3539. Joseph Homer LEONARD was born on 7 July 1833 in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. He died on 10 August 1881 at the age of 48 in Chicago, Cook Co., IL. He was buried in Rosehill Cemetery, Chicago, IL. He was a merchant in Chicago and a soldier during the Civil War. He moved to Chebance, Iroquis Co., IL, then to Chicago about 1858. About 1865 he left his wife for Lizzie Barney. The family was living together Chicago at the time of the 1870 Census.
Molly Leonard's story of the Leonard family, as relayed by Eric Bowler:
"Now for his son, the 2nd Joseph H. Leonard. He was born sometime in 1833 somewhere in Ontario. I think he was also well-educated, probably in Toronto. In any event it appears he stayed behind in the Toronto area when the family left for Chicago. In 1856 he married Matilda Dexter. Sometime between then and 1858, they moved to the Chicago area. Oak Park, Iroquois County? They had two children: Benjamin Franklin Leonard 1858-1922 and Ralph Vine Leonard 1865-1887.
Joseph was a soldier in the Civil War (the older Joseph served as a Chaplain to the Army in the Marine Hospital in Chicago...
Sometime during the War, Joseph met Elizabeth Allord Barney. She became his mistress, was divorced from her husband, Frank Barney, and they had three children... The family must have accepted this arrangement, at least tacitly, since he dared to give the children family names, but being staid, well-off, high profile Methodists, they probably were mortified. What fun!
Rumor has it that Joseph invented baking powder, but the formula was stolen by an assistant, so he couldn't patent it. I have read that in those days, if a second person produced your product before you completed the patent process, you lost your right to a patent...
Eliza died around 1874, and family members raised the children. Matilda took her sons to homestead in Nebraska and sued for divorce in 1876. I have the divorce papers, which indicated that they probably split up for good about 1871, and Joseph and Eliza may have moved to St. Louis. Also, Joseph probably abandoned his first two children... Matilda remarried in Nebraska and had a daughter named Hope.
Joseph remarried Barbara Laney (1843 to ?), maybe in St. Louis. They had one son, Charles E., born 1880, who died in infancy. Joseph himself died in 1881." (from Molly Leonard, via Eric Bowler 16 Jan 2007).
Joseph Homer LEONARD and Matilda M. DEXTER were married on 23 December 1856 in English Church, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. They were divorced in 1876 in Antelope Co., NE. Matilda M. DEXTER was born about 1838 in Canada. She sued for divorce in 1876. They apparently split up in 1871. Matilda remarried in Nebraska and had a daughter named Hope.
Joseph Homer LEONARD and Matilda M. DEXTER had the following children:
Joseph Homer LEONARD and Elizabeth Alford BARNEY had the following children:
Joseph Homer LEONARD and Barbara Rigler LANEY? had the following children: