Biography of Hon. Elijah Leonard

Discover your
family's story.

Enter a grandparent's name to get started.

choose a state:
Start Now

The family, originally consisting of two brothers, emigrated from Wales, England, to the colony of Massachusetts Bay, in the year 1632, and have ever since been identified with the production and manufacture of iron. His grandfather, Samuel Leonard, of Taunton Massachusetts, is said to have made the first spade or shovel manufactured in the United States. His father, Elijah Leonard, settled in Onondaga county, State of New York, in the early part of the present century, where he engaged in the production of iron, and subsequently married Miss Mary Stone. Senator Leonard was born on the 10th September, 1815, on a farm adjoining the city of Syracuse, where he received a good common school education, and in 1830 removed with the family to Long Point, Upper Canada, where he and his father went to work in the then celebrated Long Point Iron Works of Joseph Van Norman. Subsequently, in 1834, he and his father settled in St. Thomas, and with P. C. Van Brocklin, entered into partnership for the manufacture of agricultural implements, consisting chiefly of plows and other casting suitable to the primitive circumstances of the country. This firm possessed a cupola furnace, it being one of the five such existing at that period in Upper Canada. The year following he bought out his father and Mr. Van Brocklin, and continued the business on his own account. In 1839 he removed to London, then a town of some 1,200 inhabitants, and now a city of nearly 30,000 as offering a wider field for his particular line of business. Upon the construction of the Great Western railway, he built extensive shops for the manufacture of railway rolling stock, and with upwards of one hundred and fifty men employed in the works, he successfully filled some large contracts for the Great Western, and the London and Port Stanley railway companies, but latterly has confined himself to the manufacture of steam engines and boilers, which he has continued to make a specialty of. The business is now carried on under the firm name of E. Leonard and Sons.

He married 15th June, 1847, Emmeline Woodman, daughter of Mr. Elijah C. Woodman, originally from the State of Maine.

He was an alderman for London from 1853 to 1857 inclusive, and for the latter year, was elected by the council as mayor of the city, and required also to act at the same time as recorder; when it was observed by those who were his cotemporaries, that whether in a charge to the Grand Jury, or in summing up the evidence for the Petit Jury, or passing sentence on convicted prisoners, his remarks from the bench, were ever distinguished for clear, practical. common sense, and a thorough appreciation of the high duties he was called upon to discharge.

He took a prominent part in originating the Great Western and London and Port Stanley railway companies, being for the latter one of its first directors, and at one time vice-president of the same. He was one of the original incorporators of the Huron and Erie Savings and Loan Society, in 1864, and has remained continuously a director to the present time.

He was an unsuccessful candidate for the representation of London in. the House of Assembly at the general election in 1857, and successfully contested the “Malahide” division which consisted of East Middlesex, the city of London, East and West Elgin, for a seat in the Legislative Council in 1862, and was returned by a majority of two hundred and nineteen out of a total vote of 7,969, and sat for that constituency until the Confederation in 1867, when he was called to the Senate by Royal Proclamation in May of that year. In politics he is a Liberal.



MLA Source Citation:

The Canadian Biographical Dictionary and Portrait Gallery of Eminent and Self Made Men, Ontario, Volume 1. Toronto: Toronto American Biographical Pub. Co. 1880. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 19 December 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/canada/biography-of-hon-elijah-leonard.htm - Last updated on Aug 7th, 2012


Categories:
Topics:
Locations:
Surnames:

Contribute to the Conversation!

Our "rules" are simple. Keep the conversation on subject and mind your manners! If this is your first time posting, we do moderate comments before we let them appear... so give us a while to get to them. Once we get to know you here, we'll remove that requirement.

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Newsletter Signup

We currently provide two newsletters. Why not take both for a run?

Genealogy Update: We send out this newsletter whenever we feature a new, or significantly updated, collection or database on our website.

Circle of Nations: We send out this newsletter whenever we feature a new (or significantly updated) Native American collection or database on our website.

Once you've clicked on the Subscribe button above you'll receive an email from us requesting confirmation. You must confirm the email before you will be able to receive any newsletter.

Connect With Us!

Pin It on Pinterest

Shares
Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!