Biography of Dr. Jackson Truesdale
Mahoning County, OH Biographies

JACKSON TRUESDALE, M. D., a retired physician and merchant, residing at Canfield, enjoys the distinction of being the oldest male resident of the village. Dr. Truesdale was born on his father's farm in Austintown township, Mahoning County, Ohio, in the fall of 1820, and is a son of John and Mary (Reed) Truesdale.

John Truesdale, grandfather of Dr. Truesdale, was born in Ireland and came to America with his father, also named John, in 1771. They settled in Pennsylvania, purchasing a farm in Perry County, on which the younger John (the grandfather) was employed at the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. He entered the Patriot army with the Pennsylvania contingent and was in Washington's immediate command. He was proud of the services he could perform not only for the land which had offered him a home, but for the great commander and would frequently tell of his detail to keep the fires glowing in the abandoned camp on the memorable night on which Washington crossed the Delaware and surprised the Hessian garrison at Trenton, who supposed, from the lighted camp fires on the other side, that the enemy, like themselves, were holding Christmas revels. The record of American soldiers in the country's archives, shows that John Truesdale was a brave and faithful soldier throughout the war.

At the close of hostilities, he returned to Pennsylvania and shortly afterward was married to Hannah Robinson. Later he removed to Washington County, Pennsylvania, and in 1802 from there to Mahoning, then Trumbull, County, Ohio, and acquired land in Poland township, as he is listed with tax payers, in 1802. In 1813 he sold his first farm and removed to Austintown township, where he died in 1819, his widow surviving many years. During a large part of this period her grandson, now Dr. Truesdale, was under her care. The children born to John and Hannah Truesdale were: John, James, Hugh, William, Alexander, Robinson, Joseph, Margaret, Mary and Jane, all of whom grew to maturity, but all have long since passed away. All the sons became more or less prominent in the localities where they lived. John, James, Hugh and William served in the War of 1812. William served in the artillery and was offered a commission in the regular army, but refused it. He was elected a justice of the peace in Austintown township, before he was 21 years of age and had to wait until his majority before receiving his commission; he served in that office during the rest of his life.

Robinson Truesdale, a man of military bearing, was elected a colonel of militia. He was a strong anti slavery man, and in religious views was a stanch Presbyterian. He designed the Presbyterian Church edifice at Youngstown and did much of the work of construction. Hugh Truèsdale spent his life, after returning from the war, in Poland township, where he was elected a justice of the peace and served in that office for 25 years. His grandson, James Kennedy, who was a son of his daughter Margaret and her husband, Walter Kennedy, is a member of Congress. All this family of Kennedys have become noted in the iron and steel industries.

John Truesdale, the third of the name in the ancestral line, and the father of Dr. Jackson Truesdale, was born in 1783, on the farm in Washington County, Pennsylvania, and accompanied his parents to Ohio. He assisted in the clearing of the wild land which had been selected by his father. Subsequently he married Mary Reed and they moved to Austintown township. Both he and his wife died in 1825, their deaths occurring but three weeks apart. They had five children, namely, four sons, James, William, John and Jackson, and one daughter, Mary, who married William Bassett.

Jackson Truesdale was the youngest of his parents' children and he was but five years old when he was left an orphan. He then went to live with his grandmother, who resided with her daughter, Mrs. Eastman, in Ellsworth township. In 1832 he was taken into the family of his uncle, Joseph Truesdale, at Poland, where he had the benefit of the best school instruction, both public and private, that the locality afforded, and as he was an ambitious youth, he profited by it and improved his time.

In 1837, Mr. Truesdale came to Canfield, beginning to teach school when only 17 years of age. Subsequently he spent a short time at Oberlin College and later at Allegheny College, but did not remain long enough to graduate. In 1840, he moved to Kentucky, where he continued to teach for a number of years, teaching one year near Nashville, Tennessee. While thus engaged he spent all his leisure time in reading medicine, and after his return to Ohio, he continued his medical studies with Dr. Joseph Truesdale, of. Poland. When thoroughly prepared, he entered a medical school at Cleveland and for ten subsequent years he practiced medicine in the western part of Mahoning County.

In 1854, while residing in Jackson township, Dr. Truesdale was elected auditor of the new county organized a few years previously, the county seat then being at Canfield, and served in this office from 1855 until 1859. Jackson township was thoroughly Democratic and Dr. Truesdale was the first Republican who had ever received a majority of the votes. After the close of his term of office, Dr. Truesdale considered resuming the practice of medicine, but he had never been an enthusiast in the profession, and after due consideration decided to engage in a mercantile business at Canfield in place of opening an, office. Although he has been retired from active participation in business for the past 20 years, for over a quarter of a century he was one of Canfield's leading merchants.

Dr. Truesdale was married (first) to Lola Maria Tyler, who at her death left two children, Henry and Lola. Henry enlisted in the Federal army for service in the Civil War, was taken prisoner by the Confederates and was one of the unfortunate Union soldiers who perished from privation and suffering at Andersonville, Georgia. Lola married Edgar Cummins, residing in Lorain County, Ohio, and they have one child. Luella. Dr. Truesdale was married (second) to Hannah Eckis, who died i6 years later, August 13, 1863. Dr. Truesdale was married (third) to Luceba A. Ripley, daughter of General Ripley, who died in February, 1906. They had two children, William and John. William Truesdale was a man of scholarly attainments, a graduate of the Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, Ohio, and at the time of his death was a member of the Colorado State University faculty, having previously been a High School instructor in Cleveland, Ohio. He married (first) Hattie Belts, who was a classmate and co graduate of his, and (second) Maude Orton. John Truesdale, a business man at Youngstown, with offices in the Realty building, married Clara Justice.

For over 20 years, Dr. Truesdale has been a director and vice president of the Farmers National Bank at Canfield. Although so long retired from the cares of business, he has remained a busy man, turning his attention into the congenial channel of literary production. Through his careful study and research concerning the War of 1812, many soldiers' records have been established, while his interest in the development of Canfield village and township, has resulted in a large amount of interesting local history, which is valuable to the historian as well as to all those who take pride in the achievements of their pioneer forefathers. These are all much indebted to the researches of Dr. Truesdale.

20th Century History of Youngstown
and Mahoning County, Ohio and
Representative Citizens,
Edited and compiled by Gen. Thos. W. Sanderson
Youngstown, Ohio
Biographical Publishing Company
Chicago, Illinois 1897

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