Leonard Church

Leonard Church was born July 26, 1839 in Ada, Kent County, Michigan, the son of Rix R. (b. 1815) and Adaline (b. 1835).

Both his parents were born in Canada or New York. The family settled in Michigan sometime before 1839, and by 1840 Rix R. was probably living in “Unknown Townships” in Michigan (also living in the same location was Lot Church, who would settle in McHenry County, Illinois in 1850 and eventually in Iowa by 1860.) Between 1849 and 1850 the family moved to Illinois and were living on a farm in Greenwood, McHenry County where Leonard attended school with two of his younger siblings. By 1860 Leonard was back in Michigan and working as a farm laborer for the John Naysmith family and living in Ada, Kent County; in 1860 Leonard’s younger brothers Rix R. Jr. and Frank (b. 1850 in Illinois) were living in Ada with the family of Nathan Robinson. (Leonard's father, Rix R. Was named for Rix Robinson, one of the first settlers of western Michigan and Kent County in particular.)

Leonard stood 5’9” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was 22 years old and probably still living in Kent County when he enlisted in Company A on May 13, 1861. By January of 1863 he was detached as a teamster for the Brigade wagon trains, the same month he was reportedly treated for eczema and was reported as a teamster serving with the Brigade train in March of 1863 and was treated for syphilis on October 24, 1863. He was reported with the brigade trains again from April of 1864 through May. Leonard was mustered out of service on June 20, 1864.

After his discharge Leonard returned to western Michigan and was living in Ada when he married Michigan native Mary J. Pettis (b. 1847) on March 18, 1866, in Ada, and they had at least four and possibly five children: Harriet or Hattie (b. 1866), Addie (b. 1868), Charles R. (b. 1872), possibly Clarence L. (1878-79), and Hazel (b. 1886).

He was still living in Ada working as a farm laborer, in 1870, but by 1880 had settled his family in Reynolds, Montcalm County where he worked in a mill. He was residing in Howard City, Montcalm County, in 1885, 1888, 1890 and 1894, and may at one time have lived in Reed City, Osceola County. By the turn of the century Leonard had moved his family to California and in 1900 he was working as a fruit grower and living with his wife and two children in Fresno County, California. (According to one source Leonard died in Reed City sometime after the turn of the century, between 1902 and 1904.) By 1909 Leonard was living in Oleander, Fresno County, California, and in 1910 was working as a general farmer and living with his wife and daughter Hazel in Oleander.

He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, as well as Grand Army of the Republic Jones No. 252 in Howard City.

In 1890 he applied for and received a pension (no. 643066).

Leonard died on October 22, 1919, in Oleander, California, and was presumably buried there.