Carroll County Biographies

Demetrius Ypsilanti Leavens
York Twp., Carroll Co. IL

This successful farmer of York Twp. is the owner of 300 acres on section 6. He comes of an old New England family and is the son of Augustus and Sarah (Fenner) Leavens, both natives of Connecticut. The maternal grandparents were natives of Rhode Island, and the grandparents on both sides emigrated to the State of New york when our subject's parents were quite young. The latter were married in Onondaga County, NY where they lived until 1843, when with their family of seven children they removed to Lee County Iowa, staying thee but one year, coming to Carroll County IL Feb. 1845 and ever since makin their home there. Their children besids our subject were - Martin died at an early age; Rhea the wife of William Palmer and is also deceased; Hannah wife of Peter Keller; Julia who died in Iowa in 1843; Dorcas wife of William Butcher and Turner died in 1846.

When the family came to this county, the land on which they settled and which joined the present farm, on the south, was then but wild prairie. They improved the farm and lived there until 1860 when they sold it and made their home with their son, our subject; remaining with him until their death; the father passing from earth in 1862 at the age of 68; the mother surviving him 21 years, dying in April 1883, at the age of 88 years.

September 3, 1852, our subject was united in marriage with Melissa Potter a daughter of Luther and Mary (Estess) Potter. Of their union five children have been born, tow of whom are deceased; Rhean dying at the age of 9 and Mary when 5 years old. The survivors are Norman, born in 1860; AUgustus in 1862 and Menta in 1864. The mother of Mrs. Leavens died when the latter was a mere child, and she was reared by her grandmother, Mrs. Charlotte Potter.

The success of our subject is entirely due to his own efforts, assited by his faithful wife. When they were married they had no money and he pre-empted Government land, which was fortunately for him, not on the market, and he had thus time enough to make the money to pay the entry fee. In this humble way he and his wife began the struggle of life together. They have necountered many reverses of fortune, but by their joint effort and good management have made a good home, with comfortable buildings and have 300 acres of land, all improved and fenced, except about 40 acres of timber. In March 1873, Mr. Levens met with a severe accident; he was chopping wood, when his ax slipped and cut his ankle so badly as to make him a cripple for life, and since that time he has not been able to do a day's active work. This is not the only misfortune which has attended our subject and his worth wife. In August 1875, their son Menta then 1 1years old, fell from a stable loft and was so seriously injured that he has not since been able to walk. These misfortunes have been a great drawback to this worthy couple. Mr. Leavens has turned his attention since settling here principally to the raising of stock. He has dealt some in Norman and Clydesdale, Short Horn cattle and Poland-China Hogs. In politics Mr. Leavens has been a lifelong Republican.

Portraits & Biographical Carroll Co. 1889 Page 893

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