R. R. TURNER.
1901 BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.
[1870.] PAGE 465.
PHOTOS: 1) R. R. TURNER.
2) RESIDENCE OF R. R. TURNER.
R. R. TURNER, commonly known as ’Squire Turner, was one of the oldest and best known citizens of Cowley County, Kansas, and resided east of the Flint Hills, in Otter Township.
Mr. Turner was born in Gibson County, Indiana, in 1824, a son of Elijah and Margaret (Morrison) Turner.
His father, Elijah Turner, was born in Georgia, and was twelve years old when he moved with his father to Western Kentucky, where he was reared. He went, as a pioneer, to Indiana when it was still a territory, and there lived the remainder of his life. He was a well educated man, and a prominent member of the community. His wife was a native of North Carolina, and was reared in Tennessee. She died at the age of ninety-two years, at the home of her oldest daughter, at Olympia, Washington.
R. R. Turner was one of nine children, and in 1901 had a sister living at Coffey County, Kansas, and a brother, at Ashland, Boone County, Missouri.
R. R. Turner attended both the subscription and public schools, which were then held in little log cabins, where the pupils set on benches and wrote with goose-quill pens. He acquired a superior education for those days, and in his early years was employed as a clerk. His first employment was upon the farm, and he remained at home until he was seventeen years of age, when he began working on flatboats and steamboats, on the river. He returned to farming, and later, at various times, owned several different farms in Iowa and Arkansas.
He lived in Arkansas when the Civil War broke out, and was reported by a Confederate captain to the governor of that state, and a reward of $500 was offered for his arrest. He raised a company of Union men, but, although the majority of them were accepted, he was rejected on account of his health, which was undermined by living in the brush.
He gathered his family together, and got out of the state, with the help of the Free Masons—going to Eureka, Greenwood County, Kansas. He remained there for a time, and engaged in the law and collection business.
In the spring of 1870, he traveled to what was supposed to be part of Howard County, but was afterward included within the borders of Cowley County, where he located a claim on the northeast quarter of section 18, township 34, range 8 east, to which he moved his family, from Eureka, in August 1870. He built a claim cabin—a very good one for those days—being provided with a fireplace, and there the family lived for six years. He then moved to his last homesite and built a larger frame-house, which was burned. It was constructed of logs and natural timber, and was 30 by 16 feet. He was naturally hospitable, and entertained many travelers and early settlers at his home. The Flint Hills were then considered the natural boundary line between Cowley and Howard counties, and Mr. Turner was appointed the first justice of the peace of the community by the governor of Kansas. After the survey had placed the boundary line near the center of range 8 east, his acts as a justice had to be legalized, as performed in Cowley County. He wrote to Col. Manning, who was then in the legislature, and to others, relative to the matter, and the proper measures were accordingly passed to make his official acts valid. He was originally in Dexter Township, but his section of the county was later included in Cedar Township. What then became Cedar Township was divided up into three or four townships, and the land on which he lived became a part of Otter Township, where, in 1901 he was acting as justice of the peace.
In the course of time Mr. Turner bought more land, until he had 500 acres of range, and fed over 100 head of cattle. In the spring of 1871 he set out a nursery, and sold grafts to those wishing to start orchards. His grafts were obtained from Lawrence, and many orchards were grown from his stock. His own tract also contained a fine orchard of five acres. He later disposed of his land to his son-in-law, Jerome J. Wilson, but still resided on his old farm.
Mr. Turner married Winnie Embry in Edwards County, Illinois, who died in the winter of 1892-1893, aged 70, leaving five children: Maggie (Service), who lived near Dexter; Wiley W., Elijah, and Ross R., of Oklahoma; Jane (Bowen), of Cowley County; and Judith, wife of Jerome J. Wilson, president of the Cedar Vale National Bank, and one of the largest cattle dealers and land owners of Cowley County.
In April 1896 Mr. Turner married his second wife, Mrs. A. M. Gillespie (nee Ingraham), who was born in Wabash County, Illinois, in 1832, and was reared in Edwards County, in that state. She was a daughter of Daniel and Rebecca (Taylor) Ingraham. She was joined in marriage, in Lawrence County, Illinois, with Mr. Gillespie, a minister of the Christian church. She was a teacher in the public schools of Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and Kansas, where she taught in Cowley County. Her nephew, W. P. Ingraham, boarded with Mr. Turner, and was attending school in 1901.
