 (portraits of Daniel & Jane pp. 394-5):
Few men of Taylor County have endured greater hardships in the early settlement of this part of the state or have born their expectations with greater courage and derived from them a larger share of the prosperity of the world and the gifts of spirit than has Daniel Leonard, who for more than half a century has farmed in what is now Holt township. The memories of the day on which he arrived here and of the struggles and discouragements of the first few years are still vivid, and sometimes, as he looks back over the past he wonders not so much how he surmounted them, but how his loyal wife, gently born and reared amid luxury, had the courage to brave conditions to which he all unwillingly had to submit her. He was born in Washington County, Pennsylvania, in June 1830.
His father, William Leonard, was a farmer throughout his live and five years prior to his death moved to Ohio, where he passed away at the advanced age of 80. His mother, who had been Miss Mary Van Ort before her marriage, was a native of Pennsylvania and lived to be sixty years of age. The family of Leonard was of English decent and Daniel can remember that his grandparents frequently spoke of the "log book," from which he infers that his ancestors were sea-faring people, though he was too young to find out at that time. However that may be, they were able to transmit to their descendent strong qualities of character which have been the making of him.
About three miles from the birthplace of James G. Blaine, Daniel Leonard opened his eyes upon the world and there grew to maturity. His parents were very poor people and he was able to acquire but a limited education, though he was early initiated into the realm of toil. At the age of 22, he left his home and started life for himself. He went first to Delaware County, Ohio, where he remained for two years and was married, and then moved to Fulton County, Illinois, where he lived for about nine months.
In 1856, with a team of horses and all of their household possessions loaded on a wagon, he and his wife started on their journey across the country to Iowa. On the 25th of September, (he) stopped at the place where his home has been ever since and where he pre-empted one hundred and sixty acres of government land. No shelter of any kind was to be seen, so they took off the bows and the cover from the wagon, fastening them to the ground so that they would not blow away, for a storm seemed to be rising, and then inverted the wagon box on the ground. Under this the wife crawled, and after handing her a few clothes, Mr. Leonard crawled under himself. During the night, the threatened storm arrived and although the rain poured down harder than he had ever known it to do before or since, they were as dry and cozy under their improvised shelter as if they were provided with more comforts. Mr. Leonard had in his pockets only thirty-seven dollars and thirty-seven cents, but with that rare foresight which has distinguished him in his acquisition of land since, he traded his team for ninety acres. [No evidence in land records – ed.]
For four years he managed to do without any horses, although he bought a couple of calves which he broke into work. They were well broken, too, as one incident will show.
In the early morning, Mr. Leonard would take them to the timber, fell a tree, trim it, put the butt and larger limbs together, fasten a chain about them, and then hitch the young oxen to the whole. Forthwith, they would "mozey" to the cabin, where Mrs. Leonard would "untoggle" the chain, turn them around and start them on the road to the woods which they would reach by themselves. On the next trip, Mr. Leonard would accompany them, as he went to his dinner, and in the afternoon would bring up the third load. They were also of value in plowing when they were fastened with a yoke eight feet long, and with them he was able to plant his corn. The animals grew to be oxen of mammoth size and when he disposed of them they brought a price of two-hundred and seventy-five dollars.
From the trees he felled, Mr. Leonard build a cabin sixteen feet square, and as the logs were short in this part of the state, he had to splice them to make the cabin large enough. In that rude home he and his wife lived for a number of years, until he erected his present residence, the lumber for which he hauled from St. Joseph, Missouri. But even when their cabin was built their hardships were not lightened very much, and many a time Mr. Leonard said he wept at the thought of the severity of the life to which he brought his wife so tenderly reared in her girlhood and now bearing the struggle of a pioneersman's wife cheerfully, without complaint.
