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Item ID# Leeder family fonds
Title Leeder family fonds
Object Name Archival Fonds
Dates of Creation 1825 - 1949
Creator Leeder Family
Description This fonds consists mainly of correspondence between the Leeder family over five generations (1834 - 1937) from Saugeen Township, England, America, Cuba and France; the personal journals of Nathaniel Leeder and Ed Leeder (1854 - 1904) detailing their experiences in Saugeen Township; and over one hundred years of Leeder family accounts and business transactions in England and Ontario (1830 - 1949). Also included in the fonds are photographs and some miscellaneous personal records pertaining to the family.

The fonds is categorized into five series:

1 - Business records
2 - Personal correspondence
3 - Journals and Diaries (including WWI diary)
4 - Miscellaneous family records
5 - Photographs
Finding Aids A fonds finding aid is available, with series descriptions and file lists.
Finding Aid and Transcription Links Leeder family fonds finding aid
Admin/Biographical History At the age of 16, Nathaniel Edward Leeder emigrated from England to Canada in 1851. After brief stops in Quebec City, Hamilton and Doone, Ontario, Nathaniel settled in Saugeen Township, Bruce County, Ontario in the spring of 1853. A year later, Nathaniel's parents, Robert and Hannah (formerly Parker, aka Jemima), and his three brothers, Robert Jr., Philip and Fred, joined him. The Leeders were one of the first families to settle in the area.

Nathaniel, Robert Jr., Philip and Fred were born, raised and educated in Norfolk, England where Robert Sr. operated a mill. During their initial years in Canada, the Leeders were primarily farmers who worked hard to clear their land and develop their farms. Once they had established themselves, they continued to farm but also branched off into other careers.

Robert Leeder Sr. remained a farmer and often worked at the local mills. Robert died in 1891 and Hannah in 1881.

Philip Leeder left Saugeen Township in 1862 to seek a fortune in gold in the Caribou Region of British Columbia. He drowned in the Fraser River late in the same year.

Robert Leeder Jr. married Mary Ann Greer and worked with a railroad company in Palmerston, Ontario.

Fred Leeder remained a bachelor and lived in the family's original home until he died in 1901.

Nathaniel Leeder (1835 - 1923) married Mary Caroline Schwendker (originally from Germany) in 1860. They had five children - Nathaniel Edward (aka Ed), Albert, Robert, Mary Elizabeth, and Hannah. On top of working his farm, Nathaniel served his community as tavern inspector, secretary treasurer of the school board, Inspector of Noxious Weeds (1912) and township treasurer (1892 - 1914). Nathaniel and his family moved to Missouri, U.S.A in1870 where Nathaniel acted as a postmaster and a schoolteacher. They returned to Saugeen Township in 1874.

Mary Elizabeth Leeder (b. 1863) married James Clazie in 1891. They had six children - Jack, Pearl, Martha, Edward, Margery, James and Grant. Jack served in World War I.

Robert Leeder (b. 1868) married Madge in 1891 when living in Chicago. They had a son Marsden. Robert moved his family to Cuba where he operated a sugar plantation.

Albert Leeder worked in various cities - Detroit as a ferry captain, British Columbia in a mine, Collingwood, Buffalo on the railways and finally settled in Toronto. He married Margaret and they had a daughter in 1915 (name unknown).

Hannah Leeder (b.1870) taught at School Sector (S.S.) No. 1 from 1890 to 1893. She married John H. Guyer.

Nathaniel "Ed" Leeder Jr. (1860 - 1937) married Elizabeth "Lizzie" Eidt (1861 - 1936) in 1886. They had seven children - Mary Elizabeth (aka May), John Edward (aka Jack), Arthur Iden, Walter Albert, Joseph Carl, Herbert Nicholos, and Jacob. Ed and his children shared the passion for farming with Nathaniel Sr. and they worked together regularly. In adulthood, all of Ed's sons farmed in the Saugeen area. Ed also had a lively interest in municipal affairs. He served as a tax collector, a school board member, a director of the Star Cheese and Butter Company (1900), president of the Saugeen Farmers' Club (1918) and a member of Co-Op and the United Farmers of Ontario (U.F.O.). Ed and his father were regular attendees at the meetings of the West Bruce Farming Institute and the Patrons of Industry. Ed also served with the 32nd Bruce Battalion in his younger days. Ed and his family were devout members of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They even donated a corner of their farmland to build a church where Ed served as the presiding Elder for many years.

Mary "May" Leeder married William John Scott in 1915. They had four children - Margaret, Mabel, Edna and Gomer. William died in 1957.

Herbert Leeder worked on the family farm until he joined the Canadian Army and went to Europe to fights in World War I. Herbert died in combat on October 11, 1918.

Like his brother Herbert, Arthur Iden Leeder, who went by the name Iden, also served in World War I. In 1923, Iden married Abbie Snell. They had one child, Alma James Vernon, who was nine years old when his mother died. Iden remarried in 1947 to Amy Halpenny of Toronto. Amy bore two children, Mary and Betty. Iden spent many years in public service as a trustee of Saugeen School District #1, Saugeen High School trustee (1954) and as presiding Elder of his church. Iden and his family lived on the home farm until 1962 when they moved to the town of Port Elgin.

Walter Leeder married Sadie McKillop and they had one son, Leslie. Walter served his community as a Councilor, Reeve (1945 - 1946), Warden and Hospital Board member. Walter died in 1964 and Sadie in 1973.

Jack Leeder spent a few years working on his Uncle Robert's sugar plantation in Cuba. Later, Jack returned to take over his grandfather's (Nathaniel Sr.) farm. In 1927, he married Nellie Chalk who had a son named Ted. The two added two more boys - Allan and Bob. Along with his farming, Jack operated several threshing machines (steam, oil and gas) in the community for many years. Jack died in 1969 and Nellie in 1973.
Provenance The records of the Leeder family have been passed down through the generations. As the various individuals took over the family property, they also inherited the collection of papers and added to it. Eventually, some of the records came to Isobelle Underwood, the granddaughter of Mary Elizabeth Clazie (formerly Leeder). Isobelle donated the family records to the Bruce County Museum & Archives on April 26, 1991. A. J.V. Leeder also added to the collection with a donation of letters from Arthur Iden Leeder, Herbert Leeder, John Clazie and John Edward Leeder from the First World War.
Collection Leeder family fonds
Physical Description 86 cm of textual records
Subjects Advertising
Agricultural machinery & implements
Emigration & immigration
Farm life
First World War
Rural life
People Clazie, Jack
Clazie, Mary Elizabeth (Leeder)
Guyer, Hannah (Leeder)
Guyer, Hannah (Leeder)
Leeder Family
Leeder, Albert
Leeder, Elizabeth (Eidt)
Leeder, Fred
Leeder, Herbert Nicholas
Leeder, Iden ("Arthur Iden")
Leeder, John Edward "Jack"
Leeder, Joseph Carl
Leeder, Mary Caroline (Schwendker)
Leeder, Nathaniel Edward Jr. "Ed"
Leeder, Nathaniel Edward Sr.
Leeder, Philip
Leeder, Robert Jr.
Leeder, Robert Sr.
Leeder, Walter
Scott, Mary "May" (Leeder)
Place England
Port Elgin
Saugeen Township
Related items within BCM&CC Collection Show Related Records...
Level of Description Fonds
Child Records Leeder series 1
Leeder series 2
Leeder series 3
Leeder series 4
Leeder series 5