Obit: Truax, Peter (1828 – 1909)

Surnames: Truax, Stokes, Elder, Pike, Avery, Thompson, Wylie, Champion

----Source: Eau Claire Telegram Friday, 19 Mar. 1909

Truax, Peter (24 Feb. 1828 – 18 Mar. 1909)

Peter Truax, one of the pioneers of Eau Claire, a settler here in 1855, died last night at 11:20 at his country residence on Truax Prairie. The cause of death was ulceration of the stomach. He had been ill for some time past, and after a short period recently when his condition seemed to improve, he became worse and failed very rapidly.

The funeral will take place at 2 o’clock Sunday afternoon, from the residence, the Rev. Granville Ross Pike, pastor of the First Congregational church officiating.

Mr. Truax is survived by his wife, one sister, a resident of Black Creek, New York state, a niece, Mrs. Stokes of Eau Claire, niece Mrs. Elder of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, a nephew, Judson Truax, and other relatives.

Peter Truax was born in Steuben Co., N.Y., Feb. 24, 1828. While he was a boy his parents moved to Allegany Co., N.Y., where he later married Sept. 23, 1852, Miss Cordella Avery. They came to Wisconsin in 1853, and settled in Walworth County and thence moved to Eau Claire in 1855, locating on what later was known as Truax Prairie, where he engaged in farming until 1865 when he moved to town and engaged in general merchandising until 1873. Subsequently he engaged in logging and in farming. He also dealt largely in timber lands and invested extensively in real estate. He leaves an estate which is very large, and while no definite information is at hand as to the extent of his wealth, he was generally considered one of Eau Claire’s millionaires. It is understood a large part of the property he leaves consists of Superior and Eau Claire real estate. He also had a large interest in sawmill property of the Cloquet Lumber Co., and in an electric railway in Idaho. He built a residence in Eau Claire some years ago but preferred his country home as a place of abode and had occupied the same for some time prior to his death. At his Truax-Prairie estate for some years he raised trotting stock in which he took much pride, and there he maintained a track.

One of the largest buildings in Eau Claire in early times, Music Hall, corner Barstow and Kelsey St., was built by Mr. Truax, and the top story of this was the old-time theatre. In later days it was torn down, and in this process occurred a terrible disaster costing several lives. It was replaced by the present Kahn-Truax building.

Mr. Truax, from the time he came to Eau Claire, 54 years ago, to the time of his demise, was a prominent figure in the community and one of its substantial citizens. He possessed great foresight and judgment in business affairs, and his acquisition of wealth was due to his native ability to take advantages of opportunities. His strong characteristics were his honesty, his shrewdness, his straightforward disposition in all his dealings with others.

Mr. Truax was in the times of the active Prohibitionist movements in this state one of the leaders and devotees of that political cause and was nominated for office by organizations of that party on several occasions.

Mr. Truax had four brothers, all of whom are dead – John of Menomonie, Nathan of Menomonie, David of Eau Claire and Joseph of Eau Claire; and three sisters, two of whom are dead. The two who have passed away were Mrs. Adeline Thompson of Mt. Morris, N.Y., and one who died as a child. The surviving sister is Mrs. Wylie of Black Creek, N.Y.

Mr. Truax’s father lived to be over a hundred years old and died in Eau Claire.

Mrs. Truax is three years younger than her husband. Mrs. Champion is her sister, Mr. Thos. Avery is her brother, and Messrs. Benj. and Ezra Avery, brothers, are out West.



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