On one occasion he came to the shanty from the fields and found her clad in her nightclothes, washing the only outside garments she had. She was using a brass kettle given her by her mother, the only utensil among the few possessions large enough for the purpose. Mr. Leonard returned to the fields, sat down in the furrow and cried, heartsick enough to commit suicide. But he thought to himself, "Leonard, you won't be such a coward. Get up, pull yourself together and get out of this condition." It was a long time, however, before ready money found a place in his pocket.
On one occasion, he wrote a letter to his people in Ohio, but could not send it for lack of the price of postage, which in those days would have been fifteen cents. Nor could that amount be found in Taylor County. At different seasons of the year, hogs were gathered together at some place and driven to Ottumwa to be sold. One time Mr. Leonard had twelve to dispose of, but they weighed three-hundred pounds and were too heavy to drive. Accordingly he butchered them himself and sold the hams in Bedford for two and a half cents a pound, could not sell the shoulders at any price. So he left two with a blacksmith and said he would take their value out in work, later receiving for them a pair of hinges, which anywhere today could be procured for a quarter.
That these conditions have passed and that Mr. Leonard is in the enjoyment of a handsome income are due not only to his capacity for work and his determination to get ahead, but equally to the native sagacity which enabled him to discern the increase in the value of land, for besides the location he chose for his own home, whenever he saw the opportunity he bought land until at one time he held over one-thousand acres, of which he gave generously to each of six sons, whom he assisted in improving their farms and in stocking them. His own farm is situated on an elevation, from which, before the trees were so thick he could look southwest into Missouri, west into Page County, northwest into Montgomery County, north into Adams County, northeast into Union County, east into Ringold County, and southeast and south over Taylor County, obtaining a beautiful view in whatever direction he gazed. In addition to his purely agricultural interests, for more than fifty years Mr. Leonard has given special attention to the breeding of sheep, and with his sons under the name of Daniel Leonard & Sons, became the pioneer importers of Shropshire sheep, and they are now noted all over the southwest for the quality of their animals. Farm work and the air from his fields are his life, as he learned when at one time he retired to Corning. It was not long, however, as he was not made for a life of comfort, and he came back to the farm, determined not to relinquish its cares until the last moment.
In 1853, Mr. Leonard married Miss Jane Heath, who was born in Washington County, Ohio, in 1833, and for fifty-six years she was his companion. With the courage that some loving women possess, she never faltered before the difficult life to which her husband brought her, but without complaint assumed her duties. Her example of hard work and her cheerfulness were the encouragement for many, while her virtues and the Christian spirit which prompted her many acts of kindness made her well beloved by all, but especially by her own family.
Nine children were born to them: Mary (tombstone says Sarah A. -ed.), who died at the age of eighteen months; William, who is living in Grove Township; Guy, a resident of Holt Township; Charles, who is at home; Arthur, Smith, and J.W., who are living in Holt Township; Luzanne, who died at the age of 14 years; and Harry, who as killed when fourteen years old. Mrs. Leonard was taken from this world June 23, 1909, but her memory is still a strong factor for good, although she was never a member of any church.
In the early days, Mr. Leonard had helped organize a Methodist church in the neighborhood, of which he became a member and class leader. There were but five professing Christians in north Taylor County then, and his descriptions of the first meeting house contrasts strangely with the edifices prepared for worship today. He says, "It was a log building, one end out for the chimney, the other end for the door, the sides out for the windows. Split lean tree logs on pegs formed the seats." Four fourteen years he regularly attended the services at that church, but his ideas gradually broadened and today he would be considered liberal, subscribing to no creed. His rule of life has always been, "Do as I would be done by," and he says repeatedly, "That if people would follow the Golden Rule, they would need no other religion." It has profited him well in a worldly way and three years ago he was able to take a trip to California and the Pacific Slope, on which his wife accompanied him.
