So now a new generation was in charge of the destiny of this family of Fullers. Of the six children of Peter and Lydia, two had already died and the youngest, Leroy, was dead by the age of 36, leaving no children. Elana, who had married Henry Hayward, died before both of her parents leaving Henry with seven year old twin son’s. Loren and his wife, Lorena both drowned in 1920 when the youngest of their four surviving children was thirteen. Ethel married William Reynolds and had two sons, the second one after Peter and Lydia had gone.
Four of Peter’s children from his first wife, Esther, survived him but Alden, the youngest, died in California in 1924. The other three maintained quite a close relationship so the account of their lives can be combined in one story.
Leonard Gibbs Fuller came into this world on the thirteenth day of September in 1856 in the Township of East Farnham, Quebec. Preceding him three year earlier was a brother, Lemuel Smith, and three years later came a sister who was named Ida Mae. Throughout their lives those three remained quite close even though they took separate pathways.
In Leonard the spirit of adventure that had been so evident in his ancestors reappeared. He also proved to be sensitive and sentimental. With such a personality, he was hurt deeply by the death of his mother when he was only six years old. But being without a mother for more than a year strengthened the bond between him and his brothers and sisters. But then Lydia Ann came and there was a mother in the home again and new brothers and sisters joining them every few years. And so, the next ten years were pleasant times for Leonard and all the rest of the Peter Fuller family. But then, in 1875, when he was nineteen, sorrow and grief came back to haunt them again. It was in February of that year that little three year old Arlington was taken by the grim reaper. The following year death invaded this home again and snatched Myra, the first born of the family who was only four years older than Leonard. This was a shattering blow to the family but especially to Leonard and Lemuel, who were nearest to her in age. Now, once again, tragedy had tightened the bond between the remaining four older children. Early in 1882 Milon, Lydia’s first born, died at the age of six. But by this time, Leonard was gone from home and was not struck quite so hard by the loss.
As Leonard approached manhood he took jobs on nearby farms and took an interest in a few nearby girls as well. As he developed so did his desire to see what was over the next hill. His early sampling of adventure were rather tame and ordinary but always in the back of his mind were dreams of distant places with golden opportunities.
Probably his first step into adventure was to go down into Vermont where he had aunts, uncles and cousins. North of Rutland, near the little town of Goshen, his Uncle Lemuel and Aunt Mary lived on a farm and that is where he went soon after his 21st birthday. He helped out there with the chores and with cutting wood. These were happy times for him with sister, Ida, living in Goshen and Uncle Emery and Aunt Mary on a farm a short distance away, near Brandon. There was much visiting back and forth and many good times during this January in 1878. Aunt Maria and Uncle Salmon Foster also lived only ten miles away at Whiting. And, to make this good life perfect, there was Celestia. All through January and February they were together nearly every day. They went to prayer meetings together, he went to see her at her home and she came to see him. On the 25th of January he cut his foot with an axe while falling a tree. Celestia came to see him that evening and every day while he was laid up. Aunt Mary made no attempt to hide the fact that she didn’t approve so, as soon as his foot healed sufficiently, he again started going to Celestia’s to ger out from under Aunt Mary’s disapproving eye.
On the nineteenth of January a letter came from Alden saying that brother, Lemuel, had married Elizabeth Hamilton on New Years Day. Now, Lemuel was called simply Lem by most people but, for some reason that has become obscure with the passing of years, Leonard very often called him Frank.
Excerpted from WOOL TROMPERS by J. L. Fuller
Leonard will be in love several times before he marries and settles down. There is much adventure ahead.