Hiram E. Leonard Diary, August 21 – 27, 1867

21st Wednesday  fine weather for the season, I did my choars was at the office all day came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 10 nearly sick with a cold etc.

22nd Thursday  rather fine weather  I did my choars was at the office all day came home at 8 ½ and went to bed at about 10 nearly worne out with trouble, Wallace Jones & a Miss Taylor were married at her fathers below Naperville & Hobsons Mills.

23rd Friday  fine dry weather  I did my choars was at the office all day came home about 8 ½ & went to bed at 10 nearly sick with a cold W Jones & lady went to DuPage.

24th Saturday  A fine day & warm  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ and went to bed at 10 nearly sick with a cold etc.

25th Sunday  A fine pleasant warm day  I did my choars was at the office after breckfust came back & choared round the house & fixed my eve spouts etc went to bed at about 9, about sick, William M Butler & children came here about 10  I put his horse out & he went with the children to Bliss & to meeting came back about 1 & then went to Bliss & Carpenter went with him & children to the burying ground, he came back & eat supper between 3 & 4 and started for Danby about 4 ½ Cal & Rol came here at night.

26th Monday  A fine day  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 10 sick  Rol Cal, Mrs Stone & George went to Naperville & got back about 4 they called at Mr Goulds  George got his photograph taken.

27th Tuesday  it rained a part of the day I did my choars was at the office all day came home at 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ nearly sick.”

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Hiram E. Leonard Diary, August 7 – 13, 1867

7th Wednesday  fine weather & hot  I did my choars was at the office all day came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 10 nearly sick & worne out.

8th Thursday  A fine pleasant hot day  I did my choars was at the office all day came home at 8 ½ & went to bed about 10 nearly sick & worne out with trouble  Resseguie stack the first part of my oats, Charles R Leonard got here from New Lebanon at noon.

9th Friday  a fine forenoon but several showers in the afternoon  I did my choars was at the office all day came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 10 nearly sick.

10th Saturday  A pretty fine day  I did my choars was at the office all day came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 10 nearly sick  Charles went to Naperville in forenoon & to Carpenters in the afternoon with Mrs Bliss & got back in the evening [in margin] R B Pollard got home tonight.

11th Sunday  A fine cool pleasant day with some clouds  I did my choars went to office with Charles & back choared round the house some & laid down in the middle of day & went to bed about 9 tiard & nearly sick  Dr Charles Estes & wife & daughter were here after supper & stayed a short time with Mrs Bliss, they with Carpenters folks were at Bliss to tea  Charles went & stayed to Carpenters over night.

12th Monday  rather a fine day with a shower in afternoon or several showers  I was at the office all day came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 10 nearly sick, Charles Leonard went to Aurora with Mrs Bliss & got home after dark  they went to P. Carpenters & took supper.

13th Tuesday  A cloudy muddy morning but more pleasant in afternoon I did my choars was at the office in the morning & got ready & started for Batavia with my sister about 10 oclock  got there at noon & got back at 3 P.M. was at the store the rest of the day & evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed about 10 nearly sick & worne out with trouble [in margin] I took Sister to the Insane hospital at Batavia.”

Hiram E. Leonard Diary, November 21 – 27, 1866

21st Wednesday  rather a cold cloudy raw day  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 William Hollister & Eva Carpenter were married by E. L. Hunt at Carpenters today & went to Chicago in afternoon & to St. Louis tomorrow  William Carpenter & Netta Fowler & S Heys & Sarah Jane Carpenter stood up with the bride & groom they had quite a wedding.

22nd Thursday  a cloudy cold disagreeable day  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.

23rd Friday rather a cool cloudy day & evening  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ nearly sick.

24th Saturday  rather a fine day  I did my choars was at the office all day came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ nearly sick.

