Lee County IL Biography


William B. Trude, who has been a resident of Amboy since 1855, is well known as an old engineer in the passenger service of the Illinois Central Railroad. There are two families of this name in the United States, one being of French and the other of English extraction. The former is the one to which the subject of this sketch belongs.

John Trude, the founder of the name in America, was impressed into the French navy at the age of eleven years and was held in service until twenty-two years old. On his return home, he could learn nothing of his family, and as the Marquis Lafayette was preparing to depart for America, the young man joined him as an adventurer enlisting in the cause of the colonies. After his arrival upon our shores, he fought in the bottle of the Brandy wine and other engagements, and, at the close of the war, settled at Horse Neek,R. I., where he married an American lady by the name of Baker and lived to the advanced age of nearly ninety years. He reared a family of four sons and three daughters: one son, John, settled in Chautauqua County, N. Y.; another son, Nathan, lived and died at Watertown, N. Y., and another, William D., the father of our subject, was born at Horse Neck, R. I., June 21, 1700. He married Betsey Eldridge, who was born the same year in Washington County, N. Y. Her father was a Revolutionary soldier, and fought at Crown Point, Bennington, Stony Point, and Saratoga. This couple resided in St. Lawrence and Niagara Counties, N. Y., and in 1854 came to Illinois and settled at St. Charles, Kane County, where they passed away at the age of seventy-eight and sixty-three years respectively. Their family consisted of eight children: Amos, a farmer, who resided at Sycamore, IL and there died in 1890; James, who was also a farmer, died near Galena, this State; Alonzo resides in East Saginaw, Mich.; Martin is a resident of California; Phoebe married Sidney Weldon and they make their home in Nebraska; Susan married John Weldon and died at Mineral Point, Wis.; Nancy is the wife of Sanford Hays and resides at Freeport, IL

Our subject, who is the youngest of the family, was born in St. Lawrence County, N. Y., December 29, 1831. His early life passed upon a farm. In 1853 he came to Illinois and stopping at St Charles, he became employed as a fireman on a locomotive, which ran on a branch road at that place. March 14, 1856, he came to Amboy and entered the employ of the Illinois Central, serving as fireman until 1862, and since that date as engineer. He has been in the passenger service since 1864, his run being between I-a Salle and Dubuque. He was married in 1858 to Candice Rolf, daughter of Aaron and Mary Rolf. who was born in Lisbon, St Lawrence County, N. Y., December 25. 1836. Her father, Aaron Rolf, was of English parentage and was a native of Essex County, N. Y. He was educated for the medical profession, but becoming dissatisfied with it lie settled on a farm in St. Lawrence County, becoming one of its most honored and influential citizens and being frequently elected to public office. He attained the advanced age of eighty-one years. To this worthy couple nine children were born, all of whom grew to maturity and of whom the following record is given:

William died at Watertown, N. Y.; Rosella, now Mrs. John Loard, resides at St Charles, IL; Nancy, who married Henry Armstrong, died at Ogdensburg, N. Y.; Elizabeth became the wife of David Getty and resides at Amboy; Sophia, who became the wife of Samuel Wells, died at Baldwinsville, N. Y.; Winter is in the West; George was accidentally killed in the yards of the Chicago & North- western railroad at Chicago. He was the oldest engineer in the service of that company, and was an earnest Christian gentleman. Robert resides in Minnesota, and Candice, the wife of our subject, is the youngest child. She came West in 1855 to visit her brother in Chicago and remained until the date of her marriage with Mr. Trude. Mr. and Hit Trude arc the parents of two children: Fred W., born in Amboy, July 19, 1859, was married in 1881 to Josephine McCormick. They have one son, William Fred, who is a conductor on the Illinois Central and resides at Amboy; Frank K. is a telegraph operator in the service of the Illinois Central. Mrs. Trude is a member of the Methodist Episcopal" Church. Mr. Trude is Royal Arch Mason and a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and also of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. In politics, ie is a Republican. The family arc among the best known and most highly esteemed citizens of Amboy.

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

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