Medora Mary Warner was born on 1/15/1848 in Salina, NY, the daughter of William Orange Warner (b. 7/16/1823 in Clay, NY: d. 4/17/1853) and Elizabeth Tomkins Lines (b. 3/20/1823 in Wardington, Oxfordshire, England: d. 12/20/1902 in Syracuse, NY: m. 1/30/1845 Salina, NY). She had three brothers: Lycurgus E. Warner (b. 12/20/1845 in Salina, NY, d. 10/2/1874 in Kansas City, MO), Mark John Warner (b. 11/25/1850 in Salina, NY: d. between 1890 and 1/24/1898), and William O. Warner (b. 1/16/1853 in Salina, NY: d. 3/12/1937 in Syracuse, NY). Her father died of "the fever" when she was a young girl. Her mother was a strong, industrious woman who managed to persevere through difficult times. Education was paramount in the Warner household and this strong emphasis on education resulted in her acquisition of a teaching license for the town of Schroepple in May of 1865. It is possible that one Ella Warner of Schroepple may have been a relative domiciled within the school system of Schroepple (probably aunt?) but this is unconfirmed.
Medora Mary Warner
On 1/5/1869 she married George Washington LeRoy in Syracuse. Shortly thereafter they moved to Gillmore, PA....not returning to Syracuse until about the turn of the century. George was a grocer. Together, they had the following children:
Frederick Houghton LeRoy b. 7/8/1872 in Syracuse
Kate Warner LeRoy b. 10/9/1874 in Syracuse
Harriet Burt LeRoy b. 11/7/1877 in Gillmore, PA
Ella Georgeanna LeRoy b. 1/21/1881 in Gillmore, PA
Charles Warner LeRoy b. 1/24/1884 in Gillmore, PA
Harris George LeRoy b. 1/11/1887 in Gillmore, PA
Harris' mother was a very religious person who had taught her family that Sunday was the day for church, no games, no fun. Three daughters and four sons listened to her instructions, but did not always heed them. They were irked by restrictions on all sides when it came to Sunday activities. Reading the Bible, attending church and singing gospel hymns were a part of Sunday's routine. All else was taboo.
The youngest son seemed to be more free than any of his brothers or sisters, for sometimes he would step out of line and break rules before he could be stopped.
Such a thing happened one Sunday summer morning. Everyone in the neighborhood understood how his mother felt about games on Sunday. His father respected his wife's attitude but the young people resented it strongly. Her youngest son resented it most of all and on the day that an older group, knowing his outstanding ability as a baseball player, urged him to substitute for a sick player, Harris knew that he would accept the challenge willy-nilly.
It was not hard to make that decision, for on the team was one fellow who he admired tremendously, almost placing him upon a pedestal with his adoration. This was Joe Joyce (editorial note: Joe ultimately became a professional baseball player), several years older than Harris and a seasoned ball player. To be chosen to substitute on this team was glory beyond his highest hopes. He would pitch, oh how he would pitch, to justify Joe's faith in him, too.
His mother's ideas and ideals, all his mother's teachings fell from him like the shell of a nut at the first tap. He must play!
The game was to be at 10:30AM, the same time as their church service. Dutifully, he got ready for church, all the time thinking of the reasons why he should not play, but at the same time, planning his strategy for escaping church and going to the ball park.
First he had to justify his position to himself. The ball club needed him. He is an excellent pitcher. The team cannot win with a weak man pitching and his friend is really sick. Friendship demands action.
Yes, he would play. He was too excited and restless and a lively shadow on the windowsill reflected his state of mind.
His mother, always on the alert when her children are concerned, sensed a change of atmosphere, an unusual stir that might presage trouble.
Three boys who had called for her son so early were older than he and were just enough older to lead him into trouble. What business could they have with him?!
She watched Harris carefully as he ate his man-sized breakfast. He seemed elated, yet subdued, excited but too purposefully calm. It was not quite natural. There is an undercurrent. Something not clear to her is going on under the surface.
She washed the dishes carefully and put them away, prepared the vegetables, and placed a roast in the oven preparatory to having dinner well started before going to church.
Still wondering, Dora looked in the living room where Harris was teasing his young sister and advised them both to get ready for church. She started upstairs to change her dress.
When she returned to the living room, her daughter, Ella, told her that Harris had gone to the drugstore and he would see her later.
Still curious and anxious, Dora walked to church and sat down in the family pew.
"Where's Harry?", a neighbor asked. But before she could answer, another neighbor answered for her, "Perhaps he has gone to pitch the game this morning at Pritchard Field. I knew the boys were going to ask him, but I didn't think that you would let him go."
Holding her head high and bonnet strings aquiver, Dora sailed out of church majestically, but beyond the church door she loped along with ever increasing speed to the ball field."
This was generously contributed by Curtis W. LeRoy. For more information on Medora and her lineage see:
Curtis writes, "I have included my
great grandmother's teaching certificate and her picture. I have reason
to believe that she is related to Ella Warner as noted on the educational
section of the
2000 Curtis W. LeRoy / Laura Perkins