25th Sunday rather a fine pleasant day & evening but cool  I did my choars was at the office three times was at home the most of the day a choaring round was at Carolines some in evening came home at ____ wrote & went to bed at 9 nearly sick  Wm Whitny came & brought Gould wife & child up & Willson went & wife & carried them back as Whitny was selubrious  Gould got kick with a colt last night.

26th Monday  rather a fine cloudy day  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 with a cold & lonely as can be.

27th Tuesday  rather a fine cool cloudy day  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ nearly sick with a cold, lonely.”

Hiram E. Leonard Diary, September 12 – 18, 1866

12th Wednesday  rather a fine day  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ nearly sick.

13th Thursday  a cloudy broaken day, I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ nearly sick [in margin] York here.

14th Friday  A cloudy damp day & night  I did my choars was at the office all day & nigh came home 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ about sick  York was at store & his wife in the village.

15th Saturday  A cloudy rainey day & night  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening washed out a part of my store in evening came home about 11 at night & soon went to bed tiard & sick had worked hard all the evening.

16th Sunday  A rainey disagreeable day & evening the ground quite muddy  I did my choars choared round till afternoon, then went to the office for Willa Carpenter  stayed & washed floore near 2 hours came home & fixed pig pen & choared round till night & went to bed about 9 nearly sick.

17th Monday rather fine weather but cool  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ nearly sick with a cold [in margin] George Sidwell went to Rockford.

18th Tuesday  A cool cloudy damp day  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ nearly sick with a cold.”

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.”

Warrenville Women’s History Wednesday: Sarah “Sally” Louise Warren

The Historical Society began 2016 telling the story of Colonel Warren’s seven sisters. Julius Warren, our town’s founder, was the only son in his family and had the important job of helping his parents, Nancy and Daniel Warren, find seven suitable husbands for his seven sisters. The Warren sisters were successfully married to seven well-established men who helped to shape northern Illinois. Please enjoy reading a little bit about one of the seven sisters featured in our January program The Seven Sisters of Colonel Warren. You can also learn more about the sisters in our museum exhibit that will be on display at the Historical Museum & Art Gallery through 2016.

Sarah Warren

Sarah Warren

 

Sarah Louise Warren, often referred to as Sally, was born in 1813, the third Warren daughter. Although it was uncommon for women to have much of a career in those days, Sarah tried her hardest. She originally left the family’s New York home in 1827 to go to work as a teacher at a school that was 10 miles away. She lived and taught at the school for the entire school year before the school’s administration realized she was only 13 years old-clearly mature and responsible for her age, but young for the profession. Some of her students were even older than she was! Despite her young age, she returned to the school the next fall and taught for 6 more months before receiving training at the Fredonia Academy where her brother, Julius, was also enrolled. At the end of her studies she taught in neighboring communities until the family headed west.

It was during her teaching however that she was attracted to the Christian religion, an institution that would form the basis for much of her life’s work. A group of Methodists held a meeting in her school house and following their stirring words, she decided to be baptized a Christian. We know that her mother Nancy, and oldest sister, Philinda, attended church prior to Sarah’s baptism, but religion was not a strong focus of the Warren family while the children were growing up. Religion remained important to Sarah and saw her through some dark days later in her life.

When the family first got to Illinois, Sarah wanted to continue her teaching, so she chose to teach as an assistant teacher from 1834 until 1836 in one of the first schools opened in Chicago. Sarah quit teaching when she married Abel Carpenter, as married women were not allowed to be teachers. Abel was however not Sarah’s first love in her new Illinois home. Shortly after she began teaching, she became engaged to be married to a Dr. Vanderbogart, the principal of the school where she was teaching. Dr. Vanderbogart however was taken ill with typhoid fever. Once he felt himself recovered, he headed to the Warren home in McDowell Grove, but the journey proved too much for his fragile health. He was taken ill again and died at the Warren home, a terrible tragedy for any bride to be. Sarah’s heart would heal well enough though for her to marry into a prominent northern Illinois family, the Carpenters.

