Colonel Blanden Dies Thursday

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: April 22, 1904

Colonel Blanden Dies Thursday

Pioneer Business Man and former Soldier Succumbs to Long Illness.

His Life Ended Peacefully

His War Record of Note – Prominent in Banking business.

One more pioneer gave up this mortal life when Colonel Leander Blanden passed away Thursday evening. Men, the chapters of whose lives are incidents in the growth and upbuilding of the community, one by one are ending their lives of usefulness and passing to greater reward and the death of Colonel Blanden adds but another to the long list of pioneers who have passed before him.

Colonel Blanden died Thursday evening at 6:30. Death was the immediate result of apoplexy, altho the deceased had been a sufferer from Bright’s disease for several years previous to his death. Death was peaceful, the vital forces which had sustained life during his long illness gradually becoming exhausted until finally the spark went out and a life of seventy-four years was ended. Deceased passed his last moments on earth with his relatives, who were around his bedside when the death angel arrived.

The funeral will take place tomorrow afternoon at 3 o’clock from the residence on the southeast corner of Central avenue and Tenth street. The members of Fort Donaldson post, G.A.R. will attend the funeral in a body. Burial will be in Oakland cemetery.

Leander Blanden was born in Burlington, N.Y., in 1830. There he spent his boyhood days and the first years of his young manhood. When the gold fever spread over the country in 1849 young Blanden like many others in the east started for the gold fields of the west. For two years he remained in California, returning to Burlington in 1851. Soon after his return from California he decided to move to the middle west and soon after settled in Marengo, Ill.

In Marengo he was engaged in the grain business with his brothers and followed that pursuit until the outbreak of war between the north and south, when the young man, inspired by patriotism that led his grandfather to fight for liberty in the revolution forsook the peaceful pursuits of business life for the hardships and dangers of a soldier. Leander Blanden fought for the union as his grandfather had fought against English tyranny and oppression in the war of the colonies against Great Britain. His war record is an important one, and one that was a source of pride to deceased during life, and may well be regarded as such by his surviving relatives. three times he was promoted for meritorious service, first to major, then to colonel, and finally to the position of brigadier-general. It was the title of colonel received in the army that he retained in after years.

At the close of the war, Mr. Blanden returned to Marengo, but remained there only a few years. In 1868 he moved to Fort Dodge, and for thirty-six years made this city his home. During the first years of his residence he was engaged in the grain-buying business, and soon after entered the banking business, for some years being president of the First National bank.

Colonel Blanden besides being among the early and  most successful of Fort Dodge financiers, was also a pioneer in the gypsum industry, a business that especially in the earlier days was one of great importance to the city. He built and operated what is known at the Blanden mill, which was the second gypsum mill operated in the vicinity of Fort Dodge. During the last years of his life, colonel Blanden confined his interests (missing text) and other property, being especially interested in his farms, where he spent many hours of quiet and rest.

Colonel Blanden was united in marriage in 1885 to Mrs. J.M. Berry, who died some years ago. The union was blessed by no children.

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