Hiram E. Leonard Diary, May 8 – 14, 1867

8th Wednesday  rather fine weather but cool  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed about 10 tiard & nearly sick.

9th Thursday  fine cool weather with squalls  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  [in margin] Sim Billings second boy was born at the Knox or Harlow house.

10th Friday  A fine day with a cool air I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 10 nearly sick.

11th Saturday A fine pleasant warm day & evening  I did my choars was at the office all day came home 8 ½ & went to bed at nearly 10 nearly sick with a cold Sister pretty bad.

12th Sunday A fine pleasant morning with a cool north east wind & rained a little about 11 broaken away some about noon  I did my choars went to office for Hammond & fed my cat came back choared round wrote some took a nap was at office in evening came home & went to bed about 9 nearly sick George went up to Williams.

13th Monday fine cool weather for spring  I did my choars was at the office all day came home about 8 ½ & went to bed at 10 tiard & nearly worn out with sister.

14th Tuesday cold but pleasant weather  I did my choars was at the office all day nearly sick came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 10 tiard & nearly sick with a cold & ____ up.”

Cemetery Walk Featured Script: Maria Stahring Williams

As we get ready for our 9th Annual Cemetery Walk next Sunday, on October 16, 2016, please enjoy reading this script that was presented during our 2012 event. It features the story of a Williams family member whose family farm was on Williams Road.

If you want to learn more history behind other street and park names in town, please join us on the 16th. More information can be found here http://wp.me/p1fT1q-Qe.

Mrs. Maria “Mary” (nee Stahring) Williams, birth February 14, 1786, death April 16, 1864

Maria Sterling Williams’ family owned large tracts of land on the west side of Warrenville.  She was born on February 14, 1786 in Mohawk, New York, where her father was a Judge.  Her husband, William Williams’ family had been in the Americans since the 1600s and had lived in Connecticut.  During the early 1800s William decided to move to New York to make a better life for himself.  The couple met in New York and married.  Not long after their marriage, war broke out and William joined the American fight and helped defeat the British in the Battle of Sackett’s Harbor in 1812, as part of the War of 1812, often referred to as the Second American Revolution.  After the war William returned to working on area farms.

With eight children, the couple was always looking for new opportunities to better provide for their family.  When they heard about open land available in Illinois, they set off for the prairie.  William arrived at Fort Dearborn, today’s Chicago, in 1834 and received a loan of $43 to help him purchase land in what was then called Big Woods, just west of the area being settled by Colonel Warren.  The oldest daughter, Mary, and two of the sons traveled west to meet their father in 1836 and started building the family home.  By 1838, Maria and the other five children arrived in Illinois.

Early Map of Warrenville, shows the Williams farm in the bottom left-hand corner, Henry S. Williams was one of Maria and William's sons

Early map of Warrenville landowners, shows the Williams farm in the bottom left-hand corner, Henry S. Williams was one of Maria and William’s sons

Their land in Warrenville had finally given William the prosperity he had so much desired.  The farm on Big Woods Road, now called Warrenville Road, was connected to the DuPage River by Williams Road, named for the family.  Besides the farm, they also had 100-acres west of today’s Route 59 and an 80-acre timber tract near the Kane County line.

Early map of Winfield Township, son Henry (H.S. & S.) Williams listed as property owners

Early map of Winfield Township, son Henry (H.S. & S.) Williams listed as property owner along the bottom

The financial success of the Williams family could not provide everything though.  Their daughter Susan died shortly after marrying Platt Conde at the age of 20 in 1845.  Their oldest son, William dropped dead on the Wells Street bridge in Chicago in 1851, at the age of 33.  Another son George passed away in 1853 the age of 21.  When William died in May of 1860, Maria did not think she could take any more tragedy, however the Civil War broke out the next year and the small Warrenville community faced the stress and pain of seeing some of the town’s boys and men leave to fight for the Union.

In 1862, her daughter Mary’s husband, William Griffith, left the family farm which he had inherited when William Williams died and joined the 69th Illinois Infantry.  Warrenville had faced the death of eight of our volunteers by 1864 when her son John left for the war.  Shortly thereafter another son Samuel died at home with his mother in Warrenville.  This was more stress than she could take and she shortly followed him to their final resting place in the Warrenville Cemetery on April 16, 1864.  Despite the tragedy that had plagued the family, her son-in-law William Griffith returned home and he and Mary lived out the rest of their days in Warrenville.