Philo Carpenter

Philo Carpenter

The Carpenters were originally from the Berkshire Hills in western Massachusetts. They were widely known for their unswerving dedication to their religious and moral convictions. After moving west in the early 1830s, they exerted tremendous influence in Chicago and Warrenville. Philo, Abel’s older brother, was the first to come to Chicago. He arrived to the still developing city right at the time of the Black Hawk War of 1832. A druggist by trade, he was in immediate demand to aid the cholera victims suffering from the raging epidemic. Philo quickly established a successful business and became involved with the establishment of the First Presbyterian Church. Philo also purchased large land tracts, including a tract of land that extended from downtown Chicago to the Fox River. In 1833, Abel followed his brother to Chicago and helped him work his business and manage his landholdings. Religion was also close to Abel’s mind as he settled in the new community and began work to form the First Baptist Church of Chicago. In order to raise money for the new church, he undertook a brave solo journey back to Massachusetts on horseback to solicit funds for the erection of a meetinghouse with only a bible in his pocket to protect him. After Abel’s religious tasks in Chicago were complete, he headed west onto his brother’s land and settled in an area just east of Colonel Warren’s mill. Realizing the community was in need of a general store, he opened the first one in 1835, just east of First Street on Big Woods Road, todays Winfield and Warrenville Roads. We aren’t sure if Sarah Warren and Abel Carpenter met in Chicago or Warrenville, but there is no doubt that within the relatively small communities the two quickly became acquainted. The couple was married on June 26, 1836, in the sitting room of the Warren family home. The newlyweds settled on Abel’s 160 acres of land on the southeast side of town with three Carpenter sisters and their husbands.

Abel was very involved in the growth and early prominence of the Warrenville community. He served on the Big Woods Claim Protection Society, the first organization of its kind in the area, which sought to limit land pirating and settle land disputes. Abel was one of five appointed to a court of law to help negotiate quarrels over land stakes. Abel also served on the first Cemetery board starting in 1845, and was a leader in the temperance and abolitionist movements, both very important to the local community.

Hiram E. Leonard

Hiram E. Leonard

Abel Carpenter should also hold a special place in all of our hearts, because it was at his urging that our beloved Hiram Leonard came to Warrenville and made his home here. We know Hiram best through his detailed diaries of his 35 years of life here in town. Even though they often track more about his loneliness, sickness and life troubles, the vital information contained in Hiram’s diaries have allowed much local history to be saved.

Sarah Warren Carpenter gave birth to six children, but sadly two died in infancy. These were just two of the tragedies she would face in her motherhood and there is no doubt that her fervent ties to religion that she established as a teen teaching in New York helped her through the hard times.

Sarah and Abel were charter members of the Warrenville Baptist Church in 1836 and remained immovable pillars for 40 years. They counseled fallen-away brethren and sisters, led prayer meetings, resolved disputes, negotiated for resident preachers-even providing living quarters in their home, and collected funds. Abel represented Warrenville at the annual Baptist Association meetings throughout the area. Their children also served unselfishly and untiringly whenever called upon.

Warrenville's original Baptist Church.

Warrenville’s original Baptist Church

In the late 1850s, the Carpenters left their farm on the east part of town and moved to the western part of Winfield Township. They weren’t far from town though and visited Warrenville often for personal and church matters. Today their farm is home to the Fermilab buffalos.

During the 1850s the Carpenters activities around their abolitionist beliefs increased. As the country moved towards Civil War, abolitionists held meetings throughout northern Illinois, with some important gatherings happening right here in Warrenville. Philo, Abel’s brother, also turned his west-side Chicago home into an asylum for fugitive slaves, and worked with their brother-in-law Thomas Bridges to help escaped slaves across state lines in the underground railroad.

