Death of Mr. John Leader
Another Esteemed Citizen Joins the Majority
It was with surprise as well as sorrow that the people of Galena heard the news this morning that Mr. John Leader was dead. He had been ill for eleven days with pleurisy and grippe, and on Friday of last week it was thought that his end was near. On Saturday, however, he exhibited signs of improvement, and on Sunday and Monday his physicians expressed strong hopes of his ultimate recovery. Last night he fell quietly asleep, but it was a sleep that knew no waking. The direct cause of his death was heart failure, from which he passed peacefully away at midnight without a struggle. His age was 66 years.
John Hall Leader was born in the city of Cork, Ireland, January 2, 1828. He was educated in the school of the Christian Brothers in his native city, and came to America in 1848. After spending seven years in the eastern states he came to Galena in the spring of 1855 and taught school for a time, after which he entered the service of the Illinois Central Railroad company. In 1864 he went to Montana where he remained two years. In 1866 he returned to Galena and took the situation of baggage agent and check clerk at the Illinois Central depot, which position he creditably filled for 26 years, resigning last year.
When the Irish-American Benevolent Society of Galena was organized in 1878, Mr. Leader was elected its first president, and was semi-annually re-elected 40 times, holding the same honorable position at the time of his death. It is a large and influential charitable organization and has accomplished a vast deal of good in watching at the bedside of the sick and relieving the wants of the needy, a work in which Mr. Leader was always found among the foremost.
Mr. Leader was reared in the Catholic Church and adhered to its tenets and conscientiously lived in accordance with its teachings throughout life. The strictest honesty of purpose marked his career, and he was esteemed and trusted by all who knew him without regard to creed or nationality. His early education was more generous than that of most young men of his day, and through life he enlarged and broadened it by constant reading and study. He was a vigorous, independent thinker and possessed the courage of his convictions. Possessing a retentive memory, well read in matters of history, and having a fund of information, he was a formidable antagonist in an argument, although one of the most kindly and charitable of men. In his death a good man and an affectionate husband and father has gone to his reward. The community as well as the family circle have sustained a loss.
In Syracuse, N. Y., Nov. 23. 1854, Mr. Leader married Miss Honors Donoghue, who survives him with seven children. The eldest son, William J. Leader, of Superior, Wis., is deputy county clerk of Douglas county, John of Superior, is conductor on the South Shore railroad, James H. of Duluth, Minn., is train dispatcher on the Northern Pacific railroad, George is reporter on the Minneapolis Tribune and Frank E., associate editor of the Galena Gazette. The daughters are Dora, wife of W. F. Carroll of Stockton, and Bell, wife of John Cloran, merchant of Galena. The children were summoned home when Mr. Leader's condition became serious, and all were at his bedside when he died.
The funeral will take place from the family residence on Meeker street on Thursday, at 9:30 o'clock to St. Michael's church, where requiem Mass will be celebrated.
Galena Daily Gazette
11 January 1894
The Last of Earth
Funeral of Mr. John M. Leader
The earthly remains of Mr. John H. Leader were this morning conveyed to their last resting place in the Catholic cemetery on the East Side. A very large number of neighbors and citizens repaired to the residence at 9:30 o'clock to look for the last time upon the features of one whom they had long known and esteemed. The casket was covered with rare flowers and floral tributes from loving hands, among which was a large cross from the Sisters at St. Clara's Academy and a harp from the Irish American Benevolent Society. The remains were escorted to St. Michael's church by the Irish American Benevolent Society, of which deceased was president, followed by a long line of carriages and people on foot.
At the church in the presence of a large congregation requiem high Mass was celebrated, after which Rev. Father Shannahan preached a funeral sermon in which he paid a fitting tribute to the character and worth of deceased, reviewing his steadfast devotion to the church, his honor and uprightness as a citizen and his fidelity to every trust reposed in him.
Thence the solemn procession moved to the cemetery, where the last sad rites were performed. The pall-bearers were T. L. McDermott, Lawrence Albert, Ezra Turner, A. McCafferty, John Hart and Joseph Brown.
Submitted by Tim Doser.