HON. FRANCIS C. LeBLOND
The later Francis C. LeBlond was the oldest member of the bar at Celina at his death, and formerly represented
the Fifth Congressional District of Ohio in the halls of Congress. He was a man of great mental capacity and his
fellow citizens greatly profited through his devotion to their interests. He was born in Knox County, Ohio, February
12, 1821, and was a son of Evera C. and Elizabeth (Holderman) Leyland.
The father of Mr. LeBlond was born at Paris, France, on May 22, 1789, and came to America in order to avoid being
pressed into military service. He died at Belleville, Ohio, January 16, 1851. His wife, Elizabeth Holderman, who
came of German ancestry, was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in 1793, and died in 1861.
Francis C. LeBlond was mainly educated at Norwalk, Ohio, where he was under the instruction of Bishop Edward M.
Thompson, of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In the fall of 1843 he was admitted to the bar, and in December of
that year located at St. Marys, Ohio, where he remained several months and then removed to Celina, which city remained
the scene of his many legal triumphs until the close of his life. Here, for years, esteem, respect, admiration
and affection waited upon his footsteps and here he will remain enshrined among the city's most notable men.
A man of his ability could not keep out of politics, and Democratic principles were the ones for which he was ready
to do battle. His first office was that of prosecuting attorney, to which he Was elected in the fall of 1847 and
reelected in 1849. In 1851 he was elected to the Lower House of the General Assembly of Ohio, in 1853 was returned
and was honored especially by being chosen Speaker of the House. During this term Mr. LeBlond took a very prominent
part in the proceedings and he was once heard to declare that the passage of the present school laws, which was
a measure under his charge, gave him more genuine pleasure than any of the many honors which came to him later.
In 1856 he was the Democratic candidate for common pleas judge, but was defeated by Alexander S. Latty.
In 1862 he was first elected to Congress from the Fifth Congressional District, and was reelected in 1864; during
the long period which covered this term of public service, he proved his capacity on hundreds of occasions. It
was during his second term that a very noted incident occurred in connection with Mr. LeBlond's attitude in regard
to the reconstruction measures introduced in 1866. He made speeches on this subject which were so forcible, so
convincing and so truly democratic that from that time on he was recognized as the leader of the party on the floor
of the House of Representatives. It was during the rather heated discussion of this matter that Mr. LeBlond made
a sarcastic speech which rang all over the country, which brought deserved criticism and reproach on the opponents
of the bill, some of whom were caricatured in the leading newspapers.
In 1868 Mr. LeBlond was selected as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention held in New York city, which
nominated Horatio Seymour, Governor of New York, for the Presidency; and again, in 1876, he was a delegate from'
the Fifth Congressional District, to the convention of that year which met at St. Louis and nominated Samuel J.
Tilden for President. Although for years out of active politics, he always remained interested and his political
friends all over the land were very often personal ones as well. During his long term of law practice he stood
at the head of the bar of Mercer County.
On September 6, 1853, Mr. LeBlond was married at St. Marys, Ohio, to Louisa E. McGinley, and they had these children:
Charles M., a prominent attorney at Hilo, Hawaiian Islands, formerly a member of the State Legislature, from Mercer
County Emma L., the wife of Ex-Auditor Charles A. Kloeb, now State inspector of public offices; and Frank C., who
is now a resident of San Francisco, California. Both Mrs. LeBlond and Mr. and Mrs. Kloeb have homes on North Main
History of Mercer County, Ohio
and Representative Citizens
Edited & Compiled by: Hon. S. S. Scranton
Published by: Biographical Publishing Company
Mercer County, Ohio Biographies
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