ALVA C TRUEBLOOD
Alva C. Trueblood is the city clerk of Atchison, where he has made his home for twenty years. He was born in Salem, Indiana, a son of Dr. Joshua and Zilpha (Arnold) Trueblood, who were natives of North Carolina, but were married in Salem. The Truebloods, originally from England, had resided in North Carolina for four generations. They were members of the Society of Friends or Quakers, and, believing in the ardent anti-slavery views of that society, when the great Northwest territory was opened up for settlement, they founded a large colony at Salem, Indiana, where they located in 1815, one year before the state was admitted into the Union. This settlement was afterward known as one of the stations of the "underground railroad," and no person fleeing from slavery was ever betrayed or refused assistance when he reached this community.
Alva C. Trueblood acquired a common-school education in his native town and also attended a select school until sixteen years of age, when he entered upon his business career as an employee in the office of the Salem Democrat, where he remained for two years. On the expiration of that period he secured an interest in the Salem Times and continued in the office of that journal until the outbreak of the civil war. He had studied with deep interest the problems that led to that sectional strife, and believing keenly in the authority of the government at Washington to preserve the Union, he resolved that if an attempt at secession was made he would enlist under the starry banner. At President Lincoln's call for seventy-five thousand troops he joined the army, his enlistment dating April 23, 1860, as a member of Company G, Thirteenth Indiana Infantry, under Captain S. D. Sayler and Colonel J. C. Sullivan. The regiment was sent to West Virginia and attached to General McClellan's command. He thus participated in the battles of Rich Mountain, Cheat Mountain, Greenbrier and Allegheny Summit. In 1862 he was sent to the valley of Virginia and participated in the first battle of Winchester or Kernstown and all the campaigns under General Shields. In July of that year the brigade joined the Army of the Potomac at Harrison's Landing, but too late to participate in any of the battles in front of Richmond. After the evacuation of Harrison's Landing the brigade was sent to Suffolk, in which region it remained until the summer of 1863, when it was sent to South Carolina and attached to General Gilmore's command, the Tenth Army Corps, and assisted in the capture of the forts in Charleston harbor. In the spring of 1864 this corps formed part of the Army of the James, under General Butler, and participated in all the engagements between Richmond and Petersburg. Part of this force, including the Thirteenth Indiana, was sent to reinforce the Army of the Potomac at Cold Harbor, where it arrived June 1st and participated in all of that memorable battle, and was then sent to make the attack on Petersburg, where its term of enlistment expired. On account of meritorious conduct while facing the enemy Mr. Trueblood was promoted to the position of first lieutenant, and January 18, 1863, was made the captain of his company, holding that rank when discharged on June 30, 1864.
On returning to Salem Captain Trueblood embarked in merchandising and was thus connected with the business interests of his native town until April, 1880, when he came to Kansas, locating at Atchison, and has since resided here. He was married December 29, 1864, to Miss Harriet E. Allen, a daughter of Thomas Allen, of Salem, Indiana. They have five children, namely: Albert A., of Sacramento, California; Victor E., who resides in Kansas City, Missouri; Paul B., who is living at Grand Island, Nebraska; Owen H., who is messenger of the Pacific Express, and Nellie, who is now a Midland College student.
Mr. Trueblood has represented his ward in the city council, and in the spring of 1895 was elected city clerk and re-elected to that office in 1897 and 1899. He has the distinction of receiving the largest vote ever cast for a city officer. He is most efficient and faithful in the discharge of his duty and is very earnest in administering the business affairs of his adopted city. Prominent in Masonic circles, he holds membership in Washington Lodge, No. 5, A. F. & A. M.; Washington Chapter, No. 1, R. A. M., and Washington Commandery, No. 2, K. T. He also belongs to the Mystic Shrine and has filled all the offices of the lodge, chapter and commandery. He was one of the first members of John A. Martin Post, No. 93, G. A. R., and has served as its commander. His fellow men respect him for his sterling worth, his loyalty to principle and his upright conduct in all life's relations, and it is with pleasure that we present the record of his life to the readers of this volume.