Madison County




By Herman A. Mueller, 1915


          Truro is a thriving little village of about 325 inhabitants, situated on the summit of the divide between Clanton Creek and South River, overlooking a most beautiful, fertile and well improved farming district. It stands on section 15 and the center of Ohio Township, on the line of the Des Moines & Kansas City (Chicago Great Western) Railroad, and was laid out and platted August 3, l881, for the owner, James Hull, by Robert A. Patterson, surveyor. In 1902 the town was incorporated and the first mayor was W. W. Atkinson.


          This stirring and progressing little trading point was first named Ego, but that seemed too bombastic or egotistical (no pun intended), and the change was made within a short time to the present name. As in the township, the village has splendid schools, taught in a modern two-story brick building; church societies, whose places of worship are neat in appearance and commodious, and all well attended. As a trading point the town stands high and with good railroad facilities has established a reputation as a shipping point for grain and live stock.


          The first post office was established February 10, 1862, but was located near the west line, in Walnut  Township, in the vicinity of Ebenezer Church. The office at tills point was discontinued in 1889.   James W. Smith and Samuel M. Walker performed the duties of the office, in the store of the place, nearly twenty years, and when the office was abolished Fred Beeler had been the postmaster eight years.


          An office was established in 1881 at the southeast corner of the northeast quarter of section 21, and named Reed.  Isaac Holmes was appointed postmaster.  In 1882 the office was moved to Ego, and the name became  Truro in 1884. Isaac Holmes remained in the office for some time after the change. Then followed George N. Skinner, George Patton, John D. Hillman, Ella Earl, James W. Smith and others, among whom were the early business men of the town.


          Probably the first person to engage in business at Truro was James Watson Smith.   He settled in Walnut Township with his parents, John and Rebecca Smith, in 1854 coming from Illinois that year. He married Belle C. Walker in 1870 and for a number of years was a teacher in the public schools. Mr. Smith was elected county treasurer in 1901 and served five years, and afterwards engaged in the grocery business.  He died in 1914 at East Peru, and was buried in the  Ebenezer Cemetery.


          The Truro Savings Bank is one of the institutions of the town that has secured a firm footing in the confidence of the community. It is an outgrowth of the Truro Bank, established in the spring of 1899 by J. W. Likens and W. M. Steer, who began business in a one-story brick building erected for the purpose. Here the business was continued as a private bank until April 10, 1911, on which date the Truro Savings Bank was organized by J. W. Likens, W. M. Steer, William O. Creger, James T. Creger, John C. Reed, Charles N. Reed and Benton Jones, with a capital of $20.000. The first officials were : President, W. .M. Steer; vice president, J. W. Likens; cashier, J. E. Walker. In January, 1913, J. W. Likens succeeded W. M. Steer as president and John C. Reed was elected vice president. Mr. Reed died May 31, 1914, and was followed in the vice presidency by Benton Jones. The present official list is made up by J. W. Likens, president; Benton Jones, vice president; J. E. Walker, cashier; A. C. Holmes, assistant cashier. The capital stock is $20,000; surplus, $10,000; deposits, $105,000.


          The Christian Church was organized in the winter of 1856, by Adam D. Kellison, at the home of Ephraim Delong, about two miles south of the present Town of Truro. For some time the meetings were held at private houses. Later, after schoolhouses were built, the meetings were held in the Banner schoolhouse, two miles northeast of the center of Ohio Township. Later, in the early '70s, the meetings were moved to a schoolhouse one mile south of the center of the township, known as the Hartman schoolhouse. In 1875-6 the society erected a church building 30x40 feet, three-fourths of a mile south of the center of the township and about 1884 the building was moved to Truro and was remodeled in 1893. In June, 1898, the building was struck by lightning and burned. The society received $1,000 insurance and the same year a new church was erected and dedicated in the spring of 1899. The value of the property at that time was about two thousand two hundred dollars. In 1911 the church was remodeled at a cost of about one thousand two hundred dollars. The present value of the property is about three thousand two hundred dollars. Among the charter members of the first organization were Ephraim Delong, Hannah Delong, Jesse Delong, Betsy Delong, Reuben A. Creger, Mary A. Creger, Jane McNealy, Rhoda Delong, John Creger, Mahala Creger and Risby Creger.


          Those who have served as pastors of the church are: Revs. Adam D. Kellison, William Deal, J. Z. Bishop, J. H. Creger, Reuben A, Creger, Joseph Anshultz, C. C. Rowley, A. Bradfield, A. H. Chase, S. O. Calvin, W. C. Smith, W. B. Golden, J. L. Towner, J. O. Elwell, E. Fitzgerald, Lamb, P. W. Jellison, John Reed, O. E. Brown, A. Thomas, William Bagley, A. C. Burnham, D. W. Thompson, A. W. Ricker, R. C. Helfenstein, D. Powell, E. E. Bennett and F. W. Hagen.


           Truro has not yet given itself over to the organization of fraternal societies to any great extent. However, it has two or three which may be mentioned. There is Ivy Lodge, No. 483, A. F. & A. M., which was organized on the 8th of June, 1887, by Samuel M. Creger, who was the worshipful master; G. W. Patterson, senior warden, and J. F. Worthing, junior warden. Truro Lodge No. 330, K. P., was organized on the 11th of August, 1898, by C. W. Young, B. R. Rankin, J. W. Likens and twenty-two others. The Woodmen of the World is also established here in Truro Camp, No. 9823.


Transcribed by Judy Wight Branson

Edited by Kent Transier


Maintained by the County Coordinator

This page was last updated Thursday, 13-Apr-2017 16:53:24 EDT .