Hiram E. Leonard Diary, June 29 – July 5

29th Thursday fine weather but some showerey I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ tiard & sick [in margin] Donation for Hanna Mair put to horse.

30th Friday fine weather but some showers a heavey shower dureing the night I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ went to bed at 9 ½ Methodist had a donation from Hanna.

July 1st Saturday A fine day but cool I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 9 went to bed about 10 nearly sick, Sim Billings mooved into Dan Aherns house [in margin] S Billings mooved in to D Aherns A Bostwick L Waterman were married.

2nd Sunday A fine cool pleasant day some cloudy in morning I did my choars was at the office came home & choared round the most of the day howing in gardin etc went to bed about 9 nearly sick, Elder Marston preached to the Soldiers today.

3rd Monday rather fine weather I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ tiard sick & lonely.

4th Tuesday a fine still hot day & evening I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 9 & went to bed about 10 tiard & nearly sick a lonely day for me & verry still in town, William McNelly & wife & Caroline Wray were at Goulds & Naperville at the fourth, S. Willson & wife & Rollen were at Naperville.

5th Wednesday rather fine weather for the summer I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ tiard lonely & nearly sick.”

Hiram E. Leonard Diary, June 22 – 28, 1865

22nd Thursday fine growing weather I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ about sick—.

23rd Friday fine weather for the season I did my choars was at the office all day & in the evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ tiard & nearly sick etc —-.

24th Saturday a fine growing day some cloudy with several showers from 5 ½ to 7 ½ rain poured down in torrents & rained some during the night I did my choars was at the office all day came home after 7 did my choars & went to bed at 9 nearly sick.

25th Sunday A cloudy damp misty morning & forenoon, more pleasant in afternoon I did my choars went to office about 8, R Pollard cut my hair I came back & was round the house the most of the day a choaring did my choars at night & went to bed about 9 nearly sick.

26th Monday rather fine weather but wet I did my choars was at the office all day & in the evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ nearly sick.

27th Tuesday fine growing weather with showers about every day or night I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed at 9.

28th Wednesday fine growing weather I did my choars was at office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ went to bed at 9 ½ nearly sick.”

Albright Inspired Artist-in-Residence: Chris Hodge

The Historical Society has launched a new Albright inspired Artist-in-Residency Program. The Albright artists used the current home of the Museum, the 1858 Methodist Church, as an art studio and gallery from 1924-1957. Each year artists who are inspired by one of the three Albright artists, Adam Emory, Ivan or Malvin Albright, will be invited to create original artwork inspired by the Albrights and their work in Warrenville.

Our 2015 artist is Chris Hodge, an accomplished artist and art teacher whose work has been shown throughout Chicagoland and beyond. Chris was part of the Historical Society’s 2012 “Warrenville Inspired” art show and created his own version of Ivan Albright’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” which can be seen at the Warrenville Historical Museum & Art Gallery alongside a digital reproduction of Ivan’s original painting. Some of Chris’ other work is also on display through the summer.

Chris Hodge's 2012 piece in progress

Chris Hodge’s 2012 piece in progress

Visitors to the Museum can also watch Chris draw on these selected days in June, July, and August from 1:00-4:00p.m.: Wednesday, June 17th; Wednesday, June 24th; Wednesday, July 8th; Wednesday, July 15th; Sunday, July 26th; Sunday, August 2nd; Wednesday, August 5th; and Wednesday, August 12th.

Chris and Museum Director Sara Phalen will also be present at the Wednesday, June 24th Warrenville Concert, from 6:30-8:30p.m., in the Albright Park Gazebo area between City Hall and the Warrenville Public Library. Come out and hear more about the program, Chris’ work and the Albrights in Warrenville.

Chris will also give an artist statement at the Historical Society’s Monday, September 14th Annual Meeting at 7:00p.m., prior to our Director, Sara, giving a presentation about the Albrights and their time in our community.

For more information on Chris’ work, visit his website www.chodgeart.com, and for more information about the Historical Society and the Albrights visit our website at http://www.warrenvillehistorical.org. This program is made possible by a City of Warrenville Hotel Motel Tax Fund Grant.

 

Hiram E. Leonard Diary, June 15 – 21, 1865

15th Thursday rather a fine growing showerey day I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ and went to bed about 9 ½ tiard lonely & about sick.

16th Friday rather fine hot weather I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ tiard lonely & about sick.

17th Saturday A fine hot day I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ nearly sick [in margin] Caroline Wray walked to S Willsons from Danby.

18th Sunday rather a fine day but some cloudy & verry windy with quite a shower about 11, I did my choars was went to the office in morning came back & hoed some in the garden etc Roll Willson & Caroline Wray came down here about 10 & stayed till noon & then went back and went to Jack Butterfields a visating.

19th Monday rather a fine day & fine growing weather I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ nearly sick— [in margin] Caroline from Willsons home.

20th Tuesday fine growing weather I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at about 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ tiard & about sick—.

