Marshall County
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SPERRY, Truman

Truman SPERRY, a veteran in the late war, is a self-made man in every particular. He resides on a beautiful farm on section 29, Hopewell township. His father, Truman SPERRY, was a native of Connecticut, born in 1812. He left home when quite young, going to Dayton, Ohio. In his youth he learned the marble-cutter’s trade, and after locating in Ohio, engaged in contracting. He built a bridge across the Sciota river at Columbus. He married Miss Sarah DAVIDSON, a native of Virginia, then residing in Franklin county, Ohio. They were married at Dayton, Ohio, which place they made their home until the death of the father in 1841. They were the parents of two children – Elias, who was a soldier in the United States regular army, and was killed at the battle of Chickamauga, and Truman the subject of our sketch. After the death of her first husband, Mrs. SPERRY married Charles CARROLL, by whom she had one child, Samantha.

Truman SPERRY, who is the only survivor of the family, was born January 7, 1840, at Dayton, Ohio. His boyhood and youth were spent in that city, and he was educated in its public schools. At the age of seventeen he went to Franklin county, Ohio, and in 1860, married Miss Leah HARRIS, a native of that county, and a daughter of Miller and Eleanor (CARR) HARRIS, both of whom were born in Ohio, the former in 1811, and the latter in 1812. In 1850 her father started across the plains to California, and died en route. The mother survived him four years, dying in 1854. They were the parents of eight children – Mrs. Nancy PIERCE, Mrs. Barbara PIERCE, Mrs. Mary PENN, Leah, William, John, Sophia and George. One son, William, served in the Forty-sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the civil war.

After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. SPERRY settled upon a farm in Franklin county, Ohio, and he was there engaged in tilling the soil when the civil war commenced. In the fall of 1864, he joined Company E, Sixty-sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, at Atlanta, Georgia. Soon after joining the regiment it started on the campaign to Savannah, Georgia, participating in the celebrated march to the sea, on through the Carolinas, to Goldsboro, North Carolina, then to Raleigh, and was present at the surrender of Johnston’s army. It was then ordered to Richmond, Virginia, and from thence to Washington, D. C., where it took part in the grand review. From Washington it went to Bladensburg, where it was mustered out of service and the men honorably discharged in June, 1865. During his entire term of service, the regiment formed a part of the Twentieth army corps. While in the service he was fortunate in never having received a wound or being captured.

Returning to his home, Mr. SPERRY at once made arrangements for his removal to Illinois, and in September, 1865, located in Marshall county, where he has since continued to reside. He first settled in Richland township, and in the spring of 1889, purchased his present farm on section 29, which was but partially improved. The farm comprises one hundred and seventy-nine acres of valuable land, one hundred and forty acres of which are under cultivation. Since coming to this place he has remodeled the house, built the present barn and otherwise improved it.

To Mr. and Mrs. SPERRY five children have been born – Frank married Clemina WINBERN, by whom he has two children, Frank and Charles, and they now reside in Arkansas; Charles married Dora SHAYNE, and now lives in Kansas; Sherman is yet unmarried, and is living at home; Annie, who married Fred WEIR, resides in Hopewell township, and they have three children – Fred, Charles and Leah; Elsie yet resides at home.

Fraternally, Mr. SPERRY is a member of Lacon Post, No. 130, G. A. R., and also of the Mutual Aid society of Lacon. Politically, he was born a democrat. In local affairs, however, he votes for the man. At present he is serving as road commissioner of Hopewell township. Each of his children have received a good education in the district schools, his youngest daughter holding a teacher’s certificate.

Mr. SPERRY came to Marshall county with but very limited means, but with the determination to succeed if success wee possible. He has been a hard and persistent worker, and all that he has is the result of his own individual efforts, assisted by his good wife and family.

Extracted March 2011 by Norma Hass from The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois, 1896.


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