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People Histories

Philander Eleazer Leonard
 (30 Oct 1838 - 01 Apr 19151)

-As transcribed from the "COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF THE UPPER LAKES REGION"

by J. H. Beers & Co., Chicago, IL, 1905

pages 422 - 423


Philander Eleazer Leonard, county clerk of Washburn county, has been a resident of Shell Lake since 1882. His birth occurred in Savoy, Berkshire Co., Mass., Oct. 30, 1838, his parents being Eleazer Carey and Delanie (Cornell) Leonard.

Grandfather Carey Leonard was probably of English descent, though little is known of his life or ancestry.  Eleazer Carey Leonard was born in Worthington, Mass., in early manhood was a farmer in Berkshire county, that State, and about 1840 moved to New Lebanon, Columbia Co., N. Y., where he passed the remainder of his life, dying at the age of eighty.  For many years he was superintendent of the Tilden Company, manufacturers of proprietary medicines.  Mrs. Delanie (Cornell) Leonard passed away some years before her husband.  Her father, James Cornell, was a brother of Ezra Cornell, founder of Cornell College.  Of the six sons of Eleazer Carey and Delanie (Cornell) Leonard three are living, as follows:  Philander Eleazer, mentioned below; Henry D., of Watertown, N. Y., and Charles R., of New York City, traveling representative of a commercial house.  Another son, Hiram, grew to manhood and died in New Lebanon, New York.

The early education of Philander Eleazer Leonard was obtained in the public schools and a select school in New Lebanon, where he prepared for college, which he never entered, however, owing to ill health.  He taught school in New Lebanon for some time, and then kept a store there for fourteen years, serving as postmaster for twelve years of that time.  In 1877 he went to Minnesota, studied law at Hastings, with L. VanSlyck, and was admitted to the Bar.  In the spring of 1882 he located at Shell lake, entering the employ of the Shell Lake Lumber Co., of whose store he had charge for four years.  He was elected district attorney int he fall of 1886, and was several times re-elected, serving until 1892, when he was elected tot he office of county clerk, in which position he is now filling his fifth term.  He has always been a Republican, his first vote having been cast for Lincoln in 1860.

In 1868 Mr. Leonard married Mary J. James, who was born in Stephentown, Rensselaer Co., N. Y., daughter of Amos C. and Laura D. (Coleman) James, of Forestport, N. Y.  Mrs. Leonard was educated in New York City, where she taught school several years before her marriage.  Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Leonard, namely:  Albert Philander, of South bend, Wash., county auditor of Pacific county, that State; and Lucy Agnes, who was educated in the public schools, and in the State Normal School at River Falls, Wis., now a public school teacher in Shell Lake.  Mr. Leonard is a member of Dakota Lodge, No. 7, A. F. & A. M., of Hastings, Minn.  He is highly regarded by every one, and has made many friends during the score of years he has resided in Washburn county.




1 - Editorial Note - Mr. Leonard's death date was derived from the Washburn Co. Register of Deeds Death Index. The death record is on file at the Register of Deeds Office in Shell Lake, in Volume 6, page 267.  He was buried in the Shell Lake Memorial Cemetery.



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