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Hiram E. Leonard Diary, March 28 – April 3, 1866

28th Wednesday rather a cold raw disagreeable day I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ sick & lonely sunset cloudy.

29th Thursday A fine pleasant day with a cool air I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ tiard & about sick & lonely as death [in margin] sunset clear.

30th Friday A cold raw cloudy disagreeable day & night I did my chaors was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ tiard lonely & sick B C Williams & wife came from Chicago & stoped at F Pollard Wm Wright & wife were at Watermans, Wright came the first I saw him since they were married [in margin] Sunset in a cloud.

31st Saturday A fine pleasant day cloudy at night the snow run finely I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ about sick & homesick froze but little tonight.

April 1st Sunday A fine pleasant warm day & evening sun shone warm but rather a cool air I did my choars was round the house all day except going to the office toward night I was about sick I had the rheumatism or crick through my hips & back so that I could hardly do my choars & had to sit in the house a most all day fixed the mail at office in evening came back & went to bed at about 9 nearly sick & home sick had the rheumatism [in margin] Mrs Lela Potter stayed all night.

2nd Monday Mathers ded tonight rather a fine day but cool & verry muddy 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 lonely & sick.

3rd Tuesday rather a fine day but some cloudy & verry muddy bad going 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 Town meeting today A C Graves elected Supervisor Jonathan Pollard who was beaten Germane & a Mr Ketshum justices of the Peace.”

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.”

Hiram E. Leonard Diary, February 16 – 22, 1865

16th Thursday rather fine weather for Feb I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ nearly sick with a cold.

17th Friday rather fine with a light snow on ground 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 George Pelham paid Phineas Graves thirty dollars as interest on a six hundred dollar note given Jesse Grave.

18th Saturday rather a fine day & muddy I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed about 10 nearly sick with a cold [in margin] Caroline came back from her fathers Black Jerrys wife sent out & was sick.

19th Sunday A most beautiful day & evening moved fast & was muddy I did my choars was at the house the most of the day went to the office in morning & back & went to office at evening made up the mail came back about 7 & went to bed about 9 nearly sick Sol Williams & Geo Sidwell were here in the middle of the day.

20th Monday rather fine muddy I did my choars was at the office all day & in the evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed 9 ½ nearly sick Blk Jerrys wife had a daughter [in margin] Blk Mary had a daughter.

21st Tuesday rather a fine muddy day I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ nearly sick with cold.

22nd Wednesday rather muddy roads I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed a 9 ½ tiard & nearly sick with a cold.”

Hiram E. Leonard Diary, October 20 – 26, 1864

“20th Thursday fine cool weather freezes a nights I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ nearly sick.

“21st Friday rather fine cool weather. I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ lonely & nearly sick.

“22nd Saturday A fine day & beautiful evening. I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 & went to bed a little after 9 tiard lonely & about sick & had the blues Richard Chandler wife & Mrs Potter went to Naperville came back & she & sister had a spat & they were a little cross & it made me feel lonely & evening was out of gear.

“23rd Sunday A fine pleasant day & evening. I did my choars was around home all day & evening was at office twice choared round etc went to bed about 9 tiard lonely & about sick. Mrs Potter went to Meeting & about 3 oclock started Methadist meeting & went up to Griffiths & Williamses Sister went home with York & wife about 2 oclock.

“24th Monday rather fine weather but cloudy I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ nearly sick.

“25th Tuesday 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 9 ½ nearly sick [in margin] Charles up to Garry.

“26th Wednesday rather fine weather but cloudy. I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home 8 ½ & went to bed at 9 ½ tiard & sick.”

Hiram E. Leonard Diary, August 4 – 10, 1864

“4th Thursday A fine day but some cloudy. 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 & lonely.

“5th Friday rather fine weather but some cloudy. 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 Griffeth the 2 Mrs Williams Mrs Fehely & Mrs Eddy came here a visiting in afternoon Sol brought & carried them.

“6th Saturday A pretty fine warm day but some cloudy. 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 Mair taken out of Pollards pasture.

