The next destination on my Virtual Hike also has a family connection.
This segment of the Virtual Hike started in Dundee Township, Illinois where my Goff ancestors lived. The end point was South Bend, Indiana where Samuel Leeper lived. He was the brother of my 4th great-grandfather Absolom Leeper.
The park encompasses 25 acres and includes several historic structures. One of the structures is the cabin of Pierre Navarre who established a fur trading post in 1820 at the future location of South Bend. The cabin was originally north of the river, but was moved to Leeper Park and restored in 1900.
The park was named for David Rohrer Leeper who was the son of Samuel Leeper. He is my 1st cousin five times removed.
David Rohrer Leeper had an interesting life. At the age of 17 he went to California as a 49’er. He wrote a journal of his journey which is really interesting to read. The book shown above, The Diary of David R. Leeper: Rushing for Gold, is an excerpt from his journal.
You can read more about the California adventures of David in my post California Gold.
After his return from California Leeper became involved in politics and served in the Indiana State Legislature and Senate. He later was elected Mayor of South Bend in 1892 and was then the Police Commissioner until his death in 1900.
David Rohrer Leeper also wrote a book on the Leeper family which has been very helpful in my research.
Someday I would like to actually travel to South Bend and visit the Leeper park.
Now on to the next stop which also has ties to my family history.