Marshall County

TURNER, Arthur L.

Arthur L. TURNER is serving for the second term as president of the school board. Activity and enterprise in former years have enabled him to live retired now from active business cares and his time and energies are largely given to the public service, the community recognizing in him a valued citizen. He was born in Hopetown, La Salle county, Illinois, March 22, 1856, and is a son of Benjamin P. and Hannah L. (MILLER) TURNER. The former was born on the 24th of July, 1826, near Zanesville, Muskingum county, Ohio, and his parents were 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 his early boyhood days Benjamin F. TURNER lost his mother and was reared in 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. He came to Illinois in 1845, arriving in Magnolia township, Putnam county, on the 4th of March, accompanying the late George DENT, and was there employed at farm labor until 1850. In that year he married Miss Hannah L. MILLER, who was born at Steubenville, Ohio, January 16, 1830, and was a daughter of Abram and Jane (PORTER) MILLER, who in 1846 located on a farm two miles east of Magnolia. 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 B. F. TURNER and his worthy wife, namely: William E., born September 1, 1851 ; Martin M., December 8, 1853; Arthur L., March 22, 1856 ; Charles M., October 37, 1860; Hulda J., July 6, 1863; and Estella M., May 17, 1870. William Emery, who died December 15, 1881, had married Nellie MOON and they had two children, Guy 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 township, wedded Mary WORK, of Wenona, by whom he has three children: Benjamin F., Mary Maurine and Arthur Lynn TURNER. He is now serving as supervisor of Evans township. Charles Marion, also of Evans township, married Lou CARRITHERS, and they have five children. Jennie is the wife of Clarence AXLINE, of Evans township, by whom she has seven children. Estella 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 18th of March, 1896, Mr. TURNER married Mrs. Hannah E. SEEBREE, nee HENDRICKS, of Bloomington. Mr. TURNER was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and had served as trustee and steward of the same. His death occurred September 24, 1901. For many years he was an active member of the Good Templars society, and took a prominent part in promoting the temperance cause. He was an influential member of the republican party, and frequently served as delegate to its' conventions, and was called upon by his fellow citizens to serve in several official positions of honor and trust. He was road commissioner in Evans township, was a member of the city council of Wenona from the third ward and served for many years as justice of the peace.

Arthur L. TURNER, whose name introduces this record, was brought to Marshall county when only a year old and was reared on the old homestead farm on section 21, Evans township. When he had mastered the branches of learning taught in the district schools he continued his studies in the high school at Wenona and was afterward a student in Eureka college, where he completed his literary training in 1877. Subsequently he engaged in teaching for eight years and then, devoting his entire time and attention to farming, he successfully carried on agricultural pursuits for about two decades. It was in 1883 that he located upon a farm on section 22, Evans township, comprising one hundred and twenty acres of valuable land. He added many substantial improvements to the place and brought his fields under a high state of cultivation, so that he annually harvested good crops. As the years have passed by he has also added to his property until he now owns a half section of fine land pleasantly and conveniently located about two and a half miles from Wenona. He remained upon the farm until September, 1902, when he removed to Wenona, where he now resides.

On the 26th of December, 1882, Mr. TURNER was joined in wedlock to Miss Mary T. WORK, who was born in Osage township, La Salle county, April 7, 1856, and is a daughter of James B. and Sarah A. (MILLER) WORK, both natives of Pennsylvania, but who were married in Whiteside county, Illinois. Her father came to Marshall county in 1836, which was his home until the fall of 1855, when he moved to Osage township, La Salle county, locating upon a farm which he greatly improved. He had previously been married, having by the first union three sons: Albert, deceased; William, of the state of Washington; and James, of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Albert and William aided their country in the preservation of the Union during the Civil war. The father, who was a life-long member of the Presbyterian church, in which he served as elder for twenty-five years, died on the 7th of September, 1880. He was deeply imbued with the doctrines of abolitionism; his home became a station on the underground railroad, and was one of three who formed the republican party in the locality where he made his home. He was quite an unassuming man, but took a very active part in matters pertaining to his party, and served as census enumerator in his township.

Mrs. TURNER is the oldest in the family of six children, the others being Grace G., Maggie, Lizzie, Edward and Hattie P. She was educated in the Wenona high school and is a cultured, refined lady, who extends a hearty hospitality to their many friends. Unto Mr. and Mrs. TURNER were born two sons and a daughter: Benjamin F., Mary Maurine and Arthur Lynn, but their eldest son was drowned on the 5th of June, 1905.

In politics Mr. TURNER is a stalwart republican, who has taken an active interest in the work of the party and has frequently served as a delegate to the county, senatorial, congressional and state conventions. He has served as a member of the county central committee, has filled the office of township supervisor for fourteen years and has been chairman of the board. He is now serving for the second term as president of the Wenona school board and is a stalwart champion of the cause of public education, while his efforts in its behalf are of a practical and far-reaching nature. He is the secretary of the Farmers' Insurance Company, which office he has filled for twenty-three years and he is identified with several fraternal organizations. He has been counsel of the Modern Woodmen camp at Wenona for several years and is president of the Yeomen. He takes an active interest in the growth and progress of the city and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, in which he is serving as steward. His wife is an earnest worker in the Presbyterian church and they are prominent socially, occupying an enviable position in the circles where true worth and intelligence are received as the passports into good society.

Extracted June 2011 by Norma Hass from Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois, 1907.

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