The Apples Didn’t Fall Far from the Tree
All 9 of Simon Truby’s children grew up in the brick farmhouse he built around 1844. That house, which still stands today at 708 Terrace Ave in Apollo PA, must’ve lived large in the Truby kids’ memories even after they’d moved out and on with their lives—probably like that intense mix of emotions most of us can feel about our own childhood homes. You might imagine the Truby children roaming the farm and grabbing apples & pears from Simon’s orchards, or maybe catching crayfish in Sugar Hollow Run along today’s N 11th Street. Farm chores too were surely part of their daily lives. It might have felt magical to grow up on this modest Western Pennsylvania farm, or it might have felt gawd awful. Or maybe something in between. We can’t know for sure, but we can guess!
For whatever reasons—maybe fondness or failures—Simon Truby’s children stayed close to home once they reached adulthood. Many of his grandkids did, too. Most bought property from Simon or his estate after his death, etching out their own homes on former farmland.
Of course, there’s a tale to tell about each of Simon’s children. For now, though, we’ll focus on where these folks lived in adulthood. At the end of the article, you’ll find a link to an interactive map showing where some of Simon Truby’s children and grandkids lived. And if you have any stories or photos of the houses or their owners, please share by commenting at the end of this article.
Simon Truby’s Daughters
Simon’s 4 daughters—Mary Jane, Julia, Belle, and Hannah—were the first to leave the homestead when each got married, sometime before the 1870s. Three of the daughters married Civil War veterans who fought for the Union: William Henry Henry (Mary Jane Truby), Samuel C Carpenter (Belle), and Sam S Jack (Hannah). [Read more about Apollo’s memorial to Civil War veterans by visiting the Apollo Area Historical Society’s new blog.]
Deeds, maps, and census records show that the properties of Mary Jane, Hannah, and Julia Truby were next to each other near the intersection of N Warren Ave and N 7th Street. Mary Jane‘s and Hannah‘s houses no longer exist. For more about Mary Jane & her family’s Apollo house, see What Happened to Mary Jane and William Henry’s Property in Apollo? The property owned by Hannah Truby Jack and her husband SS Jack, located at the corner of Warren Ave & N 6th Street, is now the site of a business called Steele’s Golden Rule Motors. The house is long gone.
The house below, at 403 N 7th St, was owned by Simon’s daughter Julia Truby and her husband John Finley (J F) Whitlinger. It’s unclear if or when Julia and her family lived in the house, as they owned a few properties, including J F’s tannery near the intersection of today’s N Warren and N 9th Street (the tannery, too, was built on Simon Truby’s farm). Beginning around 1900, the house on N 7th Street was rented by Julia and J F’s grown son Charles E Whitlinger, a plumber who lived here with his wife Rose and their family until the mid-1920s, when they bought their own home in North Apollo. Charles & Rose’s children who grew up in the house below included Guy E Whitlinger, Martha B Whitlinger, Wilda M Whitlinger, Flora Whitlinger, and Wallace Whitlinger.
J F Whitlinger died in 1909, and his widow Julia Truby Whitlinger ended up living in the house shown below, at the corner of S 4th Street and Kiski Ave, near the banks of the Kiskiminitas River. The widow Julia lived here with 3 of her adult children until her death in 1921. The children—Ralph W Whitlinger, May L Whitlinger, & Logan H Whitlinger—continued to live here through at least the 1930s.
Simon’s youngest daughter, Belle Truby, and her husband Samuel C Carpenter bought Lot 4 from among the hundreds of properties plotted on the farm after Simon Truby’s death. By 1896, they had built this house, located at 518 N 7th Street, just around the corner from the brick Truby farmhouse where Belle grew up.
After Samuel’s death, widow Belle Truby Carpenter moved a block away to another home that also had once been a part of Simon Truby’s farm, at 504 N 6th Street. The house passed to Belle’s son, CW Carpenter, after her death in 1927.
Simon’s eldest son Henry Truby (1849-1927) ended up purchasing the Truby farmhouse after his dad’s death. Henry is the mustachioed fellow standing at right in the photo below, c 1890. Henry is flanked by his widowed mother Elizabeth at left and by his wife Sarah Belle Whitlinger Truby at right (she’s J F Whitlinger’s sister). The others are Henry’s and Sarah Belle’s children, many of whom ended up living nearby when they ventured out on their own.
Simon Truby’s youngest son, Charles Hill Truby, became a prominent business man and owned a hardware store on First Street in Apollo. He married Carrie L E Johnson around 1867, and he lived at 601 Terrace Ave, just a block down the street from the farmhouse where he grew up. More about him, his siblings, and his children will come in a future blog post.
Interactive Map: Homes of Simon Truby’s Kids & Grandkids
To get a sense of how Simon Truby’s descendants gradually spread out across Apollo and the Kiski valley, check out this interactive map of the Homes of Simon Truby’s Kids and Grandkids in Apollo and environs. I’ll keep updating it as more info emerges.
Keep reading the Truby Farmhouse blog to learn about the triumphs and travails of the Truby tribe, their friends, neighborhoods, and houses, and share some stories of your own.
Love Apollo area history? Have some free time or some spare cash? Please help to protect our local memories, photos, stories, & places by volunteering or becoming a member of the awesome Apollo Area Historical Society at apollopahistory.wordpress.com/become-a-member.
In an upcoming blog post, look for part 2 of the tale of Mary Jane Truby & William H Henry: Resilience in the Aftermath of Adversity. Stay cool, history lovers!
-by Vicki Contie
Ellicott City, MD
Note: The Featured Image at the top of this blog post is an oil painting by Hans Olde (1855-1917) titled “Woman with Children Under the Apple Tree (Motherhood),” dated 1895.