Mr. R. R. Turner was raised a Whig and an Abolitionist, and helped to organize the Republican party in Wayne County, Illinois.
He was in Arkansas at the time of the Civil War, and there formed a company of his own and fought the Confederates for one year.
He was sheriff of Greenwood County, Kansas, and also justice of the peace at Eureka. He became a Mason at Jefferson, Illinois, and was a member of the lodge at Cedar Vale.
He was a member of the Christian Church.
Kansas 1875 Census Otter Township, Cowley County, March 1, 1875.
Name age sex color Place/birth Where from
R. R. Turner 51 m w Indiana Arkansas
Winnie Turner 53 f w Tennessee Arkansas
R. R. Turner 18 m w Illinois Arkansas
M. J. Turner 16 f w Illinois Arkansas
Judith Turner 14 f w Kansas
FROM THE NEWSPAPERS.
[BOARD OF COWLEY COUNTY COMMISSIONERS.]
Winfield Courier, Saturday, January 11, 1873.
R. R. Turner, Coroner’s services: $9.60
R. R. Turner, viewer: $8.50
Winfield Courier, September 2, 1875.
Grand Jury. C. G. Bradbury, James Hensley, Henry Harbaugh, Benjamin Burnett, A. A. Chamberlain, L. D. Brown, J. C. Dale, J. D. Elliott, J. C. Chapman, James Perkins, R. R. Turner, G. B. Green, George Eaton, Oliver Miller, and Jessie L. King.
Winfield Courier, September 30, 1875.
R. R. Turner, Esq., of Otter, is foreman of the Grand jury.
THE WINFIELD COURIER. CENTENNIAL ISSUE.
WINFIELD COURIER, THURSDAY, JANUARY 6, 1876.
HISTORY AND STATISTICS OF TOWNSHIPS IN COWLEY COUNTY.
Cedar Township, organized April 9, 1872. No. of square miles: 54. Population at present: 220. First trustee appointed or elected: R. R. Turner.
[RAILROAD MEETING: RESIDENTS OF COWLEY COUNTY.]
Winfield Courier, January 27, 1876.
The undersigned, residents of Cowley County, cordially unite in inviting the citizens of said county to meet in mass meeting at Winfield, on Saturday at 2 P. M., February 5th, to take such action as shall seem advisable upon consultation to secure the construction of a railroad into Cowley County. We desire each paper in said county to publish this call, and we hope that every township will be fully represented at said meeting. Dated January 25, 1876.
OTTER TOWNSHIP: H. C. Fisher, R. R. Turner.
[DISTRICT COURT DOCKET.]
Winfield Courier, March 23, 1876.
CIVIL DOCKET. SIXTH DAY. Barclay Hockett vs. R. R. Turner.
[REPUBLICAN COUNTY CONVENTION.]
Winfield Courier, September 21, 1876. Editorial Page.
The following named gentlemen were selected members of county central committee.
Otter: R. R. Turner.
Winfield Courier, October 5, 1876.
And now comes B. Hockett and R. R. Turner, with numerous citizens of Otter Township as witnesses, and submits their cause of action, etc., to the court for adjudication. It’s a case growing out of the herd law and that’s all we know about it.
Winfield Courier, March 8, 1877.
Squire R. R. Turner, of Otter Township, honored the COURIER with a call Tuesday.
Winfield Courier, July 26, 1877.
MARRIED. J. H. Service, of Dexter, has married a daughter of R. R. Turner’s and moved to the vicinity of Cedarvale. Mr. Service is one of Cowley’s best citizens.
Note: Cedarvale later became known as Cedar Vale.
Arkansas City Traveler, August 14, 1878.
CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATES: R. L. WALKER, NATHAN HUGHES, W. P. HACKNEY, E. A. HENTHORN, H. H. SIVERD, R. R. TURNER, S. P. STRONG.
Arkansas City Traveler, October 2, 1878.
District Convention. DEXTER, September 28, 1878. Convention met pursuant to call, and was called to order and the call read by W. A. Metcalf, secretary of the Central Committee. R. R. Turner was appointed chairman and W. A. Metcalf secretary. The following committee on credentials was appointed: Otter: W. W. Turner, R. R. Turner.
Winfield Courier, June 20, 1878.
R. R. Turner, of Otter, has the largest and best orchards in the county. Peach trees seven years old are 8 inches in diameter. He has an abundance of apples and fruits of all kinds.