Politically Mr. Leonard is a Republican, attending and participating in the first convention held in Taylor County. Indeed, he has always wielded a wide influence in shaping the public opinion of this section of the state and has been active in the local affairs for time and again he has held township offices and has served on the Board of Supervisors for two terms. Having seen the county grow from its earliest days, it is but natural that he should be actuated by a large public spirit for its welfare. Times have advanced since pioneer days, and he has been largely instrumental in bringing about progress.
From the Delaware Olentangy Gazette, Fri. April 13, 1855; “Married”, p2:
In Brown tp. March 25th, by Rev. E.G. Wood, Mr. Daniel Leonard to Miss Jane Heath.
From the Bedford Times Republican, April 14th, 1905:
The golden wedding anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Leonard of Holt township, which was to have occurred March 25th but had to be postponed on account of the serious illness of Mrs. Leonard, was duly observed yesterday, when about one hundred fifty of their friends and neighbors, including persons from Gravity, Corning, Lenox, Clearfield and Bedford, assembled at their home, completely surprising them as to what was intended. A large pavilion tent had been procured for the occasion, in which long tables were spread, laden with the richest vivands the county affords and the market supplies. All ate to their entire satisfaction and huge piles were left to be taken away.
Hon. Wm. Cobb (State Representative, 1903-1906- Crosson p. 138) had been secured to make the speech of congratulation and present the presents from friends. He began by congratulating them on their good fortune in enjoying so many years of the blessings of marriage associations; spoke of this eventful period of fifty years forming very much of our national history; the change from a half slave to an entirely free government; of the wonderful development of our country in converting the wild waste into luxury and wealth; of comforts of life denied to the pioneer settler now brought to almost every door by our checkered railroad system; of the development of the infant republic of fifty years ago, now one of the... [1-2 lines unreadable] ...and intellectual power; of the wealth of human life not being so much of the character of broad acres of land, numerous and extensive herds, neither in the amount of rich bank account, but in the confidence, honor, and esteem of our fellow beings, especially the reverence and regard of our own household such as is manifest today in the great interest these sons are taking in this demonstration; concluding by an expression of hope that no clouds might overshadow the sky of their future lives and that many more anniversaries might yet come to them.
Mr. Leonard received a beautiful gold headed cane, Mrs. Leonard a gold watch and chain, the gift of friends and neighbors. Each of them received a beautiful gold ring, the gift of their sons. Mr. James Leonard, a brother, sent a metal case clock, finished in gold. Also, Mr. Frank Dunning of Bedford sent a unique metal clock finished in gold. Mr. Leonard was much overcome but managed to extend a hearty expression of thanks and kind regard to all.
Mr. and Mrs. Leonard are among the oldest of Taylor County's residents, having come here from Ohio in September, 1856. The following spring they moved onto the farm where they now live. Mr. Leonard will be 75 years of age on June 24th next. He was born in Washington County, Pa., where he resided until 24 years of age... [1-2 lines unreadable] ...here he met the woman who was to be his loving companion and true helpmate for half a century, and we hope will be for many years more.
The maiden name of Mrs. Leonard was Miss Jane Heath, and they were married at her home in Delaware County, Ohio, on March 25th, 1855. A little over a year later they bid farewell to home and loved ones and came to what was then the outskirts of civilization, Taylor county. Nine children came to bless their home, of which six remain to comfort their old age.
Together Mr. and Mrs. Leonard fought the battle of life, enduring all the privations and hardships of a pioneer life without a murmur. And now they are meeting with their reward. With a beautiful home, surrounded with all the comforts of life that money can buy, they are going down the hill slowly and contentedly. Respected and honored by all, they have a legion of friends who join The Times Republican in sincere and heartfelt congratulations.
From The Taylor County Times-Republican, July 1, 1905; “Old Settler Gone.”:
Mrs. Daniel Leonard, one of the oldest citizens of the county, died at her home in Holt township, June 23. She came with her husband to Taylor County in 1856, and settled on the farm which was ever after her home. She is survived by her husband and six sons. The funeral was held at the home on Friday, conducted by Rev. Ackley of Griswold.
