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John & Kate Leonard Family


Posted By: Cathy Joynt Labath (email)
Date: 7/28/2006 at 11:21:45


In 1881, John and Kate Leonard, together with their children, including Con who at the time was nine years old, came to the United States from County Cork, Ireland. They traveled directly to Emmetsburg, Iowa and in 1886 bought eighty acres which was in section 17, Walnut Township, for ten dollars per acre. Later, in 1890, John bought another eighty acres which was in Section 7 of Walnut Township and it later became the Leonard family farm. It became a Century Farm in 1990. Con later added forty acres to this farm and built a set of buildings in preparation for marriage. He was married to Hannah Murphy and they lived on this farm their entire married life. Here their children were born and reared.

Hannah Murphy was born November 1, 1876, the daughter of Dennis and Mary Murphy, in County Cork, Ireland. She was only seven years old when both of her parents died on the same day and she was cared for by her oldest brother until she became twelve years of age. At this time, her sister, Kate, who had come to the United States some years earlier, used her savings to bring Hannah to be with her in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Hannah lived here until she reached young womanhood. Little did she dream that one day she would become the bride of a young Iowa farmer named Con Leonard.

Now as fate would have it, Dan Crowley and the John Leonards had traveled to America on the same ship and became good friends. Later, Dan would visit the Leonards at their farm home near Graettinger and as time passed Con decided to visit Dan, who had settled in Milwaukee. Here Con met the young Irish lass, Hannah Murphy, and their friendship developed into courtship and they were married June 11, 1902, in Milwaukee.

After their marriage, they came to the Leonard farm one mile west of Graettinger and lived there all their married life. They became the parents of five children: Jerry, Leona, Joe, Gene and Bernadine.

Jerry, Joe and Gene were all farmers. Jerry married Mary McCabe in 1935 and they lived on a farm east of Emmetsburg for a few years and later bought a farm in Great Oak Township where they lived throughout their married life. They were the parents of one daughter, Aice Jo Leonard, who now lives in Emmetsburg.

Joe and Leona built a new home on the home place in 1961 and continued to live there all their lives. Leona taught school in are schools for nearly fifty years and Joe was a member of the board of the Graettinger Elevator for several years and also the Township Assessor.

Gene married Zeta Richardson in 1958 and continued to farm although they lived in Graettinger. He was also employed by A.S.C.S. in Walnut Township for many years and later did corn sealing. In 1985 he married Maxine Truesdell Neppl and now lives in Estherville. He is the last surviving member of the Con Leonard family.

Bernadine passed away in 1921.

The Leonard farm became a Century Farm on September 29, 1990, having been owned by the same family for one hundred years. Friends and family gathered to hear a Mass of Thanksgiving at the farm that was said by Father Paul Kelly.

--From Graettinger Centennial 1893-1993 p. 222


Palo Alto Biographies maintained by Cathy Joynt Labath.
WebBBS 4.33 Genealogy Modification Package by WebJourneymen

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