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Sierra County








            Among Sierra county’s prominent and successful dairy farmers stand Harry A. Turner, a native son of this locality and a member of one of the old and honored families of this section of the state.  He resides on the old Turner ranch of four hundred and forty acres at Sattley, on the highway leading to Downieville.  He was born on this ranch on November 24, 1872, the eldest of the five children who blessed the union of his parents, the late Hartwell F. and Agnes (Galloway) Turner.  The father was a son of Thomas Turner, Jr., who was born at Whitefield, Lincoln County, Maine, on April 28, 1793, and died in 1852, two years after his arrival in this state.  He was buried at Snake Bar, two miles west of Downieville, on the Yuba River, but his grave was lost and forgotten in the rush of the miners for gold.  He was the son of Thomas Turner, who was born in Yorkshire, England, in 1741, and died at Whitefield, Maine, on December 15, 1829, he being the first ancestor of the Turner family of whom there is authentic record.  Hartwell F. Turner came around the Horn to California in 1859.  His father, Thomas Turner, Jr., the latter’s son Merrick and George E. Hale, all from the state of Maine, had come to this state in 1850 and settled on what is now known as the old Fourrier ranch, lying between Sierra City and Downieville.  Later Merrick Turner and George Hale moved to the present Turner ranch.  When Hartwell F. Turner arrived at Nevada City, California, in 1859, he was met by a messenger, who apprised him of the death of his brother, Merrick A.  He came on to Sierraville and Sattley, the latter place being at that time known as Church’s Corners, and there settled on the ranch left by his brother Merrick, later being joined by his brother, Henry K. Turner.  H. F. and Henry K. Turner also became interested in sawmills and in 1882 built the Turner waterpower sawmill near Sattley.  They ran that for some years, but finally failed, their properties being then sold to parties outside the Turner family.  H. F. Turner married Agnes Galloway, who was born in San Francisco, California, in 1852.  Her parents came from Pennsylvania across the plains by ox team and covered wagon in 1849, and she spent her childhood in Downieville and Sierra City.  She lived to be thirty years old, passing away in 1882.  Her husband outlived her by forty years, dying in 1922, at the age of ninety years.  They became the parents of five children, namely:  Harry A., of this review; James Mason, of Portola, California; Thomas Kennedy, born September 28, 1878, a logging contractor now living at Sattley; Daisy Agnes, who is the wife of Thomas Miller of Sierraville, of which place she is the postmaster; and one who died in infancy.

            Harry A. Turner received his education in the public schools and a business college.  He was reared on his father’s farm and assisted in the operation of the Turner sawmill.  He is now the owner of the old Turner farm, which he bought back from outsiders, the place having changed hands several times before he purchased it.  In addition to his home place of four hundred and forty acres, he is the owner of other farmlands, timberland, and some cut-over land, amounting to eight hundred and fifty acres altogether.  He owns one hundred and fifty head of good grade Hereford beef cattle and runs a dairy of forty milch cows, the latter being high grades of the Ayrshire breed.  His is a hard-working man and is ably assisted by his three sons and his loyal and capable wife.  Mr. Turner has been very active in sawmill operations, having, in partnership with his brothers, built and operated mills at Calpine, Sierra County, and at Sloat, Plumas County, on the Feather River.  He also served for a time as superintendent for the Truckee Lumber Company at Donner Lake, California.  He has now disposed of all of his sawmill interests and is concentrating his attention on his dairy and stock interests.

            On March 14, 1906, in San Francisco, Mr. Turner was united in marriage to Miss Neva Brown, who was born in Ontario, Canada, where she was reared.  To this union have been born three children, Earl H., Frank R. and Gene A. Mr. Turner is a member of Sierra Valley Lodge, No. 184, F. & A. M., and he and his wife are members of the Order of the Eastern Star at Sierraville.  Mr. Turner has taken a deep interest in educational matters and has long served as school trustee.  He is now a trustee of the Sierraville Union high school and is engaged in the construction of a new high school building to cost thirty-one thousand and fourteen dollars.  He is greatly respected throughout the community because of his earnest and consistent life and is one of Sattley’s representative men.



Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: Wooldridge, J.W.Major History of Sacramento Valley California, Vol. 3 Pages 383-384. Pioneer Historical Publishing Co. Chicago 1931.

 © 2010  Gerald Iaquinta.



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