The deceased was one of the first dozen who landed in Coolgardie in the early nineties, and followed most of the rushes. He was the prospector of the Lennonville mine, which he christened, and from which the town of Lennonville takes its name. Mr. Leonard had been in the Nor'-West for about six years before his death. James had moved to the Pilbara about the turn of the century and in 1903 was mining at Mosquito Creek, near Nullagine. Towards the end of February 1907, James was complaining of being affected by the sun. He had taken charge of a fellow miner, Dave Priest's bullock team and wagon but after travelling for a couple of days, became very ill with heat exhaustion and was unable to travel any further. He let his horse go, still with bridle and saddle on, and didn't have the strength to unyoke the bullocks. There they stayed overnight, still hitched to the wagon. Next morning, James' horse was found about 11 kms back at John Foster's camp, alerting Foster that something was wrong. Foster and another fellow went looking and found James, very ill and complaining of cramps, lying under the wagon. Within a short time, he slipped into unconsciousness and died about midday on 1 March 1907.
At Marble Bar, with no suspicious circumstances, Corporal Street concluded that heat stroke was the cause of death and authorised James to be buried where he died. The Death Certificate states that he was , "Buried in the bush between Gorge and Pier Creek, 6 miles NW of Pier Creek.".
Patrick, one of James' 15 or so siblings, settled in Northam for the rest of his life after deciding that the rugged lifestyle and heat was not for him. Another brother, William, also came to the West but his whereabouts at the time is not known.