Putnam County


Like many other residents within the bounds of Marshall county who started out in life with naught but an abundance of determination and indefatigable industry, and a strong and healthy constitution, and who have succeeded through their own diligence, energy and economy, we classify the gentleman whose name stands at the head of this sketch, who, on arriving in Illinois, had but seventy-five cents with which to begin life. He was actively engaged in agricultural pursuits for many years, but is now living retired in Wenona.

Mr. Turner was born on the 24th of July, 1826, near Zanesville, Muskingum county, Ohio, and is the son of Clem and Dorcas (Snyder) Turner, the former a native of Delaware and the latter of West Virginia. They were among the early settlers of Muskingum county, where the father engaged in farming, and there both died. In their family were eight children — William, deceased; Mrs. Nancy Hammitt; Mrs. Rebecca Kelley, and John, both deceased; Jeremiah, who lives in Columbus, Ohio; Benjamin F., of this review; Mrs. Margaret Cannon of Fulton county, Illinois, and Elizabeth D., of the same county.

When quite small our subject lost his mother and was taken into the family of Judge Thomas Ijms, a prominent man of his time and judge of the county court of Muskingum county. In the district schools of Ohio Mr. Turner secured his education and was reared to farm work. It was in 1845 that he came to Illinois, arriving in Magnolia township, on the 4th of March, accompanying the late George Dent, and was there employed upon a farm until 1850.

In that year Mr. Turner led to the marriage altar Miss Hannah L. Miller, who was born at Steubenville, Ohio, January 16, 1830, and was the daughter of Abram and Jane (Porter) Miller, who located on a farm two miles east of Magnolia in 1846. There they made their home for ten years, when they removed to Wenona, where they were numbered among the first settlers, and there spent their remaining days. Her father, who was a carpenter by trade, helped to erect many of the buildings in the village.

Six children came to bless the union of our subject and his worthy wife, namely: William Emery, who died December 15, 1881, had married Nellie Moon and they had two children, Guye Franklin, who graduated at the Abilene, Kansas, high school in 1895, and Harry. Abraham Martin married Ida Snider, by whom he has two children — Nellie and Cecil. Arthur Lee, who lives in Evans township, Marshall county, wedded Mary Work, of Wenona, by whom he has three children — Benjamin F., Morine and Lee A. L.Turner, and he is now serving as supervisor of Evans township and chairman of the board. Charles Marion, also of Evans township, married Lou Carrithers, and they have four children. Jennie is the wife of Clarence Axline of Evans township, by whom she has five children. Stella May, who completes the family, died April 14, 1883.

After his marriage Mr. Turner rented land in Putnam county for six years, but in 1857 removed to a farm which he purchased on section 21, Evans township, three miles west of Wenona, and as it was all raw prairie land he at once began its improvement and development. He there continued to make his home until 1884, when he laid aside active business cares and removed to Wenona, where his wife died on the 13th of November, 1892, and her remains were interred in the Wenona cemetery. She was a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and took an active part in church work. On the i8th of March, 1896, Mr. Turner married Mrs. Hannah E. Seebree, nee Hendricks, of Bloomington. Mr. Turner is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and has served as trustee and steward of the same. For many years he was an active member of the Good Templars society, and took a prominent part in promoting the temperance cause. He is an influential member of the republican party, has frequently served as delegate to its conventions, and has been called upon by his fellow-citizens to serve in several official positions of honor and trust, being road commissioner in Evans township, a member of the city council of Wenona from the third ward, and is now serving his eleventh consecutive year as justice of the peace to the general satisfaction of all concerned.

Source: The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois  published in 1896, page 132.

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