Biography of William J. Turner

WILLIAM J. TURNER. The life narrative of the head of a family is interesting not only to his posterity but also to the citizens of the section in which he has resided, and this truth is doubly true when such a man has established for himself and his children a reputation for integrity, character and ability, and has been of value in the development of that portion of the country which was his home. Such a narrative do we have in this sketch of Samuel Turner, who was born in Indiana in 1836, and in 1844 was brought to Douglas County, Missouri, by his parents, William and Hannah (West) Turner, and with them located five miles south of Ava on Spring Creek. The father was a Virginian by birth, moved from his native State to Indiana, and from there to Missouri, dying in Linn County of this State, after having devoted many years to the occupation of farming. Samuel Turner was nine years old upon the arrival of the family in Missouri, and was the eldest of ten children born to his parents, the other members of the family being: Elizabeth, Lee C., James M., Jesse, Nancy, Matilda, Anna and two that died in infancy. He grew to manhood in Douglas County, attended the common schools here and became familiar with the duties of farm life and was engaged in that occupation until the opening of the Civil War, when he enlisted in the United States Militia and served until the war closed, from 1862 to 1865, being a member of the Seventy-third Regiment of Missouri Volunteers, U. S. A. After the war was over he became a clerk in the store of Henry Shepherd & Co., of Springfield, and about six months later formed a partnership with Mr. Shepherd and established a mercantile business at Arno, where he remained successfully engaged in that line of work up to his death in 1892, accumulating a comfortable fortune. He was a Republican in politics, at one time served in the capacity of county treasurer, and was always noted for his public spirit and correct morals. Like his father, he always carried on farming in addition to his other business. He was a member of the A. F. & A. M., the I. O. O. F. and had long been connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was married in his county to Miss Sarah J. Lyons, a daughter of Joseph Lyons, who came from Ohio to this State at an early day and settled in Harry County. About 1850 they came to Douglas County, and here in 1861 the father was killed by bush-whackers. He was a miller by trade and owned a good mill on Beaver Creek, seven miles southwest of Ava. He was a Republican in politics also. Mrs. Turner was born in Barry County, and was one of the following children: Orvil, Sarah J. Irvin, Hannah, Josie, Joseph M. and Minnie. Mrs. Turner still resides at Arno where she owns a store, which is managed by her son, Samuel E. The children born to her and her husband are here given: William J., Mary (deceased), Louise, Ida, Samuel, Edward, Sallie, Lillie, Frank and Lois. Lou is married and lives in Oklahoma City, and Ida is the wife of John Maloy of Ava.

These children grew up at Arno, and William J. was educated in the public schools of the place and at Mt. Dale, Webster County, finishing his education in Drury College, Springfield. He started out in business life for himself in 1891 in Ava, and his enterprise has been attended with success. He has a stock of goods valued at from $8,000 to $10,000, owns the store building in which he does business and some land in the county. He is a wide-awake young man, pushing and enterprising, and will no doubt one day be wealthy. He has been active in all public matters, and is a stanch Republican in politics. Socially he belongs to the A. F. & A. M. and the I. O. O. F. He was married to Miss Enola Burrows, of this county, a daughter of Ed. R. Burrows, of the State of Michigan. Mr. and Mrs. Turner have two children: Joe and Kate. Mr. Turner has a pleasant and comfortable home in Ava, and he and his wife move in the best social circles of that section and are much liked and respected.



Douglas County MO,

A Reminiscent History of the Ozark Region: comprising a condensed general history, a brief descriptive history of each county, and numerous biographical sketches of prominent citizens of such counties. Chicago: Goodspeed Brothers Publishers. 1894.

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