[REPUBLICAN COUNTY CONVENTION.]
Winfield Courier, August 15, 1878.
Delegates chosen for the Congressional Convention: E. A. Henthorn, W. P. Hackney, R. L. Walker, Dr. N. Hughes, H. H. Siverd, R. R. Turner, S. P. Strong.
Winfield Courier, August 22, 1878.
A cowardly assault was perpetrated on the person of Mr. Ross Turner by Bartley Hockett in Viers’ shop Wednesday. Turner was sitting with his back to the door when Hockett entered and without giving him the least warning, seized him by the shoulders, jerked him backward on the floor, and struck him several times in the face, and when Mr. Viers and Charles Tennant interfered, he took Turner by the throat and choked him severely. The probable cause is an old grudge, about which we are not prepared to say who is to blame.
Winfield Courier, August 29, 1878.
The COURIER boys are under many obligations to Mr. R. R. Turner, of Otter Township, for some fine peaches this week.
Winfield Courier, October 3, 1878.
The Representative Convention of the 89th District met at Dexter at 2 o’clock p.m., Saturday, September 28th, pursuant to the call. The call, as published in the Winfield COURIER, was read by W. A. Metcalf, and on motion, R. R. Turner, of Otter Township, was made temporary chairman and W. A. Metcalf secretary. On motion, the temporary organization was made permanent.
[OTTER TOWNSHIP CORRESPONDENT: “TELLER.”]
Winfield Courier, February 8, 1883.
Mrs. R. R. Turner, Sr., is lying very low of typhus fever.
BIRTH. R. R. Turner, Jr., is the happy father of a bouncing boy. The father is doing well—so is the boy.
Winfield Courier, August 23, 1883.
Mr. R. R. Turner came over from Otter Monday with a load of peaches, the finest ever grown in any county. They are Hale’s Early, as large as teacups, round, smooth, and sweet to the taste. They went off like hot cakes—especially the bucket-full left at this office.
Winfield Courier, August 30, 1883.
Mr. R. R. Turner sends us several seedling apples of his own raising and a variety propagated by himself. They are very large, of splendid form and color. He desires to have the Horticultural Society name them.
[OTTER TOWNSHIP CORRESPONDENT: “OTTERITE.”]
Winfield Courier, September 6, 1883.
The Republicans of Otter Township in convention assembled on the 30th. Got to business by electing R. R. Turner, chairman, and J. W. Aley, secretary. The following delegates were chosen and will go to Winfield uninstructed: T. H. Aley, A. A. Mills, and John Stockdale. Otter is clamoring for a representative. She has never had a representative and thinks it is about time for the thing to be passed around.
[OTTER CORRESPONDENT: “OTTERITE.”]
Winfield Courier, April 10, 1884.
Mrs. Myles has sold her fat cattle to J. H. Carney.
R. R. Turner and J. J. Wilson have sold their fat steers at 5¼ cents to Carney.
Winfield Courier, April 17, 1884.
RECAP. Sheriff’ sale to take place Monday, May 19, 1884, due to order of sale of property...lots 15, 16, 17, 18, block 2 in Dexter...John D. Pryor, Plaintiff, vs. Malinda Clay, William A. Clay, Barclay N. Hockett, Henry G. Hockett, Addison L. Hockett, Casistrana [?] C. Hockett, Myrtle Hockett, Minnie Hockett, Sylvester L. Hockett, and R. R. Turner, defendants.
[REPUBLICAN COUNTY CONVENTION.]
Winfield Courier, April 24, 1884.
Otter Delegates: J. B. Graves, R. R. Turner, J. P. Hosmer.
The following were elected delegates to the Cherryvale Convention: S. Cure, E. A. Henthorn, A. D. Stuber, R. R. Turner, C. L. Swarts.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, February 11, 1886.
The Cowley County Horticultural Society held its first meeting for this year, with President Jas. F. Martin presiding and Secretary Jacob Nixon at the recorder’s desk, and a good membership present.
One of the speakers reported the following: “R. R. Turner, of Cedar Vale, Otter township, reported to me the appearance of the canker worm in his section last spring. We must prepare to fight them to secure a crop of apples.”
Daily Calamity Howler, Wednesday, October 7, 1891.
Squire Turner of Otter township was in town this week. Mr. Turner is one of the oldest settlers in the east part of the county.