Lee County IL Biography


Frederick A. Truman


Frederick A. Truman is among the foremost of the men of brain, business ability, liberality and progressive public spirit, who have been instrumental in promoting the growth of Dixon, and of the county at large. He had not attained his majority when he entered the business circles of Northern Illinois as early as 1861, and from that time he has devoted his energies to various business enterprises, has borne an active part in the management of municipal affairs, and his name is associated with many important movements that have enhanced the prosperity of city and county.

Our subject is a native of the town of Owego, Tioga County, N. Y., the date of his birth August 13, 1843. His father was Edward D. Truman, who was for a few years prior to his death a prominent business man of Dixon. He was also a native of Owego, and was a son of Asa H. Truman, who was born in Livingston County, N. Y. He was for many years a leading merchant of Owego, establishing himself in business in that town before the era of railways, and for some time his goods were freighted by team from Ithaca. He died at Owego at a ripe age.

The father of our subject commenced clerking when a mere boy, and when he attained manhood engaged in business on his own account in his native town. In 185" he wound up his affairs there, and, coming to Dixon, opened a land and loan office, in which he conducted a successful business. His untimely death in 1861 deprived the city of a valued citizen, who during the few years he had lived within its precincts had made himself helpful in its upbuilding. His wife survives him and is still a resident of Dixon. She is the mother of three children, of whom two are living: our subject and his sister Eleanor. Her son, Augustus E., was for a number of years associated with his brother in business, and managed the book and stationery business now conducted by our subject until his death, March 23, 1891.

The mother of our subject was born at Clarksville, Otsego County, N. Y., her maiden name Eleanor M. Soule, and she is a daughter of Charles Soule. Her father was born in Springfield, Mass., a son of Dr. Charles Soule, who spent his last years in that city, where he was one of the leading physicians. The grandfather of our subject was but an infant when his father died, and when he was three years old his mother removed to New York, and he grew to manhood in Otsego County. lie bought a tract of timber near Clarksville, when lie began life on his own account, and cleared a farm from the wilderness. He used to have to carry his produce to market at Albany, sixty miles distant. He was a resident of Otsego Comity until his death. The maiden name of his wife was Dorcas Adsit. She was born in Dutchess County, N. V., and was a daughter of Tames and Phoebe (Smith) Adsit, who were also natives of the State of New York, and were pioneers of Montgomery' County, where he died, his wife dying in Otsego County. Frederick Truman laid the foundation of a liberal education in the public schools of Owego and Dixon, and subsequently attended Chicago University. Although he was only eighteen years old at the time of his father's death, he immediately took charge of his business as a real-estate and loan agent, and has followed in that line since, he early displayed a marked aptitude for affairs, a keen insight into business matters, and has his various interests well in hand, directing them with unerring skill, and so as to turn them to a profitable account He has a valuable farm of live hundred acres near the city, where for some years he was engaged in rearing cattle and horses, but at present he devotes it to dairy purposes, it being well stocked with a fine herd of ninety cows, from which he sells the milk to a condensed milk factory.

Mr. Truman has been connected with various enterprises, which have redounded greatly to the benefit of the city. He was associated with Judge J. D. Crabtree and H. J. and W. G. Stevens in the building of the Opera House, in which the city justly lakes so much pride. In 1873 he became connected with the Dixon National Bank and was cashier of that institution eight years. He was at one time President of the Gas and Electric Light Company, and is a stockholder in the Building and Loan Association, and in various other ways his influence has been felt in whatsoever would promote the substantial growth of the city. Mr. Truman is a Republican, and is unswerving in his fealty to his party. He bus taken part in the local government as a member of the City Council for several terms, and Dixon is greatly indebted to him for the deep interest he has taken in her school during the several years that he has been a member of the Board of Education, of which he is it present President; he has also served two terms is County Treasurer.

Transcribed by Christine Walters - Portraits and Biographical Lee Co. 1892

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