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George B. TURNER 12380 - Harlan Co.

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George B. TURNER 12380 - Harlan Co.

Posted: 21 Apr 2014 6:29AM GMT
Classification: Biography
Surnames: Turner, Bailey, Britton, Posey, Smith, Jones, Cleveland, Crump, Watkins, Harwood, Gilbert, Howard, Mitchell
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A History of Kentucky and Kentuckians. The Leaders and Representative Men in Commerce, Industry and Modern Activities. By E. Polk Johnson, Volume III, Illustrated. The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago-New York, 1912

GEORGE B. TURNER – A strong and representative citizen of Harlan, and a leading attorney, George B. Turner has long been identified with city and county affairs and hs ably filled many positions of importance. A son of William Turner, Jr., he was born March 10, 1837, in Clover Fork, Harlan county, Kentucky, coming on the paternal side of Virginia ancestry.

His grandfather, William Turner, Sr., a native of Henry county, Virginia, came to Kentucky when young, locating in Harlan county, where he remained a resident until his death, at the venerable age of ninety-three years. He married, in 1798, in Harlan county Susan Bailey, who died at the age of ninety-one years. Seven children were born to them, as follows: James; Johannah; Polly; Nancy; William, Jr.; Sally; and Lucy.

William Turner, Jr., was born at Clover Fork, Kentucky, Jukly 10, 1812, and died in Harlan, Kentucky, in October, 1881. Receiving a limited education in the district schools, he began life for himself even with the world. He was engaged in agricultural pursuits during his earlier life, and having accumulated some money bought one hundred and fifty acres of land, paying eleven hundred dollars for the tract. In 1844 he established himself as a merchant in Harlan, and built up a large and remunerative trade, which he held throughout his life. He wisely invested his surplus cash in land, becoming owner of thirty-three thousand acres of valuable land, being one of the most extensive landholders of Harlan county. Prior to the Civil war he carried on farming with the assistance of slaves. He served as magistrate two terms, and was an active member of the Methodist Episcopal church.

William Turner, Jr., was twice married. He married first Elizabeth Ann Britton, who was born in Harlan c county, Kentucky, on Martin’s Fork, in 1817. She died March 13, 1837, leaving one child, George B., the subject of this sketch. Her father, George Britton, came from New River, Virginia, to Harlan county, Kentucky, when young, and here resided until his death, October 31, 1850, at the age of eighty-five years. His wife, whose maiden name was Nancy Posey, was born in Tazewell, Tennessee, and died in Harlan county, Kentucky, in 1880, aged eighty-five years. William Turner, Jr., married for his second wife, Minerva Britton, of Lee county, Virginia, and of the eleven children born of their union, four are living, namely: Susan, wife of David H. Smith, of Harlan; Louisa, widow of Frank Jones, of Harlan county; and Charles B. and David Y. of Harlan.

Left motherless when but three days old, George B. Turner lived with his Grandfather Britton until ten years old, when his father took him home. For six years thereafter he toiled early and late in his father’s store, getting up at four o’clock in the morning and working until late at night. Marrying in 1854, when a lad of sixteen years, he purchased from his father-in-law the place where he now owns and occupies, in Harlan county, and for a number of years made annual trips to the South, driving horses, cattle, hogs and mules, as a trader being successful. In the meantime Mr. Turner read law, and since his admission to the bar, in 1893, has been actively and prosperously engaged in the practice of his profession at Harlan. He has been very successful in his operations, more especially in the buying of Harlan county property, which he has invariably sold at an advantage.

In his political relations Mr. Turner is an uncompromising Democrat, and although Harlan is a Republican stronghold he has never been defeated at the polls. For twelve years he served as magistrate; he was trustee of the jury fund for ten years; in 1873 and 1874 he represented Harlan and Perry counties in the State Legislature; for ten years he was police judge; and during the second administration of President Cleveland served for four years as postmaster at Harlan.

Mr. Turner married first, January 24, 1854, Margaret A. Crump, who was born in Harlan, July 10, 1834, a daughter of John G. Crump, who was born in Bedford county, Virginia, in 1800, and for twenty years was clerk of both courts of Harlan county, Kentucky. Mr. Crump married Eliza Watkins, a native of Jefferson county, Tennessee. Ms. Margaret A. Turner died June 5, 1897. She bore him ten children, off of whom three are living, namely: Nancy E., wife of M. W. Harwood, of Harlan; Louisa, wife of William Z. Gilbert, of Harlan county; and Susan M., wife of Hiram Howard, of Harlan county. Mr. Turner married, April 30, 1901, Dixie Lee Mitchell, who was born in Dover, Mason county, Kentucky, in February, 1865. She is a most estimable woman, and a faithful member of the Presbyterian church.

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