21st Wednesday fine growing weather I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ tiard & about sick—.”

Hiram E. Leonard Diary, June 8 – 14, 1865

8th Thursday A fine day but hot & verry dry I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ tiard lonely & nearly sick.

9th Friday A cloudy morning & a heavy shower about 8 with several heavey showers during the day one between 5 & 6 ½ a great deal of rain fell a Big Woods & injured their crops verry much in places, I did my choars was at the office all day came home 8 ½ went to bed 9 ½ nearly sick & lonely Eli Root & family F Pollards brother in law from Vermont came tonight his wife was paralyzed on one sided, sent for Danne Camp meeting near St Charles.

10th Saturday A fine cool day & evening I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 10 tiard lonely & nearly sick, Dr. Waterman Allen Wright & Fairbanks came home to stay over Sunday & go back next week to Chicago to be mustered out big meeting commenced at Lahmans.

11th Sunday A fine pleasant growing day I did my choars was at the home all day went to office towards night came back & went to bed about 9 tiard lonely & about sick there was a great meeting at Lahmans Sister went both days Redfield had a camp meeting near St Charles many went.

12th Monday rather fine hot weather ground wet & crops grow I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ tiard sick & lonely.

13th Tuesday fine weather with showers things grow I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ tiard & sick & lonely.

14th Wednesday fine hot growing weather I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ tiard sick, lonely, Kate Chandler had a son born today, Richard Chandlers wife.”

Hiram through History

In 2011 we began to feature the diary entries of Hiram Leonard, highlighting the life of a Warrenville resident during the American Civil War years. This glimpse into local life 150 years ago continues, and as we all see the community through Hiram’s eyes it is hard to not notice how hard life was for him in those days. The Civil War years were hard for everyone on both sides of the fighting, but Hiram had a hard life that left him sick and tired before the War broke out as well. Learn a little more about Hiram and then read some earlier June 5th entries from Hiram’s diaries here.

Hiram Leonard, born in 1810, was from the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts and arrived in Warrenville in the fall of 1835.  His diaries are an almost continuous record of his Warrenville residency.  More than likely, he kept diaries prior to the March 1843 entry, the first entry the Museum has in it’s collection, but it is doubtful that they were preserved.

Hiram E. Leonard

Hiram E. Leonard

Hiram was a farmer, druggist, broom manufacturer, merchant, a justice of the peace, and Warrenville’s Postmaster from July 1, 1861 until his death November 6, 1878—a man of importance in the village.  His home at 3 S 381 Winfield Road still stands; the Leonard Store was located at 28 W 180 Warrenville Road.

Hiram turned 53 in 1863, so although it is unlikely that his age accounted for his constant illness, he lived a hard life and his sickness was most likely caused by the large amount of stress in his life.  He was running multiple businesses in the growing community of Warrenville, including his position as postmaster, and for many years took care of his sister, who was mentally unstable.  There have been a few entries about his sister being “sick” or “unwell.”  She was generally irrational and oftentimes violent, which was a lot for Hiram to deal with by himself as no other family lived in the area.

Hiram also took on other taxing responsibilities in his personal life.  He had a live-in housekeeper, Mary Wray, who was divorced with two children.  Hiram was not married at the time and cared for Mary’s two kids after her death, and later the William Wray Jr.’s (Mary’s son) family as well.  Hiram was most likely completely exhausted each night from fulfilling all of his duties.

William Wray Jr. left Hiram to care for his family when he went off to fight in the Civil War.  William Jr. died in battle in 1864 and his 34 year old widow, Caroline, later married Hiram in 1874.  Hiram was 64 at the time of the wedding and died 4 years later.

June 5, 1846: “5th Friday  A cool cloudy damp morning & rather a cold squalley disagreeable day, several sprinkles with conciderable wind, more pleasant in afternoon & quite fine in the evening, the ground wet & roads bad, I run round conciderable in the morning to the post office store etc & then worked in my orchard a grafting & trimming, was tiard at night, George Hull & wife called at Carpenters & his sister called here & took tea, & then he came after her. Bridges & another person called a short time as the were on their return from Bristol from the Association.”

June 5, 1851: “5th Thursday  A warm cloudy rainey morning the thurmometer stood at 52 degrees above zero in the morning 76 at noon & 60 at night, rather a cloudy damp day but the sun shone out some, a tremendous heavey thunder shower in the night with wind, I choared round, & started about 10 for Joliet with Raynoldses folks, got to Joliet abut 6, stayed at Inghams all night & went to bed about 9, tiard & about sick.”

June 5, 1853: “5th Sunday  A warm & some cloudy morning the thurmometer ranged at 60 degrees above zero in the morning 88 at noon & 74 at night a warm pleasant day with some cloudy & showers round us, a fine evening, fine growing weather  I did my choars fixed some upstairs was at home all day did my choars & went to bed at 9 tiard & nearly sick, George & his wife, Mrs. Wray & Sol Williams went to Mr. Hovarths on a visit & got home before sunset.”

