ELDER ISAAC TRUMP, a well known minister of the German Baptist Church, known as the Brethren in Christ, now in charge of the Chicago district of that body, has been a resident of Ogle County a period of thirty-six years. He was born near Canton, Stark County, Ohio, May i, 1830. His father, George J. Trump, was a native of Ohio, born in 1807, and was the son of John Trump, a native of Pennsylvania, but of English parentage. In a very early day John Trump moved to Ohio, and located in Stark County, being among its very earliest settlers. He located in the dense forest, erected his cabin and commenced clearing off the timber in order to cultivate the soil. At that time Indians were still very numerous in the vicinity.
On the old homestead of his father, George J. Trump grew to manhood, receiving a limited education in the pioneer schools. In Stark County, Ohio, he married Miss Rachel Weaver, a native of Ohio, and daughter of Valentine Weaver, who moved from Hagerstown, Maryland, to Ohio in an early day. By this union there were three sons and three daughters: Isaac, the subject of this sketch; William, a farmer of Stark County, Ohio; Mrs. Sarah Gibbs, a widow, residing in Ohio; Lydia, wife of Daniel Smith, of Stark County, Ohio; and Levina, wife of John Barnett, of the same county and state.
George J. Trump was a farmer and manufacturer of lumber, having on his farm a saw mill, from which he supplied much of the lumber that was used in the city of Canton in the early days. From that same mill he furnished considerable lumber to the Pennsylvania Central Railroad when it was being constructed. He was an active, enterprising and successful business man, and was well known throughout northern Ohio. His entire life was spent in his native county, where his death occurred February 5, 1881. His wife survived him some years, passing away in January, 1896.
The subject of this sketch spent his boyhood and youth in his native county and in the home of his parents, with whom he remained until after he attained his majority. His educational advantages were quite meager, but he received a good business training in his father's lumber office and in the mill. Referring to his early life and experience. Elder Trump thus writes. "In 1838, father purchased the Rohrer farm, two miles east of Canton, and on the place was a sawmill on the stream called Hunishiling, with power to run the mill during the year. At that place I spent many happy days, the cares of life being but few. I worked on the farm during the summer, and during the winter was obliged to ride the horses over the grain in the old log barn or stable. This or the Hail, was the only way we had to thresh our grain. When this was done and there was nothing else to do I had the blessed privilege of going through the dense forest to a little log shanty, called a school house, with a few windows, slabs for benches, wooden pins in the logs with boards laid on them for promoted scholars to scribble on, and teachers that would rank in the third or fourth degree. The first morning of their appearance was a scare to the children, as they came with a handful of gads. This was called the gad system. Then the result, if the mind did not work, as they called it, they would mark the back. Thus it would continue for two or three months.
"In 1845, I was obliged to leave the farm and help in the mill, and there spent many a long day, and often until two o'clock at night, when father would take charge until six o'clock in the morning, when it was my turn again. It was as natural for me when in a dangerous place to call on the Lord to help as to eat when I was hungry. This was about the experience of all on this line. At said time a brother, named George, four years old, was drowned near the mill, on a beautiful Sunday evening. Oh, how sad! We did not miss him until the evening meal, when every seat at the table was occupied but the "high-backed chair. " Today, when I see an empty chair, I think of that solemn event. In 1844, my parents sent me to the German Reformed Church to catechise, as they called it. After going once
a week for five or six weeks, I was sprinkled, or baptized as they called it. By thus doing I was received into the church, but am sorry to say had no salvation until I repented and was truly and hopefully converted to God. I was then baptized by immersion. This is salvation, and when thus saved we know it."
Elder Trump was married in Stark County, Ohio, March 27, 1854, to Miss Elizabeth Bowers, a native of Blair County, Pennsylvania, by which union there were four children: Jeremiah W., a farmer of Buffalo Township; Henry, a minister of the German Baptist, or Brethren Church, residing in Buffalo Township; Isaac B., who resides near Jackson, Tennessee, and Irvine, who carries on the old home farm in Pine Creek Township.
After his marriage, Mr. Trump purchased a forty-acre tract of land in the timber, on which was a log cabin and a steam sawmill. He at once commenced clearing the land, and the same season erected a good residence, at the same time operating the sawmill. For the ne.xt eight years he did the work of two men at the mill, while still carrying on his farm. He then sold the land, but retained the mill, purchasing another farm in the vicinity, which he cultivated some two or three years, in connection with his milling business. He then sold the mill, but retained the farm six years longer, engaging exclusively in agricultural pursuits.
In 1863 Mr. Trump sold his farm in Ohio and came to Illinois, arriving in Dixon April 7 of that year. He did not remain there, however, but purchased a farm in Pine Creek Township. Ogle County, known as the Brubaker farm, where he actively engaged in farming (or twenty years. He then moved to Polo, where he purchased ten acres of land and built the residence where he now resides. While yet residing on the farm, his wife died March 13, 1876, and was laid to rest in the cemetery at Polo. She was a noble woman, well beloved by all who knew her, a member of the German Baptist, known as Brethren in Christ Church, and died in the assurance of faith. The Elder, in speaking of this wife, said: "In the fall of 1855 she was truly and hopefully converted to God, which was an event in the history of my life that I shall never forget. It was the loudest call that ever came to me. I do not think anything less could have moved me to think how poor and needy I was, with all my churchisms. Her Christian life was a constant sermon to me. What a blessing it would be if every home had Christian parents. It would truly be heaven on earth begun."
Some three years after the death of his first wife, in Albany, Whiteside County, Illinois, December 22, 1879, Mr. Trump was united in marriage with Mrs. Mary Winger, a widow, and daughter of Abraham
Zook, an early settler of Whiteside County, where, a child of eleven years, Mrs. Trump was taken, and where she grew to womanhood, receiving her education in the public schools. She there married John G. Winger, a native of Pennsylvania and a carpenter by trade. After their marriage they located at Shannon, Illinois, where his death occurred October 16, 1870. By her marriage with Mr. Trump she is the mother of one son, Clayton E., who is yet residing at home.
Elder Trump was converted when about thirty years old, uniting with the German Baptist Church, having faith in the apostolic teachings of that body. He soon after became an active worker in the church, and was ordained a deacon, serving in that office seven or eight years. He was then
elected to the ministry, second degree, and served in that capacity about ten years, being then promoted to the eldership, or bishopric, which is the third degree. While still actively engaged on his farm, he traveled much in the interest of the church, devoting about one-half his time to ministerial labors. Since removing to Polo he has devoted the whole of his time to the work of the church, proclaiming the unsearchable riches of Christ, and teaching the simplicity of His gospel. He is one of the best known among the Brethren, having visited churches in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Canada. His friends are many wherever known, and his highest aim is to do his Master's will faithfully and well.
The Biographical History of Ogle County, Illinois, (Chicago, Ill.: 1899), pp. 370-373.
A. Wayne Webb
Historian: German Baptist Brethren Church
Past Editor: Brethren Roots
Site developer: German Baptist Brethren Books
Site developer: German Baptist Brethren Ministers & Congregations
Site developer: German Baptist Brethren Almanacs, Annuals & Yearbooks
Site developer: German Baptist Brethren Offerings