From the Adams County Free Press, Sat. April 5th, 1913, “Death of a Pioneer”, photo page 1, story page 3:
Daniel Leonard passed away Monday evening at his family residence in north Taylor county after a lingering illness of three years resulting from a stroke of paralysis being practically helpless the past six months. The funeral was held Wednesday at 1 o’clock at the family home conducted by Rev. A.Y. Cupp. Internment was made at Prairie Rose cemetery beside his wife who died June 23, 1909.
Daniel Leonard was born June 24, 1830, near Uniontown, Washington county, Pa., and was 82 years, 9 months and 7 days old, the son of Mr. and Mrs. William Leonard. He was of a family of eight brothers and one sister, four brothers surviving him. Mr. Leonard lived in his own native state until 1855 when he went to Ohio where he met and married Miss Jane Heath March 25, the same year. In September, 1856, they came to Iowa and settled on the place where they died. Nine children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Leonard, Sarah Ann died in infancy, Louzana died when 14 years old and Harry died when 13. The living children are William, Guy, Arthur, Charlie, E.S. and J.W. and all join the home farm but Will. Besides his four brothers, and six sons he leaves eighteen grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
When Mr. and Mrs. Leonard reached their journeys end and settled on the raw prairie land they had a team, wagon, harness, their few household effects and $37. They immediately went to work and erected a small log cabin and planted cottonwoods, small sticks about the size of a man’s forefinger. They were the first trees planted in northern Taylor county. Some breaking was done on the homestead and a little corn was raised, scarcely twenty acres being raised in all of Taylor county that year. Corn meal that winter was made by punching holes with a shingle nail through a piece of tin by which the corn was grated. Mr. Leonard soon got a few sheep together which was the foundation of his successful career in that line. He and his sons have been associated in the sheep business, raising pure-bred Shropshires and have acquired a valuable business and reputation. For a number of years after the Leonards came here Indians roamed at will, often calling on their white neighbors. Judge Barnett then residing near Carbon was his friend and neighbor on the north and there were but few neighbors in a radius of many miles and both often enjoyed a visit from the other. And so we might write volumes of the early days in which he as a pioneer figured, always for the advancement of the new country.
From the Adams County Union-Republican, Wed. April 2nd, 1913, “Obituary”, photo and story page 12:
Daniel Leonard died at the family home in Taylor county at 7:45 Monday evening this week, aged 82 years, 9 months and 7 days. The funeral services will be held at the residence at 1 o’clock p.m. today, conducted by Rev. A.Y. Cupp, and internment will be made in Fairview cemetery.
“Uncle Dan,” as he was familiarly known to a host of acquaintances, was one of the first settlers in Taylor county. At the time of his demise he was probably the earliest living settler of the county. He was born in Washington county, Pa., June 24, 1830, and March 25, 1855, was married to Jane Heath. The couple came to Taylor county in the fall of 1856, settling on the farm where they both passed from this life. To them were born nine children: William, Guy, Sarah, Art, Charles, Louisiana, Harry, Smith and John. Sarah, Louisiana and Harry preceded their parents in death. The other children all reside in Taylor county and like their father are among the most substantial citizens of the community. Mrs. Leonard died June 23, 1909. All the children were born on the home place, most of them in a log cabin that furnished the home for the family in the early years, before the family knew the prosperity that has been theirs for so along a time. It is probable that no farmer and stockman in this section of the state was better known than Mr. Leonard. He has been prominent in practically every movement for the bettering of rural conditions, has been one of the most progressive farmers in the state, and his stock business, builded up by himself and his sons under the firm name of Daniel Leonard & Sons, has won him fame in many states. Their importations of sheep have been sought far and wide. Mr. Leonard was a good neighbor and a good friend. We have enjoyed his friendship since we were a youth, and we do not recall an instance of the many visits with him where we were not edified and instructed, for Mr. Leonard’s knowledge was of the practical sort that is of value to one’s friends. The story of the experiences of himself and wife in the early days in this country would make an interesting volume. Those hardships perhaps had much to do with the molding of the sturdy character whose passing we all regret. Until with the last twelve months Mr. Leonard enjoyed exceptionally good health. About a year ago he suffered a stroke of paralysis, and has gradually failed since then. Beside the immediate family Mr. Leonard is survived by four brothers, James, of LaRue, Ohio; Thomas, of Lorraine, Ohio; William, of Hallowell, Kans., and Joseph of Oklahoma. We join the many friends in extending sympathy to the bereaved ones.
