Web Truman Memoir




W. L. Truman from a portrait in the 1st Baptist Church of Gueydan, LA

William L. Truman, Great-Grandfather of William Truman Wayne, wrote his memoir around 1907-10 time frame. It was given to me by his youngest daughter, Louise (widow of Charles Carter Smith of Lake Charles). We lived with her when I was in the 3rd grade, just after moving to Lake Charles.

FOREBEARS: William Lawrence Truman was the son of Richard Doniphan Truman and Amanda Dady, grandson of William Truman and Emma Grant Shipp. Richard D. Truman was the older brother of Anderson Shipp Truman (grandfather of President Harry S. Truman).

FAMILY: W.L. Truman was born in 1841 in Owensboro KY, and grew up mostly in Shelby County, KY. His family moved to Knox County Missouri in 1856 and was living there in the 1860 census. W.L. had 2 older sisters and 3 younger brothers. In the 1860 Knox County, Fabius township census, shows

  • Richard D. age 47 and the following children (the oldest sister was already married):
  • Emma A. age 24
  • Wm. L. age 20
  • Francis N. age 18 - served in Co. A, 1st NE MO Cavalry (Porter's). Died as POW at Alton.
  • Charles L. age 15 - served in Co. A, 1st NE MO Cavalry (Porter's). Also shows as member of Co. B, 2nd NE MO Cavalry (Franklin's)
  • Joseph R age 11

POST-WAR: W.L. Truman (1/7/1841-7/30/1933) settled in St. Landry Parish, LA, and married his "Alabama Girl," Cora Hadden (5/16/1848-11/8/1916) - as described in the memoir. They had three daughters, including Stella (my grandmother - 2/3/1870-1/28/1950) & Louise. Around 1900, he moved to Gueydan, a new town in Vermilion Parish. In Gueydan, he farmed, and formed what is now the First Baptist Church of Gueydan. He is buried in the Gueydan cemetery, south of town.

On a trip to Gueydan in 1996, I had the good fortune to meet a 100-year-old lady who knew my great-grandfather and was very active in the same church. According to her, his main topic of conversation was the war. He wrote a number of letters to the Confederate Veteran magazine and was active in the UCV.

The original typescript and all future reprint or quote rights have been donated to the State Historical Society of Missouri. I cannot grant any reprint or republish rights.

Map of Truman's travels and actions during the period of the war and immediately thereafter:

View W.L. Truman Memoir in a larger map

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