I've been discussing three of John Cutter West's surviving sons
lives in the 1870s and 1880's using the Federal Nonpopulation
Schedules 1850-1880 for the state of Maine. Asa, Jonathan and
Hiram West did quite well for themselves, in my estimation. But
there was a fourth brother, Leonidas. Where was he in all this?

The answer is simple: like many young veterans of the Civil War,
he went West. Leonidas was the youngest son and probably
didn't receive a very large inheritance from John Cutter West's
estate. On 18Jan 1872 he married Valora Abbott and probably
headed west shortly afterward since the couple were living in
Minneapolis MN when their oldest son Otis Leroy West was
born on 8Jan 1873. Leonidas apparently never owned a farm
and his occupation on the Federal and Minnesota Censuses
that I've found is given as "lumberman". In fact, I haven't found
any indication that he ever owned his own home. Minneapolis
City Directories that I've found have him at two different rented
locations, first at "401 North Av N cor. Adams " and then at
"1228 Adams". I think that at least the latter was a rented house
because in the 1905 State Census there are five adults at 1228
Adams: Leonidas, Valora, their three adult children and their
daughter in law. If it was an apartment it certainly would have
been a crowded one! I believe Leonidas rented his home
instead of owning one because of his chosen profession.

Leonidas was a lumberman, and that meant that he would be
off at a lumber camp for much of the year for an extended period
of time. If he'd also owned a farm, that would put a large load on
his wife Valora's shoulders until his sons Otis and Frank were
old enough to help. By renting a home in Minneapolis he spared
Valora the ardous life that women such as my great grandmother
Clara Ellingwood experienced when her first husband Charles
Tidswell went off to work as a lumber camp cook and left her to
manage the farm. I also have to believe that Leonidas liked his
chosen profession because he stayed at it in Minnesota for much
of his life. Perhaps he gained some on the job training working for
his brother Hiram at Hiram's sawmill before he set out for Minnesota?

Eventually age must have caught up with Leonidas. Sometime between
the 1920 and 1930 Censuses he and Valora joined their sons Otis and
frank out in Washington State. Otis was the manager of a successful
lumber and sawmill company and Frank had bought a ranch, and the
winter weather certainly must have been milder than that in Minnesota.
He died there in 1932.

Leonidas was just as successful a man as his three older brothers.
He just chose a different place and profession in which to do it!

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