From A Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol. I, p. 692
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902


   Many theories have been advanced as to the causes of success, but an investigation of the life record of most successful men will show that their prosperity is due to untiring effort, unflagging diligence and good business management.  This statement proves true in the history of Mr Leonard, who came to Rice county in March, 1878, and has since gained a place among the most prosperous farmers of Wilson township, where he now resides, his home being on section 17.  Mr Leonard was born in Galloway, Knox county, Ohio, near Mount Vernon, and is a son of John W Leonard, a well known citizen of Rice county, now residing in Lyons.  The father was born in New Jersey and began his education in the schools of his native state, after which he continued his studies in Tuscarawas county, Ohio.  Subsequently he became a resident of Knox county, Ohio.  He is a harness maker by trade and has also followed farming for several years.  In 1879 he cast in his lot with the residents of Rice county, Kansas, and now owns a farm on section 21, Wilson township.  He was united in marriage in Tuscarawas county, Ohio, to Miss Mary Van Lew Sudam, of Knox county, Ohio, who was born and reared in the Buckeye state.  They became the parents of eight children, namely:  Columbus Delano; Mrs Altha M Hobbs, of Lyons; Florence L, wife of F E Hoyt, also a resident of Lyons; Eldridge S, who makes his home on section 22, Wilson township; Elizabeth Ann, who died at the age of fourteen years; Mary Alice, who died at the age of twenty; and two who died in early childhood.

   Columbus Delano Leonard spent his boyhood days upon the home farm working in the fields through the summer months, while in the winter season he attended the public schools and there acquired his education.  He was afterward employed as a farm hand by the month and thus got his start in life.  After coming to Kansas he purchased eighty acres of land and with this as a nucleus for his present possessions he has added continually to his property interests until he now has eight hundred and eighty acres of rich prairie land in Kansas, and his farm property is one which is attractive in appearance, owing to its excellent improvements.  A good residence stands in the midst of the fertile fields; there is a substantial barn, sheds and corn cribs; feed lots and pastures provided for the stock and everything about the place is in a thrifty condition.  Mr Leonard engages in the raising of both grain and stock and is now one of the most prosperous agriculturists of  his community.

   On the 15th of October, 1892, occurred the marriage of Mr Leonard and Miss Mary Salmons, who was born in Mills county, Iowa, and spent her girlhood days in that state, her parents being James and Sarah (Silkett) Salmons, the former a native of Kentucky, and the latter of Virginia, and their marriage was celebrated in Indiana.  This union was blessed with ten children, as follows:  Mrs Catherine Rockefeller; John; Mrs Susan Wills, of Wilson township, Rice county; Randolph; William, who is living in Nebraska; Rebecca; Irene; Mary L; Mrs Leonard and Henry.  Unto our subject and his wife have been born four sons, two pairs of twins, namely:  Ralph Hobart and Ray McKinley, born on the 5th of May, 1896; and Theodore Roosevelt and Randolph Sherman, whose birth occurred August 10, 1900.  They also lost one son, John W, the first born, at the age of five years.

   Mr Leonard exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the Republican party and is unswerving in his adherence to its principles.  He keeps well informed on the issues of the day, yet has never sought or desired office.  His wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and both are highly esteemed people, having many kind friends in the community where they make their home.  In business affairs Mr Leonard has met with a high degree of success.  Starting out in life in humble capacity as a farm hand he has worked his way continually upward, overcoming all obstacles and difficulties in his path by determined purpose and resolute will, and now he is numbered among the men of affairs identified with the farming interests of Rice county, and his business methods have ever been such as to entitle him to prosperity.