Ashley Carpenter, Warrenville’s first Civil War casualty

Ashley Carpenter, Warrenville’s first Civil War casualty

Sarah faced one of her biggest life challenges when war did finally break out. In 1862, a year after fighting had begun, their son Ashley answered the call and volunteered to fight for the Union Army with other Warrenville boys. Sadly, after just three months in harsh conditions, Ashley succumbed to the hard marching and exposure as many other soldiers did. Abel traveled to Kentucky and brought their son’s body back along with his personal effects, which included an eloquent journal detailing his short service on behalf of his beliefs in the Union cause. Sarah, however, never recovered from the loss of Ashley and wore his likeness around her neck for the rest of her life. Her only solace was in watching her three remaining children marry and prosper. After Abel died following a stroke in 1882, Sarah lived out her last 15 years with her daughter and her family on the Walker homestead in Aurora.

Hiram E. Leonard Diary, March 21 – 27, 1866

21st Wednesday rather more fine but cold for March & the ground frozen I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed about 12 tiard & about sick Gould brought Caroline up about noon her boy was sick & she set up with him a most all night & I set up till 12.

22nd Thursday A cool morning but quite a fine day & sprinkled about sunset or before & rained some during the night 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 Willson went up in the stage to go to Coral her boy was quite sick.

23rd Friday A disagreeable day & some squalley winter like I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ tiard lonely & sick Hill took my colts home with him.

24th Saturday A cold cloudy morning & day & snowed more or less all day 2 or 3 inches of snow fell & brouk away towards night & was clear & cold during the evening I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 9 started & went back went to bed about 10 tiard & about sick & lonely.

25th Sunday A cold morning with 2 or 3 inches of snow on the ground the murcury in the thurmometer was about down to zero A cool pleasant day & evening thawed but little & none out of the sun I did my choars went to office & back about 7 then choared round the house & howen was about sick, went to office about 2 with Carpenter & came back wrote some eat supper & did my choars went to office in evening came back & went to bed about 9 tiard lonely & about sick.

26th Monday rather a fine day but cool for last of March I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ nearly sick & lonely & homesick.

27th Tuesday rather a cold disagreeable day & snowed some I did my choars was at the office all day came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ tiard sick & lonely.”

The Seven Stories of Colonel Warren, January 31st

Join the Historical Society on Sunday, January 31st as we present our original program The Seven Sisters of Colonel Warren at 2:00p.m. at the Warrenville Public Library.

160131 The Seven sistersnOur town’s founder, Colonel Warren played an important role in his family. As the only son in a large family, one of his main personal duties was to find seven suitable husbands for his seven sisters.  All seven men turned out to be prominent leaders in the early and developing northern Illinois area. Join us for this multi-media program detailing the lives of Colonel Warren’s sisters and their husbands.

Reservations are required, please contact the Warrenville Public Library at (630) 393-1171 or at http://www.warrenville.com to reserve your spot. Light refreshments will be served.

 

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, October 13 – 19, 1864

“13th Thursday fine weather for the season. I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ tiard lonely & sick & downhearted.

“14th Friday fine cloudy weather. I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ tiard lonely [in margin] Carpenter got home from Massachusetts.

“16th Sunday rather a fine day but cloudy in afternoon & evening. I did my choars & went after my cows below Hunts new school house, my cows got out of Hoyts into Carpenters & Waddle turned them into the road. I hunted till near noon, I picked a few apples what I had, & choared round the house did my choars went to office in evening came home early & went to bed about 9 nearly sick had been all day slep but little last night [in margin] Mrs Stone stayed with Leb.

“17th Monday rather fine weather for the season, I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ tiard & nearly sick & lonesome.

“18th Tuesday rather fine weather for Oct 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 & nearly sick. Mrs. Potter & Charly had been at home all day she was more pleasant & I was more at home—than for the last 6 months [in margin] all was right for the first since April.

“19th Wednesday rather fine weather for the season. I did my choars was at the office all day & in the evening came home at 8 ½ went to bed at 9 ½ tiard & nearly sick.”