For as long as I’ve worked at the library this picture has always been labeled Mrs. R. D. Amy, the wife of last month’s subject, R. D. Amy. Taking a longer look at the picture I had suspicions. These photographs were taken sometime in the mid to late 1880s, years after Mr. and Mrs Amy had divorced. Also I realize that times may have been tougher back then, she has a lot of gray hair for a woman in her late 40s. The biggest and deciding clue was at the bottom of her picture. Written, plain as day, the name L. S. Amy. This is a picture of Leonora Scott Amy, widow of Dustin Amy, mother of Royal D. Amy.
Leonora Scott Amy was born in 1814 in Vermont. She married Dustin Amy in 1829 and by 1847 they and their three children were in Council Bluffs by way of Nauvoo, IL. Dustin set up a successful tin work and hardware business.
Dustin Amy didn’t stay in Council Bluffs very long. In 1851 Dustin left Leonora and his now 5 children and moved to Salt Lake City where he eventually re-married.
Leonora and Dustin divorced in 1856.
Leonora stayed in Council Bluffs for the rest of her life and appeared to support herself through real estate and helping with her son’s hardware business. She owned over 200 acres in Harrison and Monona counties. She owned several lots in the original part of Council Bluffs, including the lot where Broadway Methodist currently stands. In 1897 the income from her property holdings amounted to $1200 a year, which would be around $34,000 today.
In 1863 Leonora traveled to Utah and re-married Dustin Amy. They moved back to Council Bluffs and Dustin passed away in 1868. In 1874 Leonora had a $600 Scotch granite column placed on his grave in Fairview Cemetery.
Leonora Amy lived at 537 5th Ave and was involved with her children and grandchildren’s lives. She passed away in 1899 at the age of 85. She is buried in Fairview Cemetery.
-Mary Carpenter, Support Services Librarian