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Leonora V. Rousseau

LEONORA V. ROUSSEAU.--An able business woman, who is an enthusiastic supporter of Stanislaus County. is Leonora V. Rousseau, the county recorder, who was born in Somerset, Pulaski County, Ky., the daughter of Jesse Wilder, member of a family well known in Alabama. 

He was born in Williamsburg, Ky., practiced law until the Civil War, in which he served over three years as a Union soldier. As a member of a Kentucky regiment under General Sherman, he participated in the famous march through Georgia to the sea. Naturally he was for years prominent in the Grand Army of the Republic and became commander of Somerset Post. Some years after the war he served for eight years as district judge. Having studied civil engineering in younger days, he engaged in surveying and became a dealer in lands and also a large owner. He was mayor of Whitley City, McCreary County, Ky., for four years h e still resides in his native state at the age of eighty. Airs. Wilder was Eliza Higgenbotham, also a native of Pulaski County, Ky., and a member of an old Virginia family. She died in May, 1918, aged seventy-three.

The third youngest of seven sons and three daughters, all of whom are living, Leonora was reared in Somerset County, and attended both the grammar and high schools. She was married in Somerset to Dr. J. W. Rousseau, also a native of Pulaski County, Ky., the son of John W. and Martha (Stewart) Rousseau, who were born in Kentucky. They came of French and Scotch descent, and were planters in the Blue Grass State. When nineteen years of age, young Mr. Rousseau came West to Oregon, and having graduated from Willamette University, he taught school in Washington, Oregon and California, and then attended the medical school of the University of Tennessee, from which he was graduated with the degree of M.D. He practiced in Kentucky, was surgeon for the Cincinnati Southern Railroad, and later surgeon of the Kentucky & Tennessee Central Railroad.

In 1908, Dr. Rousseau located at Modesto, where he acquired several hundred acres. He continued to reside at Modesto until March 1, 1917, when he departed this life. mourned by a widow and three children: Bessie is the wife of Frederick Park of Hollywood ; Opal is assistant in the county recorder's office ; and the third child is James Rousseau. Since her husband's death, Mrs. Rousseau has made her home in Modesto and, while engaged in the insurance business, has directed the education of her children.

In November, 1918, Mrs. Rousseau was elected county recorder by a majority of 2,153 votes, and on January 6, 1919, she took the oath of office. Since then she has installed the loose leaf system of records, the most up-to-date and practical method of keeping and handling the valuable data entrusted to her. In national principles a Republican, Mrs. Rousseau knows no partisanship in supporting local measures. In the practice of her Christian faith, Mrs. Rousseau is a consistent Methodist. Prominent in civic and social circles, Mrs. Rousseau is a member of the Woman's Improvement Club, as well as a member of the Artisan and Yeoman lodges. As an esteemed public official. she is also influential in the State Association of County Recorders.


Source:  History of Stanislaus County California with Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified with Its Growth and Development From the Early Days to the Present  by George H. Tinkham, Historic Record Company, Los Angeles California   1921.

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