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Fayette County, Iowa  

 Biography Directory


Portrait & Biographical Album of Fayette County Iowa

Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of

Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County

Lake City Publishing Co., Chicago

March 1891



~Page 483~





WILLIAM  P. TRUESDELL, who is engaged in farming on section 6, Putnam Township, is a native of Ohio.  He was born in Mentor Township, Lake County, November 12, 1840.  His grandfather, who was born in the North of Ireland was a sea captain during the earlier part of his life.  He became a resident of America during the latter part of the eighteenth century and spent his last days in Ohio.  There were three children in his family:  Emeline, who died in New York;  Verdine, who died in Wisconsin; and William Raymond, father of our subject.  The mother died when her sons were quite small and the two brothers were bound out to farmers by whom they were reared.  William R. spent the days of his boyhood and youth upon a new farm in Ohio, and received a fair education.  On attaining his majority he began life for himself as a miller.  He was an excellent mechanic and became an expert millwright.  That business he followed during the greater part of his life.  Emigrating west in 1848, he settled in Waushara County, Wis., where he spent his last days, running a brick-yard.  He died in 1852 at the age of thirty-nine.  His wife, whose maiden name was Emeline Palmer, was a native of New York, But at an early day accompanied her parents to Ohio, where she became the wife of Mr. Truesdell.  She died in Cleveland, Ohio, whither she removed after the death of her husband.  Both were members of the Christian Church and in politics he was a Whig.  Their family numbered four children who grew to mature years:  William, of this sketch; Verdine A., who served in the Twentieth Ohio Battery during the late war and is now an engineer of Cleveland, Ohio; Mrs. Mary E. Bruner, of Burns, Marion County, Kan.; and Benjamin, an engineer, millwright and carpenter of Cleveland, Ohio.


Our subject spent the days of his boyhood and youth in Ohio and Wisconsin and was educated in the public schools.  Before leaving his native State he remembers attending a protracted meeting held by Alexander Campbell, the founder of the Christian Church in this country, and President James A. Garfield, whose fame at that time extended little beyond the community in which he resided.  It was necessary, his mother being a widow, that William Truesdell begin life for himself at the age of twelve years.  He worked as a farm hand during the summer months and attended school during the winter season until seventeen years of age, when he learned the carpenter's trade, giving his time and attention to that business until the 1st of September, 1861, when prompted by patriotic impulses, he responded to his country's call for troops and enlisted at Beaver Dam, in Company C, First Wisconsin Calvary.  The regiment spent the winter in drill at Kenosha and in the early spring was ordered to St. Louis where they men were mounted and equipped for service.  They proceeded to Cape Girardeau, Mo., and spent a year and a half in that State fighting the guerrillas, during which time they were besieged by Marmaduke.  They were then transferred to the Army of the Cumberland, and after the battle of Chickamauga proceeded to East Tennessee to raise the siege of Knoxville.  Subsequently they joined Sherman, at Dalton, Ga., and during the entire Atlanta campaign they were almost continuously under fire.  On the 1st of September, 1864, William Truesdell was mustered out of service at Cartersville, Ga., after three years spent on Southern soil.  His regiment lost heavily but he escaped uninjured.


On receiving his discharge Mr. Truesdell returned to Ohio, where on the25th of March, 1865, he was joined in wedlock with Olive Lander.  He followed carpentering in the Buckeye State until 1868, when he came to Fayette County, Iowa, and settled upon the farm which is yet his home.  His wife died in 1870.  Unto them were born two children, William and Sadie, but both are now deceased.  On the 21st of February, 1874, in Michigan, Mr. Truesdell married Hannah, daughter of James and Hannah Silburn.  She was born in Mayfield, Ohio, and they were companions during childhood.  Her father, a native of Yorkshire, England, served as hostler for one of the noblemen in his native land.  His father died before he was born of smallpox and his mother of the same disease when he was three weeks old.  He became a splendid horseman and retained his position until 1830, when he married Hannah Milner, a native of Yorkshire, and came to America.  He located near Cleveland, then a small hamlet, where they spent the remainder of their lives.  The father, who was born in 1800, died at the age of eighty-six years, and the death of his wife occurred in 1863.  He was an industrious and enterprising citizen and became a substantial farmer of that community, his success being due entirely to his own efforts, his business ability and good management.  He was a Freesoiler and Republican in politics and both he and his wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  Their family numbered eight children:  William, who served in the Seventy-fourth Indiana Infantry and died during the service; James, of Indiana; John, who served four years in the One Hundred and Third Ohio Regiment and is now living in Michigan; Peter and Martha who make their home in Indiana; Hannah, wife of our subject; Mrs. Elizabeth Evans, of Indiana; and Alice who died at the age of three years.


Unto Mr. and Mrs. Truesdell have been born five children, three sons and two daughters:  Olive May, James Verdine, Stephen F., Raymond S., and Viola II., all of whom are yet at home.  The farm on which the family lives, when it came into the possession of our subject, was wild and unimproved but now he owns two hundred and forty acres, richly cultivated.  In connection with general farming he is engaged in dairying and is doing a good business in that line.  Socially, he is a member of the Masonic fraternity of Brush Creek, and of the Grand Army Post at that place.  For two years he has served as one of the soldiers' relief commissioners of the county and has been reappointed to the position.  Since casting his first Presidential vote for Lincoln in 1864, he has been a stanch Republican, warmly advocating the party principles.  He served as census enumerator in Scott Township in 1890, for four years has been Justice of the Peace and is also Trustee of Putnam Township.  For three years during the late war he followed the old flag, making for himself an honorable war record while valiantly aiding his country to crush out the rebellion.

~ Transcribed for Fayette county IAGenWeb by Jeanie Belding



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