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Lewis Leonard

Lewis Leonard

Male 1791 -

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  • Name Lewis Leonard 
    Born 10 Jul 1791  Roxbury, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Person ID I7349  My Genealogy
    Last Modified 8 Dec 2015 

    Father Walley Leonard,   b. 15 Jul 1752, Stoughton, MA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother Anna Richards 
    Married 28 Oct 1779  Sharon, Norfolk, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F5447  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Hannah Blood,   b. 20 Nov 1795, Hollis, Hillsboro, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1872, Wayne Co., PA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 76 years) 
    Married 24 Sep 1816  Knox, Waldo, Maine Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. John Leonard,   b. Abt 1817, Sebec, Piscataquis, Maine Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1863, Wayne Co., PA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 46 years)
     2. Nancy Leonard,   b. Abt 1820, Maine Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1857, Anoka, Minnesota Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 37 years)
     3. Ann Leonard,   b. Abt 1822, Sebec, Piscataquis, Maine Find all individuals with events at this location
     4. George W. Leonard,   b. Abt 1825, Sebec, Piscataquis, Maine Find all individuals with events at this location
     5. Hiram L. Leonard,   b. 23 Jun 1831, Sebec, Piscataquis, Maine Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1907, Central Valley, Orange Co., NY Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years)
     6. Alvin Leonard,   b. Abt 1833, Sebec, Piscataquis, Maine Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Dec 1892  (Age ~ 59 years)
    Last Modified 1 Dec 2015 
    Family ID F5380  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos


    A clip from Lewis Leonard's will naming his deceased daughter Nancy Washborn.

  • Notes 
    • During his time, maker of the best oars in the world.
    • I had been trying to figure out my Great-Great Grandfather Charles Washburn's wife's maiden name for about 25 years starting around 1990 or so. Charles was the father of Mary Elura, Lewis Leonard, Lura Ann, and Flora A. Washburn. Lura Ann married my great-grandfather, Orlando Blair, and was the mother of my grandfather, Frank Lewis Blair.

      From the 1850 Census, I knew Charles's wife's first name was Nancy. Because Charles and Nancy named their son Lewis Leonard Washburn, I'd always guessed Nancy's last name was Leonard and that her father's name was Lewis, but I couldn't "prove" it. I worked on it during a week in February of 2009 when I was "trapped" in the computer room by the painters who were working in our living room, hallway, and kitchen.

      In a book published in 1895 and titled "Portrait and Biographical Record of Rockland and Orange Counties, New York" I found a biographical sketch of Dr. Alfred D. Leonard. Alfred was the son of George W. Leonard who was the son of Lewis Leonard. I believe George was a younger brother of Nancy. An excerpt from the text of the sketch is printed below.

      "George W. Leonard the father of the Doctor was born in Sebec, Piscataquis County, Me., (a neighboring town of Foxcroft where Charles was born) and was a son of Lewis and Hannah Leonard, who were the parents of six children: John, NANCY, Ann, George W., Hiram L. and Alvin."

      I was convinced that this Nancy was the Nancy who married Charles Washburn. The biographical sketch of Alfred and the information about his father, George, strongly suggested that Nancy's father was Lewis Leonard and, as a real bonus something I didn?t know, that her mother was a woman whose maiden name was Hannah Blood.

      In another section of the book, I found a biographical sketch of Hiram Lewis Leonard. I'm guessing that Hiram was another of Nancy's younger brothers.

      "Hiram L. Leonard, of Central Valley, Orange County (New York), was born in Piscataquis County, Me, June 23, 1831. The family have long been residents of this country, three brothers coming from England in the "Mayflower," and locating in Massachusetts. To the one who settled in Boston our subject traces his ancestry. Lewis Leonard, the father of Hiram L., was born in Roxbury, a suburb of Boston, Mass., and received his education in a school of the latter place. From Boston he went to Maine, then a new country, to raise sheep. About the close of the War of 1812, the sheep industry became unprofitable, and he began manufacturing oars. In this he became so proficient that his fame spread first throughout this country, and then across the water. He was considered the best oar-maker in the world, and shipped his products to England and many other foreign countries. He first began to manufacture oars at Bangor, but moved about wherever he could find ash, from which the best oars are made. In 1835 he went to Ellenville, Ulster County, N.Y., where he found timber for his product. This he used up in about three years, and then removed to Honesdale, Wayne County, Pa., when he plied his vocation until his death, which occurred shortly afterward. He was married in the town of Knox, Me. to Miss Hannah Blood, who is supposed to have been a native of New Hampshire."

      In 1820 and 1830, the Lewis Leonard family was in Sebec, Piscataquis, Maine. They were in Salem, Wayne County, Pennsylvania in 1840. I was convinced Charles Washburn was with them in 1840 as a male in the correct age group had disappeared from Eliphalet Washburn's house since the 1830 census of Foxboro, Maine and there was an extra male in the correct age group in Lewis Leonard's house. (Prior to 1850 only "heads of households" were listed in the census. Then there would be a breakdown of "number of males between 0 and 5, number of males between 5 and 10, etc.)

