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Early Life Harry S Truman the oldest of three children born to Martha Ellen Young Trumanand John Anderson Truman was born in his familys small frame house in Lamar Missouri in1884 Truman had no middle name his parents apparently gave him the middle initial Sbecause two family relatives names started with that letterWhen Truman was six years old his family moved to Independence Missouri where heattended the Presbyterian Church Sunday school There he met five-year-old ElizabethVirginia Bess Wallace with whom he was later to fall in love Truman did not begin regularschool until he was eight and by then he was wearing thick glasses to correct extremenearsightedness His poor eyesight did not interfere with his two interests music and readingHe got up each day at 5 AM to practice the piano and until he was 15 he went to the localmusic teacher twice a week He read four or five histories or biographies a week and acquiredan exhaustive knowledge of great military battles and of the lives of the worlds greatestIn 1901 when Truman graduated from high school his future was uncertain College had beenruled out by his familys financial situation and appointment to the US Military Academy atWest Point was eliminated by his poor eyesight He began work as a timekeeper for the SantaFe Railroad at 35 per month and in his spare time he read histories and encyclopedias Helater moved to Kansas City where he worked as a mail clerk for the Kansas City Star then asa clerk for the National Bank of Commerce and finally as a bookkeeper for the Union NationalBank In 1906 he was called home to help his parents run the large farm of Mrs Trumanswidowed mother in Grandview MissouriFor the next ten years Truman was a successful farmer He joined Mike Pendergasts KansasCity Tenth Ward Democratic Club the local Democratic Party organization and on his fathersdeath in 1914 he succeeded him as road overseer An argument soon ended
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