Hiram E. Leonard Diary, July 17 – 23, 1867

17th Wednesday  fine hay weather  I did my choars was at the office all day came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 10 nearly sick, Resseguie stacked part of a stack of hay nearly my share of half the orchard, he stacked tomorrow.

18th Thursday  a fine day for haying  I did my choars was at the office all day came home at 8 ½ & went to bed about 10 nearly sick Resseguie stacked nearly my share of hay what grew on half of the orchard the rest he mowed.

19th Friday  A cloudy & some showerey day bad hay day  I did my choars was at the office all day came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 10 tiard & nearly sick with trouble  Sister is verry troublesome.

20th Saturday  A fine day for haying  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8-3/4 & went to bed about 9 ½ nearly sick with trouble [in margin] stacked rest of orchard, Col went to Chicago.

21st Sunday  A beautiful warm day clear & pleasant  I did my choars eat breckfust went to office with George about 9 ½ George picked him out pants & vest & we came home & called at Grants a short time came home & choared round the house & went to bed about 9 nearly sick.

22nd Monday  fine hay weather but hot  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home 8 ½ & went to bed at 10 nearly sick & worn out with trouble.

23rd Tuesday  A fine hot day thurmometer at 100  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 10 nearly sick.”

Hiram E. Leonard Diary, October 24 – 30, 1866

24th Wednesday  rather a fine cold 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.

25th Thursday  rather a 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  Connel __________ to my store celler Pat Jordan helped him part of day.

26th Friday  A cloudy damp forenoon & rainey afternoon Connel part of forenoon & Pat on __________? I did my choars was at office all day and evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ tiard & sick lonely Miller Penny came to Greens with his lady.

27th Saturday  a damp misty day & wet conciderable  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ sick  [in margin] Wm Henner came.

28th Sunday  A rainey morning & damp cloudy day & evening  I did my choars was at home all day & evening except calling to the office twice  Gould came up to Willsons about noon & went home before I went to bed at 9.

29th Monday  rather a fine cool 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.

30th Tuesday  rather cloudy cool & damp  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ nearly sick.”

Hiram E. Leonard Diary, July 4 – 10, 1866

4th Wednesday  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.

5th Thursday  verry fine growing 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 & about sick  Some began to hay it.

6th Friday  A damp cloudy morning & rained in the night but 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 lonely & sick  Daniel Warren died tonight about 11.

7th Saturday  A cloudy damp morning & rained last night  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ tiard lonely & about sick, Col Warren went to Chicago this morning to get a coffen for his father.

8th Sunday  A cloudy morning but rather a fine day & some cloudy  I did my choars was at the house all day & evening, went to the office in evening & back choared round hoed in my garden picked some carrots currants etc went to bed about 9 tiard & about sick  Daniel Warren was buried today servises by _________ in the forenoon.

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

10th Tuesday  fine warm dry weather  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ tiard & sick.”

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.”

Warrenville Women’s History Wednesday: Philinda Hale Warren Fowler

The Historical Society began 2016 by 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 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.

Philinda Hale Warren Fowler

Philinda Hale Warren was the oldest sister, but not the first to be married (Louisa, the second sister, married Frederick Bird in 1824). Born in 1804, as the oldest daughter in a large family of eight children, Philinda became a second mother to her siblings. Since she was a girl, she busied herself helping their mother, planning and making dresses for her sisters, teaching them how to sew, and doing many other kinds of womens’ work of the time. This is no doubt the reason Julius chose Philinda as his live-in housekeeper when he moved from the family’s first DuPage County home in McDowell Grove to his newly built home on Main Street in Warrenville in 1834.

Although she was 30 years old in 1834, Philinda was not married, partly because of a heartbreak she had experienced when the family was still living in New York. At one time in her youth, she was engaged to a Mr. Sage who sadly died while traveling in the south. In preparations for his wedding to Philinda, Mr. Sage had journeyed south with a friend to better his fortune, but the party stayed too late into the spring and Mr. Sage took fever and died. Philinda was left heartbroken, but no doubt found distraction and some solace in her family busywork.

Colonel Warren 1834 home on Main and Batavia still stands as oldest wood frame home in county photo taken for 1939 county centennial

Colonel Warren’s 1834 home on Main and Batavia, the home still stands as the oldest wood frame home in DuPage County, photo taken during the 1939 County Centennial

From her post as Julius’ housekeeper in the wood framed home on Main Street and what was then First Street (now Batavia Road), Philinda not only ran her brother’s household, but also assisted her mother in tending to the men who worked to build the early structures in the growing community.  These men also importantly built and then reassembled the Warrenville dam each time the raging DuPage waters would tear it apart, which in those days was often. After one such flood, Nancy and Philinda fed so many men that Nancy declared that the women had baked enough to rebuild the entire dam out of bread!

Warrenville Mill Dam, about 1890

Warrenville Mill Dam, circa 1890

Despite her early heartbreak, in 1839 Philinda was married to the widower Alvah Fowler. Alvah had come to this area from New York after urging by his friends, the Garys, who were the first settlers into what would become Winfield Township. When he headed west, Alvah brought watercress seeds with him and is credited with introducing the species to this area. In the early days of the settlement, Alvah made expeditions west of the growing town with Ira Herrick to size up the land situation for future development. Alvah’s first wife Betsy died in 1838, one of the many casualties in that year’s epidemic. Alvah was a grand and good man and gave Philinda a quiet, peaceful and comparatively happy life. Like many in the area, Alvah was a proponent of the temperance movement and strong abolitionist.

Like all of the Warren brother-in-law’s, Alvah Fowler was also a businessman. In 1847 he went into business with his son-in-law Warren Smith, another well-respected businessman in the area. The Smith, Fowler and Company store at the corner of Third Street and Big Woods Road (now Batavia and Warrenville Roads) opened and offered residents another option for dry goods and raw materials much needed in the growing community. The newly formed company also established a gristmill to compliment the Colonel’s sawmill in the bend of the DuPage River that would become Warrenville Grove. Milling was a tough business though and just three years after the gristmill opened, the men sold it, just one of the many times the mill would change hands. The mill would find its way back into the Warren family, when in 1897 William Manning, Philinda’s great-nephew, acquired the property. William’s son, Ralph Manning, sold the property to the Forest Preserve in 1923. The Smith, Fowler and Company store was eventually sold to Harry Knell and then John Petit.

Original store at Batavia and Warrenville Roads, would eventually become Petit's Store

Original store at Batavia and Warrenville Roads, would eventually become Petit’s Store

Philinda and Alvah made their home at 28W140 Main Street. In 1879 they built a new home across the river at 3S324 Main Street on land acquired from the Colonel. The childless couple retired there with their Irish housekeeper, Lucinda Talbot, who had been with them for at least ten years by the time they built their retirement home. Alvah died on May 11, 1886, and Philinda on May 4, 1898, both were buried in the Warrenville Cemetery. Leaving no descendants, Ms. Talbot inherited their property.

Hiram E. Leonard Diary, January 18 – 24, 1866

18th Thursday A fine winter day I did my choars was at the office all day came home at 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ tiard lonely & sick, Russeguies & Connel worked for me.

19th Friday A fine winter day, but began to storm at noon frozen rain lightened & thundered in evening & cleared off cold 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, I put my mair & colt up for the first time.

20th Saturday A pretty cold winter day, the thurmometer stood at 10 degrees below zero in the morning I did my chaors was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ tiard & sick & lonely A cold day & night.

21st Sunday rather a cold cloudy winter day but not as cold as yesterday, I did my choars eat breckfust was a choaring round the house all day & evening went to the office twice was about sick, put on a pres of cider in evening Mrs Scowel churned, I went to bed about 9 tiard & sick.

22nd Monday rather fine winter weather, & good sleighing I did my choars was at the office all day came home at 8 & went to bed at 9 nearly sick & lonely.

23rd Tuesday fine winter weather I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 & went to the bed about 9 tiard sick & lonely.

24th Wednesday fine winter weather I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 & went to bed at 9 ½ tiard lonely & sick.”

Hiram E. Leonard Diary, January 11 -17, 1866

11th Thursday A stormey day rained etc I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ and went to bed at 9 ½ taird lonely & about sick.

12th Friday it stormed some & turned round cold 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—-.

13th Saturday rather a cool day the roads were sliperry with ice I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 & went to bed 9 ½ nearly sick.

14th Sunday A cool cloudy, but good winter day I did my choars eat breckfust & started for my woods about 10, with L V Russeguie & got back about 11 ½ & found H Goulds people here I choared round & visited with them went to the store in afternoon & evening came home wrote some put on presing of cider & went to bed about 9 ½ tiard & lonely.

