Hiram E. Leonard Diary, December 19 – 25, 1866

19th Wednesday  cloudy & a little snowey  I did my choars went to the office & started to Naperville with Henry B. Fowler about 10 ½ & was appointed gardion for Wm W Wray eat dinner at Hiram Fowlers & got home about 3 to store came home 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ nearly sick with a cold.

20th Thursday  a fine cloudy day  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed 9 ½ nearly sick [in margin] Taylor came from Iowa.

21st Friday  A thawey cloudy day  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ sick with a cold.

22nd Saturday A warm thawey day & rained in the evening  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ bed at 9 ½ sick.

23rd Sunday  A warm damp cloud day the wind changed northerly at night & was more cool  I did my choars was at office about 9 came back choared round banked up my house etc went to Store in evening came home at 6 called at Willsons caught chickens for them wrote some & went to bed 9 sick.

24th 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 about sick.

25th Tuesday  A beautiful day for Christmas but some 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  I eat dinner & supper at Willsons S Willsons Jackson Butterfield & their wives were there & Mrs Stone. They went home after dark we had beer [in margin]  I eat supper at Willsons & others Sidwell pushed the door open tonight.”

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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, May 4 – 10, 1865

4th Thursday A fine pleasant warm day & evening I did my choars was at the office all day & in the evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ tiard lonely & nearly sick, Caroline Wray mooved home to her fathers They came after her with 3 teams, left Willsons place Russequie got home from ____________ & Billings.

5th Friday rather a cool cloudy damp day 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 [in margin] old Mrs Billings went up to Hunty to see Bet Russequie & Billings got home from grafting.

6th Saturday A cloudy damp foggy morning but more pleasant in afternoon & beautiful in evening I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ called at B.C. Williams he had got home from Nashville went to bed about 10 ½ nearly sick Malissa Billings went to the good Templers Lodge & got home 11 ½ Sebe French got home from grafting [in margin] Betsy Billings came home with her mother to stay a while Wm Butler took hold of his wife in the street.

7th Sunday A fine pleasant day but windy I did my choars was at the house all day except going to office in morning & evening choared round some turned my cow out of this lot into the paster etc went to the office in evening made up the mail came back & went to bed about nearly sick, it is a lonesome homesick day Malissa Billings went home a visating.

8th Monday rather fine cool 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 & nearly sick [in margin] Wm Butler took hold of his wife on the sidewalk in Chicago & tryed to take her off.

9th Tuesday A cold day & the ground quite dry I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed 9 ½ tiard & nearly sick & lonely.

10th Wednesday rather a cold dry day I did my morning choars went into upper field & see my colt mair folded last night or this morning was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ tiard lonely & nearly sick cold night.”

Happy New Year: 2015 and 1865

Happy New Year!

As we ring in the New Year of 2015, we also wrap-up our five year program “Warrenville & The American Civil War.”

On Sunday, January 25th at 2:00 p.m., at the Warrenville Public Library, the  Historical Society will host “1865 in 48  Minutes,” detailing the final year of the Civil War, highlighting local and national events month-by-month.   Aided by a visual presentation, presenters will detail life in Warrenville and the events facing our country during the War and immediately after its end.

DuPage Volunteers, known as Plow Boys

DuPage Volunteers, known as Plow Boys

As our nation ends its remembrance of the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, this multi-media talk is part of the Historical Society’s five year program “Warrenville & The American Civil War,” which features the Warrenville men who volunteered to fight for the Union. An exhibit detailing the entire war period in Warrenville will be on display starting February 1st and running through the end of 2015.

The January 25th program is free to the public and light  refreshments will be served.  To register for the program, contact the Warrenville Library through their website http://www.warrenville.com or at (630) 393-1171.  Please contact the  Historical Society with any questions.

Hiram E. Leonard Diary, October 6 – 12, 1864

“6th Thursday A cold cloudy squalley day & evening. I did my choars was at the office all day evening came home at 8 ½ went to bed at 9 ½ lonely & sick. Daniel Jones got here on furlough.

“7th Friday A cold raw squally day with _______ I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ went to bed 9 ½ sick [in margin] _______ John Lewis at Naperville.

“8th Saturday rather fine cold weather for October. 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] Eliz had a letter from George.

“9th Sunday A cold morning froz some a fine cool day & evening. I did my choars was round the house the most of the day fixing corn crib & hog pen, went to the office between 11 & 12 wrote some in evening & went to bed between 8 & 9 tiard & sick.

“10th Monday rather 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 lonely & sick.

“11th Tuesday 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 nearly sick & lonely.

“12th Wednesday rather fine 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 lonely & sick.”

Hiram E. Leonard Diary, June 9 – 15, 1864

“9th Thursday fine cold dry weather for June, 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 tiard & nearly sick lonesome & lonely. Capt Ed Munk took the 3d degree in Masonry tonight.

“10th Friday rather a cold & a very cold night for June almost freezing. I did my choars was at the office till near 10 then went to Naperville with James Hoyt & H. D. Fowler to prove up the will, came home about 2 & stayed at the office all the rest of the day came here about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ nearly sick & lonely Capt Ed Munk started Chattanooga today & sent 50 dollars to get William Wrays body by Ed Munk. We heered that Dr S H Potter was shot & his boddy on its way home [in margin] mair to horse cold Ed Munk started for Army.