From The Marion Daily Star, Tues. Ap. 1, 1913; “Daniel Leonard is Dead in Iowa”, p. 3:
Deceased was a brother of James Leonard, of LaRue
La Rue, O. April 1, [Special] – James Leonard, of this place, received a message, this morning, notifying him of the death of his brother, Daniel Leonard, who died at Corning, Iowa, last night at the age of eighty-five years [sic – age 82. – ed..
Mr. Leonard was born in Pennsylvania, but lived in Delaware County about a year, having moved to Iowa in 1857 [sic – actually 1856.-ed.]. He was the first settler in Taylor county, Iowa [sic – he wasn’t first. -ed.]. He was very prominent in that state, and with his sons owned 2000 acres there. He was the breeder of Shropshire sheep and was frequently sent by the governor of his state to Sheep Breeders associations in other states. He is survived by a widow and six sons [sic – no record of Daniel re-marrying, Jane died in 1909. –ed.].
Sources for The History of Daniel 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 where available. 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 – Family Notes
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. A transcribed letter from Arthur Leonard, son of Daniel and grandson of William and Mary, to Wilbur Leonard, grandson of Edmund Leonard, details Daniel’s descendants.
US Census Reports of 1830-1910: Washington and Fayette Counties, PA; Delaware and Marion Counties, OH; Taylor County, IA. 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.
History of Taylor County, State Historical Company, Des Moines, Ia. 1881. Biographical sketch of Daniel Leonard on p. 714.
The History of Taylor County, Iowa from earliest times to 1910, Frank E. Crosson, S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. Chicago, 1910. Biographical sketch of Daniel Leonard on pp. 394-5.
Delaware Olentangy Gazette, Fri. April 13, 1855; “Married”, p2
Taylor County Republican, May 9, 1878. Article on the Dan Leonard farm.
Taylor County Times-Republican, July 1, 1905; “Old Settler Gone.”
Bedford Times Republican, April 14th, 1905. Article on Daniel and Jane’s 50th Wedding Anniversary.
Adams County Free Press, Sat. April 5th, 1913, “Death of a Pioneer”, photo page 1, story page 3.
Adams County Union-Republican, Wed. April 2th, 1913, “Obituary”, photo and story page 12.
The Marion Daily Star, Tues. Ap. 1, 1913; “Daniel Leonard is Dead in Iowa”, p. 3
Record of Appointment of Postmasters, Taylor County, Iowa, 1832-1971, U.S. Post Office Department. National Archives and Records Administration, micropublication M841, page 465.
Post Office Records of Site Locations 1837-1950, Taylor County, Iowa, National Archives and Records Administration micropublication M1126, roll 186, no page numbers
Daniel and Guy Leonard, Appellants v. A.B. Wakeman; et al., Apellees, (No case number), April 1903, Supreme Court of Iowa, appealed from Taylor County District Court, Hon. R.L.Parrish, Judge.
Daniel and Guy Leonard, Appellants v. James McDonald, Apelle, (No case number), October 1903, Supreme Court of Iowa, appealed from Taylor County District Court, Hon. R.L.Parrish, Judge.
Seventeenth Annual Iowa Railroad Commission Report, 1894, pp. 159-61.
Probate Records of William Leonard of Marion County, Ohio, 1881.
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