Mr. Marcus Leonard, 92, died at 12:30 a.m., Saturday, July 18, in the Stillwater, Oklahoma, Municipal Hospital. He expired quite suddenly after being in good health up until two days of his passing. The last ten weeks of his life had been spent in the home of his son in Stillwater.
Mr. Leonard was born in Lanark, Illinois, April 23, 1872, the son of William Leonard and Nancy Jane Grigsby. In 1875, he moved with his parents to Aurelia, Iowa, and from there to Rock Rapids, Iowa, in 1890. He was one of 13 children, eight of whom grew to adulthood. His twin sister, Mary, died in 1931.
His parents were frontiersmen, coming to Iowa when it was a young state. In his young boyhood, Mr. Leonard became interested in the steam threshing machinery which was just in its fancy in 1880. It became such a fascination to him that he spent all the remaining years of his life right up to within a week of his death, thinking, dreaming, talking, and writing about his life's work and aspirations. At various times during his life he was a engine operator, an owner of steam threshing rigs in Iowa and Kansas, a salesman and collector, an inventor, and finally in his later years, an author.
Mr. Leonard became a teacher of the 'Old Country School,' at the age of 18, and taught several terms until 1903, when he moved to Kansas City, Kansas. In the meantime he had attended a business college in Des Moines, Iowa, and then later on he spent one year at what was then called the Kansas Normal School, located in Emporia. There he met Mabel W. Dix of Pratt, Kansas, who became his wife in 1900.
To this union were born three children, Carroll of Stillwater, Oklahoma, and Mrs. Ruth L. Meier of Evanston, Illinois, who survive him; and the younger daughter Mrs. Florence Chambers who passed away last year. His wife died in 1957. Mrs. Meier's husband preceded Mr. Leonard's death by three days. All of his children were named for pupils he taught in Harper County, Kansas. He has kept in touch with many of his former pupils throughout his life-time.
Other survivors include five grandsons, a step grand daughter, and a step grandson; four great grandchildren and one step great granddaughter; a daughter-in-law Mrs. Carroll Leonard; and two sisters, Mrs. Dora Meyers of Rock Rapids, Iowa, and Mrs. Pearl E. Kirk of Wadena, Minnesota. Also surviving are several nieces and nephews, as well as a host of friends and admirers.
When Mr. Leonard was 21 years old he became a member of the Old Fellows (I.O.O.F.) lodge in Little Rock, Iowa. He has continued his membership in this Order for a few days more than 71 years. In the spring of 1914, he became a member of Salina lodge No. 60, A. F. & A. M. and the Consistory. He also was a member of Miriam Rebekah lodge No. 8 of Salina.
Mr. Leonard first came to Salina in the flood year of 1903, after living for short periods in Kansas City, and Wilson, Kansas. Also, he maintained a home in Manhattan, Kansas, for several years while his children continued their education. He continued his career as a salesman of threshing machinery until 1932, in what was called the 'Salina Block.' His services were employed by the Advance Thresher Co., Avery Co., and the Nichols and Shepard Co.
While a salesman for the Avery Co. in 1913, he sold the first truck that was purchased in Saline County. A picture of this truck and a fine article appeared in the March 26, 1950, issue of the Salina Journal. One year during the twenties he was third highest salesman for his company in the United States, having sold what would now correspond to a half-million dollars worth of machinery in one year.
In the latter years of his life, Mr. Leonard became an author, having had published several hundred articles in steam engine magazines which are mailed to all parts of the U. S. and Canada. These articles dealt with his experiences and they were all written from memory. Actually that was the only source for such information. Up until the last four years or his life he attended thresher men's reunions held in Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Illinois. On these occasions he 'held court' for his many friends and admirers who came just to listen about his experiences. Twelve of these men came to Salina, in 1962, to help him celebrate his birthday, one of whom came more than 500 miles. During the last week of his life he finished what will be the last article. The long-hand copy lies on his desk. When he finished it he said 'this is my last article and it is a good one.' So a great, but humble man, has finished his work and gone to his reward. May his soul rest in peace.
David H. Rogers, 63, of 50 Charles St. Stoney Creek, Ont. Canada, passed away suddenly Friday, August 7th, 1964 at his summer home at Wasaga Beach. He was an active member of the Ontario Steam & Antique Preserver's Association, being a director for the past three years, and on publicity. He had owned a large George White and a 17 Sawyer-Massey. His engines were always at the 'STEAM-ERA' held in Milton, Ontario, every Labour Day weekend. He was a retired Sgt. of the Ontario Provincial Police. He will be sadly missed by his many Steam club friends and family.