June 5, 1855: 5th Tuesday  Rather a fine cool day & evening, I did my choars & was at the shop all day & evening came home about 9 & went to bed verry dry weather  Mrs. Hammond took the cars in Chicago for the East about 6 A.M.”

 

Hiram E. Leonard Diary, June 1 -7, 1865

June 1st Thursday fine dry hot pleasant weather everything a suffering with the drouth & adrying up I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ tiard lonely & about sick I had a letter from George O Potter they wrote one to Caroline & 1 to Griffeth.

2nd Friday hot & dry as usual, I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ tiard lonely & nearly sick, Mr Scowel got home from the Army, Caroline Wray came to Russequies in stage.

3rd Saturday fine hot dry weather everything a drying up I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ tiard lonely & about sick, Caroline Wray called at the office before noon & went to Willsons in afternoon & stayed all night, Rolla was with her [in margin] Mrs L Kenyon came to Lanes.

4th Sunday A fine pleasant hot day & evening & everything a drying up I did my choars was at office after breckfust came back & called at Lanes Lewey Kenyon was there I was at home the most of the day a choaring round & went to bed about 9, Boyd came after L Kenyon just at night [in margin] L Kenyon went home R Willson carried Cal Wray home.

5th Monday fine hot dry day & evening I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ nearly sick tiard & lonely.

6th Tuesday a fine day but dry & hot I did my choars was at the office all day & evening, came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ tiard & nearly sick, but lonely.

7th Wednesday fine hot dry weather crops a suffering I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ tiard lonely & worse than sick.”

Hiram E. Leonard Diary, May 25 – 31, 1865

25th Thursday A fine day but cool & dry I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ tiard lonely & nearly sick & homesick.

26th Friday rather a cold dry day & night most a frost this morning I did my choars was at the office all day & in the evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ tiard lonely & about sick & homesick Luman V Russequie got home from Nashville was discharged & paid off from the hospital, got home at noon, and Simeon Billings got home about 6 oclock in afternoon was discharged at the hospital at New York & paid off.

27th Saturday A cold pleasant morning with all but a frost I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 9 & went to bed about 9 ½ tiard lonely homesick & nearly sick [in margin] T C Butler & Jane Hendrickson got to Bliss.

28th Sunday A warm cloudy morning with a light shower about 7 a warm day & dry I did my choars eat breckfust went to office & back choared round the house some called at Simeon Billings put my mair out of Col Warrens lot into my paster was round home all day about sick went to bed about 9 tiard lonely & sick with a pain in my right brest & hip, Sister went to meeting.

29th Monday Dry hot weather crops suffering bad, I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ nearly sick lonely etc T. C Butler, Jane Hendrickson came to Blisses.

30th Tuesday Fine hot dry weather I did my choars was at the office all day & in the evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ tiard lonely & nearly sick Alvince Penny & a Miss Webber were married at Cresaline today & started for Chicago to come to Green & got to his fathers.

31st Wednesday A fine hot dry day I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went at 9 ½ tiard lonely & nearly sick David McNelly was here with his horse.”

Warrenville Road Bridge Construction Starts

Construction has officially started on the Warrenville Road Bridge and within a few months this area and our Leone Schmidt Historic Park will be transformed.

Warrenville Road Bridge

Warrenville Road Bridge

The Museum plans to stay open during construction and can be easily accessed off of Winfield Road, as seen in this detour map below. Please do check our website and Facebook page for any updates; if closures are needed, full details will be posted there.

Warrenville Road Bridge Detour Map

Warrenville Road Bridge Detour Map

We hope to see you during our summer hours of Wednesdays – Sundays from 1:00-4:00p.m. June through August. Our business members Al’s Pizza and Towne Tap will also be open throughout the construction, so please support them!

Hiram E. Leonard Diary, May 18 – 24, 1865

18th Thursday fine May weather & a growing time I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ nearly sick.

19th Friday fine warm weather & a growing time I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ nearly sick.

20th Saturday A fine warm day but some cloudy I did my choars was at the office the most of the day, after the mail left I went up to where Balis was a planting corn on mine, he finished planting, I came home about 8 ½ & went to bed 9 ½ tiard & nearly sick.

21st Sunday A fine warm pleasant day with conciderable wind I did my choars was at home the most of the day a planting my garden & choaring round went to the office & made up the male at night planted my peas etc came home & went to bed about 9 tiard & nearly sick, Sister went to Methodist meeting in afternoon & old Mrs Jones, Mrs Lane & Mrs Scenet were here in afternoon a while.

22nd Monday rather fine weather for May but dry & cold I did my choars was at the office all day & in the evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ tiard lonely & sick & homesick.

23rd Tuesday rather fine cool dry weather for the season I did my choars was at the office all day & in the evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ lonely tiard & nearly sick.

24th Wednesday rather fine weather but cool & dry I did my choars was at the office the most of the day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ lonely homesick & nearly sick D McNelly eat dinner here [in margin] Malissa Billings finished work here.”

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