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Guy E. Truitt. To the real lover of nature there is no vocation known to mankind which furnishes more interesting possibilities than the nursery business. Developments in recent years along this line have been as wonderful as they were formerly unexpected and unbelievable. Yet even to the man who labors faithfully to maintain high standards already established there is that satisfaction in accomplishment possible only when an individual works in collaboration with nature and the elements of creation. Kansas had had its full quota of earnest, painstaking men in this vocation who have delighted in their labor and have contributed liberally to the well-being of the community, but few concerns have enjoyed a longer or more prosperous career than the Chanute Nurseries, which have enlisted the activities of two generations, and which are now being conducted at Chanute under the able management of Guy E. Truitt, a man who is perfectly and sincerely in sympathy with his work.
Mr. Truitt was born in Greenup County, Kentucky, July 2, 1876, and is a son of James and Ella E. (Griece) Truitt, and is of English descent. His father was also a native of Kentucky, born in 1838, and was reared on a farm, where he learned to love and understand the works of nature. During his youth he engaged in farming, but gradually turned his attention more and more to the nursery business. When the Civil war came on he enlisted in the Home Guards, but saw little service, and when peace was declared went happily and contentedly back to the cultivation of his plants, his shrubs and his trees. In 1878 he came to Chanute as a pioneer, having become impressed with the possibilities of this region, and not long thereafter founded the Chanute Nurseries. His start was a small one, if compared with business enterprises of the present day, but through persistent labor and with the help of his growing sons he built it up to large proportions, and the business became recognized as one of the city’s regular institutions and one which contributed to Chanute’s prestige. Mr. Truitt passed away at Chanute in February, 1914, universally respected and esteemed, a man whose life among the growing things had put his heart into attune with nature’s best moods and had developed his natural qualities of sympathy and kindliness. Mr. Truitt was a stanch republican, and a member of the Masonic fraternity. He was married in Kentucky to Miss Ella E. Griece, who was born in 1842, in Ohio, and who survives her husband and resided at Chanute. They became the parents of five children, as follows: a son who died in infancy; William, who was associated with his father and brothers in the nursery business and died at Chanute in March, 1914; May, who conducts the greenhouse at No. 219 North Steuben Avenue, the only one in Chanute, where there are 35,000 square feet of glass; Walter, a resident of Chanute, who was formerly connected with the nursery business with his father and brothers; and Guy E.
Guy E. Truitt was educated in the public schools of Chanute, and was graduated from the high school here with the class of 1894. At that time he accepted a position with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, in the service of which line he continued for a period of twelve years, then entering the nursery business with his father and his brothers, William and Walter. Mr. Truitt is now the sole owner of the business, which he had developed into large proportions. The storage plant is situated at No. 28 East Chestnut Street, and its dimensions are 57×112½ feet and 97×112½ feet, the offices being located in the same building. The stock, which includes all manner of trees, fruits, bushes, shrubs, vegetables, flowers and plants, is grown all around Chanute, and is shipped all over the United States, the Chanute Nurseries having a lively market in practically every state in the Union. Many of these products are grown on Mr. Truitt’s own farm, a handsome, well-cultivated tract of 120 acres, lying two miles south of Chanute, where he had all the latest improvements and most modern machinery. He had experimented in the growing of various products and had been successful in producing some new varieties.
Mr. Truitt is a republican, but not an office seeker, although he had always been ready to contribute of his services in the advancement of public-spirited movements. He is affiliated fraternally with Cedar Lodge No. 103, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; Chanute Chapter No. 21, Royal Arch Masons; Chanute Commandery No. 44, Knights Templar; and Chanute Lodge No. 806, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
Mr. Truitt was married at Emporia, Kansas, in 1906, to Miss Nellte C. Smith, daughter of W. B. and Josephine (Truitt) Smith, of Emporia, the latter being a distant relative of the Truitt family of this notice. Mr. Smith is a foreman in the employ of L. W. Lewis, a bridge contractor. Mr. and Mrs. Truitt reside in their pleasant home at No. 503 N. Highland Avenue.