Leonard W. Baldwin
Contributed by Rene' Treffeisen


Leonard W. Baldwin, a machinist, residing at Oakesville, is a representative of the 
citizen-soldiers of this Republic whose loyalty to the Government and valor on many a
hard-fought battlefield saved it form dis-union and dishonor when the great Civil War
threatened its very existence. He was born in Litchfield, Conn., October 16, 1819, a
son of John Baldwin, who was born in the same town, April 16, 1769. He, in turn, was
a son of Abner Baldwin, who was likewise born in that old Connecticut town, the date
of his birth November 16, 1756. He was a farmer, and carried on his occupation in
Litchfield until 1832, when he came to Otsego County, bought a farm in the town of
Otsego, and died thereon two years later, his death occurring December 2, 1834. The
maiden name of his wife was Achsah Andrus, and she was born in Litchfield, March 18,
1759, and died February 23, 1830. The grandfather of our subject was a soldier of
the Revolution, serving on the staff of General Wadsworth, and was a pensioner in
his last days. The father of Leonard W. passed his early life in his native town. He learned the trade
of a shoemaker, and was engaged in making shoes in Connecticut until 1832. In
February of that year he came to Otsego County, and after buying a tract of land in
the town o fOtsego, returned to his old home, making the journey to and fro on foot.
In April of the same year he came back to Otsego County, with oxen and cart, in which
were conveyed a part of the household goods, and a cow was tied behind the cart. In
the month of June Mr. Baldwin sent a man with a pair of horses and a wagon to bring
his family to the new home. He worked industriously to obtain a competence, devoting
a part of his time to the improvement of his farm, and the remainder to making shoes.
He "whipped the cat," as the expression went, that is, he used to take his kit of
tools to different houses, and make shoes enough for the family to last a year. He
lived to a good old age, and quietly passed away on his farm January 27, 1862. His
wife survived him some years, dying May 5, 1879, in the ninety-first year of her age.
They had five children - Delia, Ann Eliza, Leonard W., Mary E. and George W. The subject of this sketch was a lad of twelve years when he came to this county with his
father in 1832. At that time the country traversed was sparsely settled, and Otsego
County was comparatively little improved. Many of the habitations were log cabins,
and the people wstill retained in many cases the primitive modes of living necessary
in a new county. At the age of nineteen our subject began to learn the trade of wool
carding and cloth dressing, and was engaged in that occupation some fourteen years.
He early displayed a talent for mechanics, and then turned his attention to acquiring
the trade of a machinist, at which he became an expert. In 1862 Mr. Baldwin laid aside his work to volunteer his services to defend the Stars and
Stripes on Southern battlefields, enlisting September 6, in Company G., 152d New York
Infantry, and remaining at the front until the war closed. He was with the Army of
the Potomac. His efficiency and fidelity received due recognition, and he was
appointed to the important positions of Hospital Steward and Assistant Steward at the
headquarters of the 2nd Division of the 2d Army Corps. It is needless to add that
his duties were performed with characteristic intelligence and conscientiousness, and
that he gave universal satisfaction to all concerned. After taking part in the grand
review at Washington, he was honorable discharged in June, 1865. Upon returning home
from his arduous service in the South he resumed his vocation as machinist at Fly
Creek, and has continued at different kinds of mechanical employment ever since. He
is a citizen of approved worth, and in him the Republican party has a stanch
adherent. His military life is commemorated by his membership in the L. C. Turner
Post No. 35, G.A. R. The marriage of Mr. Baldwin with Miss Amanda Brooks was solemnized November 20, 1842, and
for more than half a century they have shared life's burdens and joys. Mrs. Baldwin
was born in Delaware County, April 12, 1822. Her father Abel Brooks, who was also a
native of this State, was a pioneer of that county. He came from there to Otsego
County in 1826, and here spent the remainder of his days, following his occupation as
a miller, and dying March 15, 1878, at a ripe old age. His wife, whose maiden name
was Ora Cotton, died in 1845. In connection with this brief biography is a presented a portrait of Mr. Baldwin.
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