LEVI G. LEONARD has the honor of being a native of Tazewell County. He was born in Elm Grove Township, April 19, 1836, and has here spent his entire life, his home being now on section 34. He was reared in the usual manner of farmer lads, attending the district school throughout the winter season, and aiding in the labors of the farm throughout the summer months. When he had arrived at years of maturity, he became interested with his father in farming and stock-dealing, and to that work has since devoted his energies.
An important event in the life of Mr. Leonard occurred on the 31st of December, 1861, when was celebrated his marriage with Miss Amanda Pickernell, a native of East Stoughton, Mass., and one of a family of nine children, whose parents were Samuel and Melvina (Dean) Pickernell. Her father was a native of New Hampshire, born in 1818, and her mother was a native of Massachusetts. In 1855 her parents came to the west with their family and took up their residence in Tremont Township, Tazewell County. Mr. Pickernell responded to the country's call for troops after the breaking out of the late war, enlisting among the boys in blue of the Eleventh Illinois Cavalry. He died in the service in April, 1862, at the age of forty-seven years. His widow still survives him and is now living with her children, at the age of eighty-three.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. L. G. Leonard were born thirteen children, eleven of whom are yet living: Hannah S., at home; Melvina D., wife of Eugene I. Miars, of Adair County, Iowa; Thomas E., who lives in Iroquois County; and Ermina A., Hattie, Estelle May, Levi C., Samuel P., Charles G., Roy A., and Nellie L., all of whom are yet under the parental roof. Frederick died in early childhood, and Clayton died at the age of six years. In the family to which Mrs. Leonard belonged there are four children yet living: Mrs. Cornelia Coleman of Sioux City, Iowa' Windsor, who is also living in Iowa; and Hattie, wife of George Fritz, of Chicago. Three of the family died in infancy. Wilbur enlisted in the Fourth Illinois Cavalry during the late war, and died in March, 1862, at the age of twenty-two. Arvilla died in March, 1862, at the age of seventeen.
In his political views Mr. Leonard has always been a stalwart Democrat, and has served as a member of the Democratic County Central Committee for several years, during which time he has done effective service for his party. He has been called to public offices of honor and trust, and for the long period of twenty-four years has been School Director of his township, during which time he has served as Clerk of the Board. In 1887 he was elected Justice of the Peace, but declined to fill the office. The cause of education has ever found in him a warm friend, and the best interests of the community ever receive his hearty support and co-operation. He is a worthy representative of one of the honored pioneer families of the community, and is a man of sterling worth.
Submitted by Betty Doremus