15th Monday rather a stormey day with snow & frozen rain, it made good sleighing but was not verry cold, 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.

16th Tuesday A fine winter day & good sleighing 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 as death the two Russeguies cut & halled wood for me & Deming.

17th Wednesday A fine winter day I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home 8 ½ went to bed 9 ½ nearly sick the Russeguies & Connel worked for me.”

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 E. Leonard Diary, January 5 – 11, 1865

5th Thursday fine weather but did not thaw I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 12 & went to bed, there Col Warren & 8 or 10 more stayed & kep me there late eating oysters etc [in margin] eat oysters at store.

6th Friday fine weather for January 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.

7th Saturday fine winter weather without snow I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 & went to bed about 9 tiard & nearly sick with a cold etc but—rested very well during the night.

8th Sunday rather a fine day for Jan & thawed but little in the sun & none out of the sun, I did my choars was at the house the most of the day choaring round, H Gould came & went to Carolines & came back about 12 with his wife & Cal & stayed he carried Caroline home & then went home his wife over to Noones while he went up to Cals [in margin] H Gould wife & Caroline Wray were here.

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

10th Tuesday fine cool weather for Jan I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 & went to bed about 9 tiard.

11th Wednesday A fine winter day I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ [in margin] Sherm Willson tore down my back house.”

Hiram E. Leonard

For those of you following our blog of Hiram Leonard’s diary through the Civil War years, many have asked about Hiram’s constant illness. Please enjoy learning a little more about the beloved shop-keeper turned weather reporter who has brought us as much information about the days that he lived as he has about his ill health.  Please also join us this Sunday evening at our 7th Annual Cemetery Walk to learn more about two of Hiram’s housekeepers, Mary Wray and Caroline McNelly Wray, who later became Hiram’s wife. For more information about the walk see our earlier post here https://warrenvillehistorical.wordpress.com/2014/09/25/seventh-annual-cemetery-walk/.

Hiram grew up in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts, in the town of North Adams. As many people in the 19th century followed chain migration west, Hiram followed his Massachusetts neighbors, the Carpenters, west to Warrenville in 1835. Abel and Philo Carpenter had made the initial journey to Chicago in 1832. Philo was coaxed further west by a Julius Warren, a New Yorker selling off his recently settled land in the new town of Warrenville. Abel would soon follow and start Warrenville’s first general store and marry one of Julius Warren’s sisters. News of promising new ventures spread quickly back to North Adams where times were difficult for many. Hiram Leonard joined the group of Easterners heading west in the hopes of success.

Hiram E. Leonard

Hiram E. Leonard

As a bachelor, Hiram moved to Chicago at the age of 25 and clerked in Philo Carpenter’s drug store for a short period of time before buying land from Abel Carpenter in Warrenville and striking out on his own. Hiram’s home at 3S381 Winfield Road was finished in 1838 and he began helping cultivate the businesses of the growing town of Warrenville. Hiram was a man of all trades, cutting hair, writing deeds, repairing clocks, and grafting fruit trees. Officially he was a justice of the peace, but also worked as a broom manufacturer, merchant, druggist and post office master.

With many jobs and endeavors to pursue, Hiram was a busy, busy man. In 1859 his own store was built and opened on Big Woods Road near the river, present day 28W180 Warrenville Road. Not only did his constant work tire and stress Hiram, but he also dealt with many personal trials that no doubt added to his burden. Hiram’s sister was also mentally-ill for most of her life. Hiram took care of her and ensured that she had round-the-clock caretakers. The stress of nursing his sister is clear from his journal. She was eventually committed in the summer of 1862 and as the devoted brother, Hiram saw her to the mental institution in St. Louis.

Although Hiram was a bachelor, for many years he had helped his housekeeper, Mary Wray’s family. He raised her two children and provided all that he could for the entire family. After her death, Hiram continued to care for the family. When her son, William went off to war in 1862, Hiram employed his wife Caroline and helped her care for her son. William, like many Civil War soldiers tragically perished in the bloody battle between North and South. Hiram continued to care for Caroline and her son, William Wray, Jr. and at the age of 64 he married her, a widow just 35 years of age. When Hiram died on November 6, 1878 at the age of 68, Caroline and her family inherited his property. His home stayed in the Wray family for many years after.