Whether the elements of success in this life are innate attributes of the individual or whether they are quickened by a process of circumstantial development, it is impossible to determine clearly. Yet the study of a successful career, whatever the field of endeavor, is none the less interesting and profitable by reason of the existence of this same uncertainty. In the life career of Val Leanord, who for many years has been identified with the various interests in Audubon county, Iowa, may be found many qualities which always win success. The splendid success which has crowned his efforts has been directly traceable to those commendable traits which are so much admired by his fellow townsmen. Mr. Leanord served well his country during the dark days of the Civil War, giving two years of his life to the service of his country.|
Val Leanord was born on September 14, 1843, at Buffalo, New York. He is the son of Simon and Elizabeth Leanord, natives of Germany. Simon Leanord was a stone mason by trade and died in Buffalo, and his wife died in Wisconsin.
Val Leanord enlisted in Company G. Twenty-first Regiment, New York Volunteer Infantry, in 1861, and during the Civil War served altogether two years and two months. He was engaged in many of the important battles and several minor skirmishes. Among the most important engagements in which he participated were the battles of Antietam, the second battle of Bull Run, Gettysburg, and Fredericksburg. He was shot in the left leg at the second battle of Bull Run, but soon recovered. His brother, John Leanord, was killed at Ft. Wagner. Another brother, Jacob Leanord, was shot through the left shoulder, another ball passed through his body and he died later from the effects of the wounds. He received this injury at the battle of Bull Run. Another brother, Peter, also served in the Union army.
At the end of the war, Val Leanord went to Wisconsin and resided in that state from 1868 until 1888, during which time he was a farmer. He then spent three years in Marshall, Minnesota, and in 1891 came to Audubon county, Iowa. He lived on a farm in Douglass [sic Douglas] township for ten years and then purchased a farm three and one-half miles east of Audubon. This farm consists of eighty acres and is situated in Leroy township, and Mr. Leanord still owns it. He moved to Audubon in 1906, and since that time has lived retired in this city.
Val Leanord was married on December 23, 1869, to Rachel Ray, who was born in 1849 at Cadiz, Ohio, and who is the daughter of Samuel and Mary Ann (Norfolk) Ray, who moved to Wisconsin in 1852. To Mr. and Mrs. Leanord seven children have been born, namely: Clinton, who lives in Audubon; Ada, the wife of Louis Yackey, of Davenport, Iowa; Mary, the wife of Arthur Dinger, of Davenport; Caroline, who is at home; Frank, who lives in Guthrie county, Iowa; Vallie, of Mason City; and Roy, who married Ludie Frumm, of Brayton, and who is a druggist at Neven.
In politics, Mr. Leanord is an active Republican and has been identified with this party practically all of his life, but he has never held office, preferring to devote his time to his own personal interests rather than to the interests of a political party.
Mr. and Mrs. Leanord are members of the Presbyterian church. Mr. Leanord is a member of Allison Post, Grand Army of the Republic.
Transcribed from History of Audubon County, Iowa Its People, Industries and Institutions With Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens and Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families, by H. F. Andrews, editor, Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen & Company, 1915, pp. 867-868.