“7th Sunday A fine pleasant smuckey day & evening I did my choars was round home the most of the day a choaring round put my cows into Hoyts lot about 9 oclock Henry Gould called about 11. Caroline & Rollen came about 10, George & his wife & Cal went to hear McLaffety preach his fairwell sermon Roll went to Chandlers & came back about one & took Caroline home & went up after my mair about 5 ½.

“8th Monday rather fine weather for Aug. 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] W. Jones wife sick —-.

“9th Tuesday 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 & nearly sick [in margin] mair taken out of the paster of Pollard.

“10th Wednesday fine weather & hot, 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] Mair put into Hoyts orchard.”

Hiram E. Leonard Diary, May 19 – 25, 1864

“19th Thursday A fine hot dry day ground getting dry, I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home by Hoyts about 8 ½ and went to bed about 9 ½ nearly sick & homesick.

“20th Friday A hot pleasant day & evening, the ground a getting dry. I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ tiard & lonesome & unhappy—-.

“21st Saturday A fine hot dry day with conciderable air stiring. I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ and went to bed about 10 ½ tiard sick lonely & unhappy.

“22nd Sunday A fine hot dry day with conciderable air in afternoon. I was at home the most of the day, worked in garden conciderable in forenoon write choared round & cleaned celler some in afternoon George & Elizabeth went into Col woods & stayed from 2 to 4 hours, I went to bed about 9, lonesome & lonely unhappy day for me. I went up to Williams [in margin] Caroline came home from fathers.

“23rd Monday fine pleasant weather & dry. 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.

“24th Tuesday rather fine warm dry weather. 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 & lonely.

“25th Wednesday A fine warm pleasant 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.”

Hiram E. Leonard Diary, April 14 – 20, 1864

“14th Thursday rather disagreeable 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 nearly sick.

“15th Friday rather damp disagreeable weather, 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 & lonely froze last night [in margin] Edwin Grant came from Lizie Henrys house.

“16th Saturday rather a disagreeable day & snowed quite fast several times, muddy, I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home 8 ½ & went ot bed 9 ½ about sick etc. Mrs Williams the old lady died this morning between 3 & 4, froze last night conciderable.

“17th Sunday rather a fine day but some cloudy. I did my choars was at the house the most of the day to office twice & Hoyts come home & went to bed about 9 Mrs. Williams the old lady was buried. Elizabeth went to funeral, Mr Boyd was here & I went to office for him the ground was frozen & water froz Ice near an 8 of an inch thick this morning & a heavey frost.

“18th Monday rather a cold disagreeable day & evening & 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 & nearly sick with a cold.

“19th Tuesday rather a fine cool day & evening the roads a getting better etc. I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at about 8 ½ & went to bed about 10 nearly sick, Mrs Aurora Sherman came about 3 or 4 oclock with 3 children from McGregers Iowa to see George & Elizabeth, George came home from over the river pretty tight or set up so he did not eat supper with us but wated.

“20th Wednesday rather a fine but cool & backward, verry 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 nearly sick with a cold colt came [in margin] mair folded last night or this morning.”

Hiram E. Leonard Diary, March 10 – 16, 1864

10th Thursday  A cloudy damp muddy day, I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about ____ & went to bed nearly sick. Mrs Potter went to Williamses & stayed all night & helped Williams people in their afflication.

11th Friday rather a cloudy damp misty forenoon more pleasant in afternoon I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home between 8 & 9 & went to bed about 9 ½ sick nearly & had the blues, Mrs Potter got home about 2 oclock from Williamses & found George O Potter here he came in the stage at noon was sick & a most blinded with sore eyes, Samuel Williams was buried in the burying ground this afternoon, Elder Hanna preached the funeral sermon.

12th Saturday A cloudy damp muddy day snowed some during the day & snowed the ground white during the evening & froze, I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home at 8 ½ by Hoyts & went to bed about 9 ½ nearly sick.

13th Sunday A cool & some cloudy morning but rather a pleasant day & thawed, I did my choars was round home a chaoring the most of the day, went to the office near night & came home by Hoyts & went to bed before 9 nearly sick, Beardsley & wife and several others were here to see George & wife, Colered Mary was here.

14th Monday  rather fine cold weather for March & rough. I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ nearly sick.

15th Tuesday rather fine cold rough weather, I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ & went to bed about 9 ½ lonely & sick.

16th Wednesday fine cold rough weather. I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ by Hoyts & went to bed 9 ½ lonesome.”