From A Biographical History of Central
Kansas, Vol. II, p. 925
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902
Richard B. Truesdell
With the building interests of Sterling Richard Ransom Truesdell is prominently connected. He is a carpenter and contractor, and many of the substantial structures of the town stand as monuments to his skill, enterprise and business ability. He was born in Steuben, Oneida county, New York, February 18, 1832. His father, Cyrus Pearl Truesdell, was born in the township of Butternuts, in Otsego county, New York, July 10, 1805, and the grandfather, Ransom Truesdell, was a native of Massachusetts, but traveled to Gilbertsville, New York, on horseback with his wife behind him on the same animal. Mrs. Truesdell bore the maiden name of Sarah Abiah George. They made the journey about 1790, and in their new home became identified with farming interests. They were Orthodox church members and brought up their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. They reared a family of seven sons and daughters and lost one child. Harvey Truesdell went to LaPorte, Indiana, and is still living there, but the other members of the family have passed away. The grandfather of our subject served in the war of 1812, and died at the ripe old age of eighty-eight years. A few sad and lonely years were passed by his wife before she, too, was called to her final rest, passing away on the old homestead farm, which since the death of the parents has been sold. Arriving at years of maturity Cyrus P Truesdell married Miss Miranda Platt, whose parents were natives of England, and after crossing the Atlantic to the new world took up their abode in Steuben, Oneida county, New York. There the father of our subject learned the carpenter's trade, and there in the year 1825 he was married. After several years he removed with his family to Westernville, New York, where his wife died in 1861, being survived by four of five children, namely: Bera Ann, who became the wife of Charles Paddock, and removed to Whiteside county, Illinois, where she died, leaving two children; Rhoda Amanda, the wife of Jerome B Potter, of Sauk county, Wisconsin, a man of prominence in political circles and in railroad enterprises; Richard Ransom of this review; Emily Almira, the wife of John Paddock, who died at Gilbertsville, New York in 1890. After the death of his first wife the father was again married, and his death occurred in 1889.
Richard R Truesdell, whose name introduces this sketch, received a very meager common-school education. He worked early and late in his youth, providing for his own support from the time he was fifteen years of age. He secured a situation as a farm hand and afterward learned the carpenter's trade at Westernville, New York. He has followed that pursuit throughout his entire business career, save when in September, 1862, he responded to the country's call for troops to aid in crushing out the rebellion, enlisting at Rome, New York, in the Third New York Artillery, light battery, H. He served for nearly three years and at the close of the war was discharged, in July, 1865. He was three times slightly wounded and is now given a pension of six dollars a month as a compensation to him for the sufferings he sustained.
When the war was over Mr. Truesdell returned to his home and family. He had been married on the 3rd of July, 1855, to Miss Fannie Wheelock, of Oneida county, New York, who was born December 23, 1839, a daughter of Phillip and Phebe (Fuller) Wheelock. Mr. and Mrs. Truesdell began their domestic life in the Empire state, residing in Oneida county until 1867, when they removed to Butternuts township, Otsego county, locating upon the grandfather's farm, where they remained until 1873, when they came to Kansas, settling at Sterling. Mr. Truesdell arrived in February, of that year, and in May, 1874, he was joined by his wife and children. In December, 1876, he established his shop and has since been a leading contractor and builder at this place. His work includes more than one-half of the brick work that has been executed since his arrival. He has his shop on Broadway and it is equipped with a good engine and a variety of machines and lathes, which are placed upon a solid foundation and finely adjusted, enabling him to execute splendid workmanship. One of his sons, Harvey L Truesdell, is recognized as a very superior mechanic, possessing rare ability in that direction. In addition to his shop he owns a large lot on Main street and has a pleasant residence at the corner of Adams and Eighth streets.
The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Truesdell has been blessed with six children, namely: Mary Emma, the wife of T E Hinshaw, who is now in Lyons, Kansas; Sarah Ellen, the wife of Sylvanus T Stubbs, by whom she has three children; Harvey, who is married and has two sons and two daughters; Fannie Maria, the wife of J R Coulter, who is now residing in Parker county, Texas, and by whom she has a daughter three years of age; Rosa, the wife of Ed M Hinshaw, a successful teacher of the county; and Benjamin William, who is a tall and active young man of scholarly tastes and attainments. He was graduated in the Sterling high school at the age of eighteen years and is now a successful teacher. In his political views, Mr. Truesdell is a stalwart Republican, having voted for the men and measures of the party since casting his ballot for John C Fremont in 1856. He has been a justice of the peace and police judge. By all who know him he is held in high regard on account of his fidelity to duty, his faithfulness in meeting all obligations and his reliability in business circles.