Leonard Dodd was a Methodist local preacher from Garsdale, in the Middleham Circuit, from the late 1830s to his death in 1879. His gravestone can be found just inside St John’s church gates (on the right near the wall) with this inscription:
“For upwards of forty years as a Primitive Methodist Local Preacher, he travelled this and neighbouring dales preaching the gospel of salvation through Christ Jesus to his perishing fellow men, many of whom will doubtless be the crown of his rejoicing in the day of the Lord”.
His first two children were baptised in Wesleyan Methodist chapels in 1833 and 1836, and the Primitive Methodist chapel in Garsdale was opened in 1841, so it is possible that he began preaching around 1840. He, and his chapel, are examples of the unrecorded work carried out across the Connexion.
Leonard was born in 1810 at Garsdale, West Riding.
Census returns identify the following occupations for Leonard.
- 1851 labouring man
- 1861 draper and grocer
- 1871 hawker
He lived his whole life in this small Dales village
- 1841 Pryhill
- 1851-1871 Billies (now Slack Cottage)
He married Isabella Hutchinson (1811-1884?) on 15 March 1832 in Garsdale. Census returns identify six children.
- Eleanor (1833-1919) who married Rev. James Jackson
- Mary (1835- )
- Isabella (1841- )
- Leonard (1844-1927) who emigrated to Vermont, where he was a Congregationalist minister.
- Mary Louise (1851- )
- Sarah (1853-)
Leonard died on 17 July 1879 at Garsdale
His widow and youngest daughter are recorded in 1881 as living in a cottage next door to the chapel.
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers
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