In March, 1866, David Turner, Sr., the subject of this memoir, with his son James, while on a prospecting tour visited Kansas. After retracing their journey and making the necessary preparations at their home in Nebraska, they returned to the new country in the month of May, joined the Elk creek settlement and secured government claims. During their early residence in Kansas they endured many of the incidents of frontier lifeand endured them bravely as one who dips into the future and is rewarded by visions of victory and prosperity. The beautiful suburban home they now occupy is the original homestead and proves the rare good judgment David Turner, Sr., possessed.
The Irishman said: "Taking up land in Kansas is like betting $14.50 with 'Uncle Sam' against one hundred and sixty acres of land, that they could not live on it five years." But the Turners won out on this proposition. From the date of their arrival on Elk creek they have been prominent factors of Clyde and vicinity, figuring largely in every good enterprise. David Turner, Sr., was one of the original town company and helped lay out the city of Clyde. He was the first township trustee of Elk township, one of the early county assessors and once elected county commissioner; though a staunch Democrat politically he received his first nomination through the Republican party. He was conceeded to be one of the best commissioners Cloud county ever had. He maintained a potent interest in all enterprises originated in behalf of the people; especially was his influence given to the promotion of the public schools. For years he was a leading man in all matters pertaining to the schools of Clyde, serving several years as member of the school board.
David Turner, Sr., descended from an ancient and honored Scottish family. He left Edinburg in 1849 to make a home in America. He first settled in Dodge county, Wisconsin, where he farmed with the zeal and energy of true Scotch yeomanry for fifteen years. Next they located in Minnesota, but twelve months later we find him with his son forging their way to the new west where as a result of earnest effort he accumulated a modest fortune and power for good, having left an influence with the locality where he was identified for so many years - a name above reproach. David Turner, Sr., was deceased August 19, 1897. Mrs. Turner, who survives him was Jean Law before her marriage and is also of Scotch birth.
To Mr. and Mrs. Turner eight children were born and all arrived at manhood and womanhood and were useful men and women. James Turner, the eldest son, is Clyde's enterprising furniture dealer, conducting the only business in that line in the city. He established this enterprise in 1883 and in the meantime purchased the stock of three different stores. James Turner is one of Clyde's most representative citizens and like his father is active in educational interests. He served thirteen years by election and an unexpired term by appointment as a member of the school board. No man is more interested in the developement and progress of Clyde or more loyal to the general welfare of the community. John, who was a prosperous farmer, died in 1882. David, Jr., a furniture dealer of Anadarko, Oklahoma, was for many years a farmer and esteemed business man of Clyde. William and Alexander are farmers, living on the old homestead. Jean Margaret, is the widow of William E. Reid and the mother of Albert T. Reid, the distinguished artist, (see sketch elsewhere,) George S., Frank A., Llewellyn Arthur and Jean Lucile. Mary E., who died in 1882, taught in the public schools. Elizabeth, the youngest daughter, also taught school at Clyde, before her marriage to Thos. Owen. Her death occurred in 1891.
The Turners are all Democrats politically. James Turner says the first time he voted in Cloud county there were but six Democratic votes in Elk township and three of those were accredited to the Turner family. In religion they are connected with and regular attendants of the Presbyterian church.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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