“11th Saturday A very cold morning & day for June a little frost but the wind kep it off. I did my choars was at the office the most of the day, went with Pollard & T. Jones to Hoyts & appraised his personal property in forenoon came home at 8 ½ & went to bed 9 ½ tiard sick lonely etc, a lonesome day & night, Rollen Willson George Potter, Caroline & Elizabeth went to Aurora, got back at 5 oclock.

“12th Sunday A cold morning & a little frost very cold dry weather for June, I got up at 6 did my choars was at office, eat breckfust about 9 ½ choared round was at Hoyts, took my mair to Pollards paster on the Col Warrens came home from office 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ nearly sick & lonely a little frost this morning.

“13th Monday rather fine cold weather 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 tiard & sick & lonely.

“14th Tuesday fine cool 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 & nearly sick & lonesome. Dr. H S Potters funeral at Danby, Wm. Potter & his mother came here.

“15th Wednesday A fine cool 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 & as lonely as death etc.”

Hiram E. Leonard Diary, June 2 – 8, 1864

“2nd Thursday A fine day but cool I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 9 ½ & went to bed tiard & nearly sick & lonely as can be [in margin] Dr H S. Potter was killed by a bounding shell a strikeing him in the head.

“3rd Friday A fine day for June but cool. I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ tiard loanly & nearly sick [in margin] Bolway brought pigs.

“4th Saturday A fine pleasant warm day & evening. I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ or started & met Malissa Billings saying that Mr Hoyt was a dyeing went up & he was ded died very sudden, Jonathan Pollard H D Fowler was there & Beardsley helped us lay him out the house was full we stayed till 11 ½ & locked him up & came home & went to bed he died between 8 & 9 evening.

“5th Sunday A fine day but some cloudy. I did my choars was at Mr Hoyts about 9, a while choared round some came home about noon went up to Caroline Wrays about 2 & stayed till about 4 or 5 George & Elizabeth went up in forenoon & Rollen brought us back I found my cow the other side of Lahmans & turned her into Lahmans yard with his bull came home did my choars went to the office & round home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 nearly sick lonesome & down spirited.

“6th Monday rather fine cold weather for June, 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. James Hoyt got here about one oclock at night & eat a bit & went to bed with Charles & me.

“7th Tuesday A fine but cool day for the season. 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 sick & lonely. Mr. Hoyts funeral was today at the Methodist Church.

“8th Wednesday rather fine cool dry weather. I did my choars was at the office all day or nearly, went to Hoyts & red the Will of Hoyts to the Heirs was at office in evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ tiard nearly sick lonesome & lonely.”

Hiram E. Leonard Diary, May 26 – June 1, 1864

“26th Thursday A fine pleasant dry day a little more cool. I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed 9 ½ tiard & nearly sick lonely & unhappy, old Mrs. Billings got a letter from stating that Wm J Wray was shot through the jugular vain in the neck & died almost instantly. Crel Monk was shot through the lung, died in about 24 hours [in margin] I sent Suns letters up to Cal Wray & Willson did not let her read it they were ________.

“27th Friday A fine pleasant day & getting very dry. I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed 9 ½ about & lonely, Wm Griffeth told Caroline that Wm was dead, shot, She came down here about 6 a short time & went back feeling bad.

“28th Saturday a fine pleasant day & more warm. I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 10 tiard sick & lonely. Caroline was down & went to Naperville with Rollen Willson, William McNelly & wife came to Cals & he came here a short time went ______.

“29th Sunday rather fine weather but very windy & some cloudy, I did my choars was at home almost all day choaring & planting garden called at Hoyts in evening came home & went to bed about 9 nearly sick & lonely. Rollen Willson carried Caroline & Hall up home to their fathers.

“30th Monday rather fine weather for the season. I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home 8 ½ and went to bed nearly sick & lonely about 9 ½.

“31st Tuesday fine pleasant weather but cool. I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ tiard lonely & sick.

“June 1st Wednesday A fine warm day & evening. I did my chaors was at the office al day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ tiard sick & lonely.”

Hiram E. Leonard Diary, May 12 – 18, 1864

“12th Thursday rather fine weather for May but cool, I did my choars was at the office all day & in the evening came home about 8 ½ and went to bed 9 ½ about sick & lonely—[in margin] George and wife went to Carolines.

“13th Friday fine cool weather but warm in the middle of the day. I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ lonely & sick. Caroline went home with Hat to her fathers.

“14th Saturday a pretty fine day & evening. 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 with a cold & lonesome. George & wife went to Pelhams & Chandlers, got home in evening.

“15th Sunday A fine pleasant day till afternoon when it was some cloudy & more cool. I did my choars was round the house all day after going to the office in morning. I choared round wrote some etc fixed the fence some round the paster & cleaned out the backhouse etc went to the office & made up the mail come home by Hoyts about 8 & went to bed about 9 nearly sick & lonesome & lonely as death [in margin] Wm J Wray shot at Resaca Georgia in the jugalor vain & died almost instantly in charging Rebel Fortification.

“16th Monday rather fine warm weather & a getting dry. I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at about 8 ½ and went to bed about 9 ½, tiard, nearly sick, lonesome & unhappy.

“17th Tuesday A fine warm pleasant day & evening, I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ and went to bed about 9 ½ nearly sick lonesome & Lonely—.

“18th Wednesday pretty hot dry weather for May. I did my choars was at the office all day & in the evening came home by Hoyts about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ nearly sick, discontented & dreary.”