TRUMAN C. POND, who has a wide and favorable acquaintance in Menard county, was one of the honored veterans of the Civil war and in matters of citizenship is equally loyal at the present day. His birth occurred in this county, October 6, 1842, his parents being Samuel S. and Emily (Dufer) Pond. The father was born in Oneida county, New York, August 9, 1816, and the mother was a native of the same locality. They were married in the Empire state in 1837 and soon afterward started for Illinois in company with his parents, it being the desire of Samuel S. Pond to make a home for himself in the new west. He located in Menard county and his father entered land from the government and gave to him eighty acres on which he and his bride began their domestic life. He applied himself with great diligence to the development of his property and subsequently, when his labors had brought to him a good financial return, he purchased more land and at the time of his death was the owner of two hundred and twenty acres. When it came into his possession it was wild prairie, but his efforts transformed it into a very rich and valuable tract. His first house was built from logs, which he hewed in the forest, and it was in that pioneer cabin that Truman C. Pond was born. In ante-bellum days Samuel S. Pond was a stanch abolitionist and his home was a station on the famous underground railroad, whereby many negroes were assisted on their way northward to freedom. He voted with the Whig party until the organization of the new Republican party, when he joined its ranks and became a most earnest supporter of Lincoln and Hamlin. From the time of his removal to the west until within six years prior to his death, he continued to lead a strenuous life upon the farm, working earnestly and persistently in the acquirement of a comfortable competence. He held membership in the Presbyterian church and took an active part in its work, served as one of its elders and did everything in his power to promote the growth and extend the influence of his church. He died at Salt Lake City, Utah, June 9, 1904. His first wife passed away November 2, 1853. Their children were: Adeline, who was born June 12, 1838, and is now deceased; Charles H., who was born September 6, 1840, and died August 13, 1843; Truman C.; Henry K., who was born January 2, 1845, and died November 4, 1878; Jasper N., who was born March 28, 1847, and died February 26, 1848; Frances and Franklin, twins, who were born June 7, 1852, and died in infancy; and another child that died in infancy. After losing his first wife Mr. Pond was again married, his second union being with Hester Darrell, and they became the parents of seven children, but only two are now living: Mrs. Hettie Christianson, who resides at Duncan, Mississippi; and Samuel S., who is now living at Salt Lake City, Utah.
In taking up the personal history of Truman C. Pond we present to our readers the life record of one who is widely and favorably know in Menard county, where he has long made his home. He was not yet nineteen years of age when on the 1st of August, 1861, he enlisted at Petersburg in defense of the Union as a member of Company A, Twenty-eighth Illinois Infantry. He was discharged September 4, 1862, on account of disability, having been wounded in the battle of Shiloh. On Friday, April 4, 1862, the enemy sent out a brigade to test the position of the Union troops. General Hurlbut's division was then put in line and moved forward to meet the advancing rebel column. The night was dark and the roads were muddy, but there occurred some heavy firing for a short time, after which the rebels fell back. The Twenty-eighth Illinois Regiment moved out to the division for a mile and a half and then returned to camp. Early on Sunday morning on the 6th of April, the regiment was called out by the long roll and marched a mile to the front, where it was assigned to a position on the left of the line in a peach orchard. The enemy immediately fired upon this regiment, but was repulsed with heavy loss. The Twenty-eighth held its position under great odds from eight o'clock in the morning until three o'clock in the afternoon. When the battle had been on for an hour General Grant and his staff rode up and instructed the Twenty-eighth to hold its position at all hazzards. This it did until ordered back by General Hurlbut, who commanded the old fighting Fourth Division. The regiment lost heavily in killed and wounded, Lieutenant Colonel Kilpatrick being among the killed, while Major B.C. Gillam was badly wounded in the left shoulder and his horse was killed. Adjutant J.B. Meade was mortally wounded in that conflict and his horse was shot from under him. Mr. Pond was struck by a minnie ball and buck shot pierced his left hand and wrist. He was also wounded in the left shoulder, where the ball still remains. He lay on cornsacks on a transport in Tennessee river for about three weeks and was then taken up the Mississippi river to Quincy, Illinois, where he remained in the hospital until September, and because of his injuries he was honorably discharged and returned home. For three years thereafter he was a great sufferer as his wounds did not heal. At length, however, he recovered his health and turned his attention to agricultural pursuits.
On the 8th of February, 1866, Mr. Pond was united in marriage to Miss Catherine J., a daughter of James and Sarah (Hornback) Killion. Her parents were both natives of Kentucky and came to Illinois with their respective parents. Her father, who was born in 1820, died in 1888, and his wife, whose birth occurred in 1822, died October 31, 1901. In his boyhood days he accompanied his parents to Illinois and afterward entered government land, breaking the wild prairie and felling the timber with which he built a log house. It was in that pioneer cabin that Mrs. Pond was born. It continued the family residence for some time, but was afterward replaced by a substantial frame residence, in which Mr. Killion spent his remaining days. He suffered many of the hardships and trials incident to pioneer life, but as the years passed prosperity crowned his efforts and at the time of his death he was the owner of three hundred and forty acres of valuable land, from which he derived a good income. Both he and his wife were active and consistent members of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, in which he served as deacon for many years. In their family were ten children, of whom five are now living: Robert H., who was born August 24, 1844, and is married and resides in Oklahoma; Mrs. Pond, born December 2, 1846; Maria, who was born October 26, 1851, and is the wife of E.P. Denton, of Iowa; Thomas W., who was born February 27, 1853, and is now married and resides in Menard county; and Amery K., who was born April 21, 1862, and is married and lives in Oklahoma.
After his marriage Mr. Pond turned his attention to general farming and trading in stock. He made many trips to Missouri to buy cattle, which he drove overland to Menard county and here fattened for the market. He continued in active farming operations until 1881, when he turned his attention to the butchering business and the shipping of stock, in which he now continues, making Greenview his headquarters. His business interests have reached extensive and profitable proportions, making him one of the leading representatives of the stock industry in Menard county.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Pond have been born seven children: Francis N., who was born November 6, 1866; Theron Ellis, who was born August 24, 1872, and died January 1, 1873; Tuey E., who was born January 24, 1874, and is now married and resides in Menard county; Bertha E., who was born March 28, 1875, and is married and lives in Utah; Henry E., who was born November 4, 1877, and is now attending law school at Champaign, Illinois; Jennie E., who was born February 18, 1885, and died on the 7th of August, following; and Phyllis M., who was born December 27, 1894, and died February 6, 1895.
Mr. Pond has been quite active and influential in public affairs and his influence has ever been exerted in behalf of public progress and improvement. He has served as president of the town board for about thirteen years, and was filling that position when the waterworks system was installed, he giving personal supervision to that work in large measure. He has served as secretary of the board of education for two or three terms and endorses every movement which he believes will contribute to the general good, while already his efforts along many lines have proved beneficial to his town and county. Fraternally he is connected with the Odd Fellows Society, has passed through all the chairs of the local lodge and has been a delegate to the grand lodge. He also belongs to the Grand Army of the Republic, has filled all the offices of the post and has been a delegate to the state encampment. His activity along many lines touching general progress and improvement have made him a representative and valued citizen of Menard county and he has contributed in no unimportant measure to the substantial improvement and to the commercial, intellectual and material development of this part of the state.