      In 1850 when all household members were named, John Leonard, the eldest child of Lewis and Hannah, had his own house in Wayne County, Pennsylvania. Charles and Nancy, along with their children Mary Elura, Lewis, and Lura, were living right next door to John. Lewis and Hannah, along with their youngest sons, Hiram and Alvin, were living in Cherry Ridge, Wayne, Pennsylvania, a neighboring township of Salem. George Leonard and his family are also in Cherry Ridge right next door to Lewis and Hannah. And Dwight Hawes, a shirt-tale relative of Lewis is in the next house. Dwight is married to Ann Leonard, Lewis and Hannah's youngest daughter. This was obviously a closely knit group and I believe Lewis's oar business was supporting most of them.

      Charles and Nancy named their son Lewis Leonard Washburn. Lura and Orlando Blair named my Grandfather Frank Lewis Blair, the Lewis being in honor of Lura's brother who died four years before my Grandfather was born.

      By 1860, Nancy's father, Lewis, had died. According to the article cited above, he died after they moved from New York to Pennsylvania. Hannah was living with Alvin. John, George, and Dwight and their families were still in Wayne County. Hiram was off in the woods of Maine. Nancy had died shortly after Charles and his family moved to Minnesota. Charles was in Anoka, Anoka, Minnesota with his four children. He was living with a second wife named Sophia. It would be interesting to know why Charles moved away from the Leonard family. Subsequent research indicated that Sophia's last name was Richards, although I think that was a married name and not her maiden name.

      Hiram went on to become "the father of the modern fly rod." His rods sold under the name H.L. Leonard. The old ones are valued collectors' items. Look him up on the web. He was quite a character.

      The notations quoted above were the first I'd been able to find that "proved? that Charles' Nancy was Nancy Leonard. And, while "proved" might be a bit strong, a lot of the evidence sure pointed in that direction.

      The link for the notations is <http://content.ancestry.com/Browse/BookView.aspx?dbid=20461&pageno=1545> You may need to be a member at ancestry.com to get to it. If you can get to it, you're in the index. Leonards are in the right hand column. You can change pages with the windows above.

      There is also a book with a lot of information about the family. The book is "Casting A Spell: The Bamboo Fly Rod and the American Pursuit of Perfection" by George Black. If you're into fly fishing at all, it's fascinating.

      In his book, Black mentions a rod-maker nick-named Streamer. Streamer's real name is Bill Abrams. According to Black, Abrams was supposed to have portraits of Lewis and Hannah Leonard. I contacted Abrams by e-mail and asked him to make some photographs of the portraits. (See another story under Lewis's photo.)

      I'm suggesting that Hannah Blood's parents were Solomon Blood and his wife, Hannah (her maiden name was Finney), living in Hancock, Knox, Maine in 1810 with girls in the right age bracket to be Hannah. Back beyond that, I'm guessing and have no proof.

      Anyway, I called Charles's Nancy "Nancy Leonard" and her parents Lewis Leonard (the oar-maker) and Hannah Blood (who was supposedly "insane" according to the 1870 census).

      Then today, September 8, 2015, I found this book among Google Books: "The History of Wayne, Pike, and Monroe Counties, Pennsylvania" by Alfred Mathews published in 1886. On page 782 I found the following paragraphs. My asides are in parens.

      "In 1845 the turnpike from Salem to Cherry Ridge (Pennsylvania townships) was completed, reducing the journey to Hinsdale more than one half. The road led through what was at that time almost an unbroken forest, but as it became at once the main highway lands were quickly taken up and cleared, a paying market being found for both bark and lumber at Hinsdale. Lewis Leonard had previously settled at Sand Pond, and it was through him and his son-in-law, Charles Washburn, (finally, anecdotal proof) that the road was so expeditiously opened. He was an oar-maker, who came from the State of Maine, in 1840 and settled on the place commenced by one Moore; and as the forest abounded with the best ash it was but a short time before he had a saw-mill and turning lathe at work."

      "George Leonard, a son of Lewis, settled next to his father, and has been one of the most successful and scientific farmers in the township. He is a man of broad technical knowledge and good constructive ability, and has been awarded several patents on water-wheels, ploughs, torpedoes, and other useful inventions." (There's more in the paragraph about George.)

      "John Leonard, another son of Lewis, settled on the pike at the place now called "No. 17," and erected first a water-power saw mill, and afterwards applied steam. More about John, then "Charles Washburn, who has already been mentioned, settled near his brother-in-law, along the loaded track of the Pennsylvania Coal Company's road, two or three miles above Middle Valley. He was not very successful as a lumberman, and finally sold out and went to Minnesota, where he died a few years ago."

      Further proof. Today, September 24, 2015, on Ancestry.com I found the will of Lewis Leonard. It was probated on July 1, 1859 in Wayne County, Pennsylvania and mentions Hannah, and Lewis's living children, John, Ann, George, Hiram, and Alvin. In part it says, "I give and bequeath to my deceased daughters' children Nancy Washborn the sum of Fifty dollars each as each becomes of age, to be paid by my Executors."

      There it is. Nancy Leonard's parents, her younger brother, Hiram, my Great-Great-Great Uncle, "the father of the modern fly rod."