Biography of Chauncey M. Leonard
Orange County, NY Biographies





CHAUNCEY M. LEONARD was born in Newburgh in the year 1825, and in a house that occupied the site of the Bigler building at the corner of Third and Smith streets. He resided here until sixteen years of age, receiving his education at the Newburgh Academy. In early manhood he became a member of the old volunteer fire department of New York while learning his trade of painter. He was elected assistant foreman of the engine company. At the age of nineteen he married Miss Rebecca Smith, of New York City, who died two years afterward, leaving a daughter, who married Thomas K. Rheutan. In 1848 he married Miss Hope Smith, a sister of his first wife, and had several children.

In 1850 he returned to his native city and continued to reside here till his death. He was employed as a painter by E. T. Comstock, and on Mr. Comstock's death in 1858, the firm of Ward & Leonard (Peter Ward and Chauncey M. Leonard) was formed. James J. Logan afterward being received into the partnership, the firm became Ward, Leonard & Co.

Mr. Leonard joined Ringgold Hose Company, No. I, in 1853. He was elected assistant foreman, but his ability and experience as a fireman were such that he was called to fill a position of greater prominence. In 1861 he was elected chief engineer of the Newburgh fire department, and at each successive election thereafter was reelected to the same office, till March, 1874, when he was called to take the higher position of mayor of the city.

In 1833 he was a delegate to the democratic state convention, and was an honorary member of the National Association of Chief Engineers. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity and well advanced in the degrees of the order. He died at his residence, 82 Ann street, Thursday, December 3, 1874.

From:
The History of Orange County New York
Edited by: Russel Headley
Van Deusen and Elms, Publishers
Middletown, N. Y. 1908


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