Pages 114-115, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




JASPER S. TURNER—In the early spring of 1885 a new man succeeded Mr. Allaway in charge of the Santa Fe station at Iola. He was an eastern man but had absorbed western ways and western customs in his association with the builders of the Union Pacific Railroad from Junction City to Denver and in his subsequent association with men of the craft on other lines and in other departments of the work. The year 1885 marks his advent to the service of the Southern Kansas Railroad Company, now the Santa Fe Railroad Company, and he was, consequently, in the probationary stage of service when he came to Iola. We refer, in these preliminaries, to the person whose name introduces this review, Jasper S. Turner.

Mr. Turner was born in Medina County, Ohio, February 17, 1842, and passed his boyhood there. The country was all he had an opportunity to familiarize himself with as a boy and youth and his education was obtained amid such surroundings for the time being. In the fall of 1861 he enlisted in Company B, 42nd Ohio Volunteers for three months and upon the expiration of his time reenlisted and was assigned to Company I, 103rd Ohio volunteers. His regiment served in the army of the the[sic] Tennessee and when his second period of enlistment expired he was in Tennessee, and there veteranized. He did not furlough home as was the practice under such circumstances, and as the remainder of his company did, but continued on duty and remained in the field until the last gun had been fired and the last vestige of the Confederacy had been wiped out.

The first year after the war Mr. Turner spent in attendance upon the Mennonite College at Wadsworth, Ohio. His experiences up to this time


had been ample to enable him to cope successfully with his peers in the warfare of life and in 1867 he started west "to look for something." The development of the west was at that time in its incipient stages. The first great artery of domestic commerce to unite the Atlantic and the Pacific was then building and our subject drifted toward Kansas, the initial point in its construction. He secured the clerkship with the Superintendent of construction and followed the road out to Denver and observed its completion to that point. He returned to Manhattan, Kansas, next and entered the station service of the same road, the "Kansas Pacific," and while here was injured and forced to retire from the service, going to Wyandotte, Kansas. He secured a clerkship in one of the hotels of the place and there passed a period of six months. Returning again to railroad work he entered the service of the Ft. Scott and Gulf road as clerk for the assistant Superintendent of construction. Leaving this position he went into the station department of the North Missouri, now the Wabash Railroad, and remained with that system from the fall of 1869 to April, 1884, when he left their employ at Plattsburg, Missouri. He joined the Southern Kansas company the same year and on the 13th of March following took charge of the station at Iola.

Mr. Turner's is one of the old American families. His great-great-grandfather and his great-grandfather were born in the Fatherland and, on arrival in America, settled somewhere on the Atlantic coast. The great-grandfather served in the Colonial army during the war for Independence. He was probably a recruit from the colony of New Jersey, for some of his posterity went from that State into Pennsylvania in the early part of the 19th century. John Turner, our subjects grandfather, emigrated from "Jersey" and settled on the Muskingum river in western Pennsylvania when his son, Alexander, was a youth. Some years afterward he moved over into Ohio and passed the remaining years of his life in Medina County. Among his children was Alexander, the father of the subject of this sketch. The latter spent many years teaming between Pittsbug and Wadsworth, Ohio, served with the Ohio troops in the Mexican war and finally settled down to the farm near Wadsworth, where both he and his wife died. He married Betsey French, who died in November, 1870, just eight years before her husband. Their children were Alonzo, of Halley, Idaho; James, deceased; Maria, deceased, who married Chas. Curtis; Chas. Wesley, deceased: Quincy A., the 1st, and Quincy A., the 2nd; and Jasper S., 1st and 2nd, the latter being, of course, the subject of this article.

Jasper S. was married while he was in Plattsburg, Missouri, October 23, 1872, to M. Fannie Butler, a Kentucky lady. For many years Mrs. Turner has conducted the leading millinery and ladies tailoring establishment in Iola and the Turner block on West Madison, is in a great measure, a monument to her skill and industry. In their relations to the social side of Iola Mr. and Mrs. Turner have been most fortunate and happy. They are a popular host and hostess and they hold the confidence of their townsmen in a high and permanent degree.

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