Hiram E. Leonard Diary, May 30 – June 5, 1866

30th Wednesday  rather fine but cool backward weather with frost I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ tiard lonely & about sick, John Golands wife was married at Fred Mathers tonight to a Mr Goodrick.

31st Thursday  A cool fine day warmer in afternoon  A frost in morning & warm at noon  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ tiard lonely & sick  Moore took John Goland to Geneva for fireing his buddy Henry Ingraham came today & took dinner at my house & stayed at Williams over night [in margin] they took J Goland to jail  Henry Ingraham came here today.

June 1st Friday  A cold morning with nearly a frost if not one in some place  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ tiard lonely & nearly sick  H Ingraham eat dinner here.

2nd Saturday  rather a fine pleasant day & evening  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ tiard lonely & about sick, down hearted H Ingraham went to Todds or Gevena.

3rd Sunday  A fine warm day with some clouds and conciderable air  I did my choars was at the office about 10 was at home the rest of the day a choaring round writing etc  Sister went to Mieling Els  I went to bed about 9 nearly sick & lonely.

4th Monday  rather fine weather & a growing time  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.

5th Tuesday  rather fine growing weather  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ tiard lonely & sick  Ada Bostwick’s wife had a son tonight.”

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Hiram E. Leonard Diary, May 23 – 29, 1866

23rd Wednesday  rather fine weather but dry & backward  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, Wallace Jones bought the goods in Negles store & invoised them today all, A Frost [in margin] W W Jones bought Negles good in the store A Frost this morning.

24th Thursday  cold dry backward 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 & nearly sick  W. W. Jones & Negle went to Chicago, Jones went after goods  A frost pretty hard.

25th Friday  cool dry backward 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 & nearly sick [in margin] Willson carrying off his oats.

26th Saturday  rather a cool cloudy damp day, showered a little & thundered grew cool towards night & rained a little fine drops was a wet night  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening, came home about 9 & went to bed between 9 & 10 tiard lonely & nearly sick  H Brown died this morning between 7 & 8  Frank and Hoyt Brown went to Chicago after clothes & met Sarah Brown at station  She came in the stage about 11  John Goland shot himself at Williams but did not kill him, the ball did not enter his skull but entered the flesh in the back of his neck he was crazy & Williams carried him up to Dyres it took 3 men his wife was at work at Williamses.

27th Sunday  A cool damp day & rained conciderable in & some in evening I did my choars went to the office was round home the rest of the day choared a little took a nap wrote some etc did my choars at night & went to bed about 9 nearly a sick & lonely  Hilliard Brown’s funeral was attended at the Methodist Church about 2 oclock servises by the Methodist Minister a Mr Brown [in margin] Hilliard Brown was buried this afternoon.

28th Monday rather fine weather but cool backward weather I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ lonely & tiard.

29th Tuesday  rather cold frosty weather a frost this morning  I did my choars was at the office all day came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ sick & lonely.”

Hiram E. Leonard Diary, May 16 – 22, 1866

16th Wednesday  A cold morning with water frozen conciderable a fine cold day  I did my choars was at the office all day evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ tiard & sick.

17th Thursday  A cool day & evening  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½.

18th Friday  A fine pleasant warm day  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home 8 went to bed at 9 ½ sick [in margin] Wheelock came to Willsons.

19th Saturday  A fine warm day  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 8 ½ [in margin] Wheelock left Willsons.

20th Sunday  A fine pleasant windy day & cool evening  I did my choars went to office in morning came home & went to McNelly with Gould, got back at about 5 did my choars went to office & back & went to bed at 9 sick.

21st Monday  I put my colt in to Col Warrens paster  rather 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 9 ½ nearly sick & lonely  H Brown is not expected to live from day to day.

22nd Tuesday  fine cold backward dry weather, 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.”

Hiram E. Leonard Diary, May 9 – 15, 1866

9th Wednesday  pretty fine but cool weather  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ tiard lonely & about sick.

10th Thursday  fine weather for May but cool & dry  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 [in margin] Rol and Caroline went to her fathers.

11th Friday  fine weather but cool & dry  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ tiard lonely & about sick with a cold.

12th Saturday  rather a fine day with some showers  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home a little before 9 & went to bed about 9 ½ tiard lonely & sick [in margin] Rol & Cal cleaned house at the Pelham house.

13th Sunday  A fine pleasant day with a cool air and grew cold towards night  I did my choars was round home the most of the day a choaring round, & planted some corn & potatoes was at the office in the morning, at noon & in the evening came back & went to bed about 9 tiard lonely & about sick, Carpenter & Charles Estes called here about 2 oclock Charles & his wife were on their way back to see his father in Massachusetts Caroline & Rol were a cleaning house today.

14th Monday rather a fine cool day  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ nearly sick  David McNelly went back to.

15th Tuesday  rather a cool day & night  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ sick [in margin] R Willson & Caroline mooved into Pelhams house.”

Celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week: Honoring Warrenville’s First Teacher Seraph Warren Holmes

Seraph Warren was born to her parents Peter and Anna Warren in New York State in 1813. As a young woman in those days, she was grateful that my parents allowed her to get an education.  She was given a good elementary education and trained as a teacher in New York. Her passion for education grew as she taught students on the east coast and when her aunt, uncle and cousins headed west (the Daniel and Nancy Warren family including Colonel Warren and his seven sisters), her family followed them to a settlement along the DuPage River.

Seraph Warren Holmes

Seraph Warren Holmes

Their family made a new home in the new community of Warrenville which was named after her cousin Julius. As soon as Julius’s first boarding house for lodgers was built in 1835, he arranged for Seraph to take charge of the upstairs room as a schoolroom and she began teaching the children who were arriving to the growing town.

Seraph felt that all children, especially the children in the growing area of DuPage County, needed a good education to ensure that they learned how to make the community great. Seraph had a high standard of education and taught any child who wanted to learn.

Although she loved her life as an educator, on January 3, 1849, she married Albert Holmes and they began what they hoped would be a long and happy life filled with love. In those days, women were not allowed to work once they were married, so we know how much she must have loved Albert to leave her other love of teaching for him. Sadly, only five months after their wedding, Albert died tragically and suddenly of cholera while the couple was visiting Galena, Illinois. Seraph returned to Warrenville as a widow to continue her work as a teacher.

3S432 Fourth Street, once home to the Warrenville Seminary, now a private residence

3S432 Fourth Street, once home to the Warrenville Seminary, now a private residence

On September 14, 1851, she helped open and then ran the Warrenville Seminary. The boarding school drew students from the local area, but also from as far away as Chicago and Rockford. Two of our graduates, General Frederick Starring and Dr. John Maynard Woodworth of Chicago, the first surgeon general of the United States, are just two examples of the results of the fine education the school provided students in Warrenville.  The Seminary turned Fourth Street into the school’s campus. Seraph’s father’s house, north on Fourth Street, was the boardinghouse for the boy students, while the girls slept on the second floor of the school house, which still stands at 3S432 Fourth Street and is now a private home.

Peter Warren home as seen in the 1876 DuPage Atlas

Peter Warren home as seen in the 1876 DuPage Atlas, once located on north Fourth Street

After the seminary closed following the Civil War, Seraph and her mother moved to Rockford. There she opened “Mrs. Holmes School for Young Ladies,” to help train new teachers. Her Rockford school would later be incorporated into Rockford College, still known for its good teaching program. After her death in 1905, her body was brought back to be buried in Warrenville. Nine years later, our great community paid her the most ultimate honor when they named the new elementary school after Seraph. The Seraph Warren Holmes School welcomed Warrenville students until 1991 when it closed.

Holmes School which was located at , where the current Police Station is located

Holmes School, where the current Police Station is located on Warren Avenue

Hiram E. Leonard Diary, May 2 – 8, 1866

2nd Wednesday  A cold pleasant day & evening  I did my choars was at the office all day & in the evening came home at about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ tiard lonely & about sick.

3rd Thursday  rather a fine day but cold & all but froze  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 [in margin] McNelly came.

4th Friday  A cool pleasant day & evening all most cold enough at night to freeze, I did my choars was at the office all day came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ tiard & nearly sick & lonely.

5th Saturday  A cold day & grew cold at night about cold enough to freeze  I did my choars was at the office all day and came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ nearly sick & tiard.

6th Sunday  A cold morning almost froz last night  A cold pleasant day & evening   I did my choars was at the house all day & evening went to the office about sunset came back & went to bed about 9 planted buternuts & Norway Spruce seed etc.

7th Monday rather fine weather for the season  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ tiard & about sick & lonely.

8th Tuesday  rather fine but cool weather  I did my choars was at the office all day & in the evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ tiard lonely & about sick.”