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Sierra County







            Thomas K. Turner, the capable and successful road builder and logging contractor at Sattley, is a member of one of the oldest and best known families of Sierra County, California.  The Turners are of English origin, and the earliest records of the branch of the family to which Thomas K. belongs go back to Thomas Turner, who was born in Yorkshire, England, in 1741, and died at Whitefield, Maine, December 15, 1829.  He was the father of a number of children, one of whom was Thomas Turner, Jr., who was born at Whitefield, Maine, April 28, 1793, and died in California, August 16, 1852.  On March 8, 1828, he married Sally, the daughter of Nicholas Kennedy, of Whitefield, Maine.  She died young, leaving four children, who were reared by their father’s unmarried sister Mary.  They were as follows:  Henry K., of Sattley, California, a graduate of Bowdoin College, who settled upon a large ranch near Sattley and Sierraville, with his brother, Hartwell F., and who served in the California state legislature; Merrick A., who died in 1859, and his twin sister, Calista A., who became the wife of George E. Hale, who was a very early settler in Sierra County, later locating on what is now the Turner ranch at Sattley; Hartwell F., who, as well as Henry K., served in official capacity.  He married Miss Agnes Gallaway, who was born in San Francisco, in 1852.  Her parents came to this state from Pennsylvania by ox teams in 1849, and she spent her childhood in Downieville.

            Hartwell F. Turner, the father of Thomas K. Turner, came to California in 1859.  His father, Thomas Turner, Jr., his brother Merrick A., and George E. Hale, who was the husband of Merrick A. Turner’s twin sister, all from the state of Maine, came to California in 1850.  Thomas Turner died in 1852, and Merrick Turner died in 1859.  When Hartwell F. Turner arrived in Nevada City, California, he was met by a messenger, who conveyed to him the sad news of the death of his brother, Merrick A.  Nevertheless he proceeded to Sattley, then known as Church’s Corners, and settled upon the tract which has since been known as the Turner ranch, comprising four hundred and forty acres.  He improved the place and built a sawmill, driven by water power, in 1882.  He was a progressive man, but finally failed. He died at Sattley in 1922, at the age of ninety years, having outlived his wife by forty years.  She died at the age of about thirty years, leaving four children, as follows:  Harry A., who is represented on other pages of this work; James Mason, a sawmill man and builder at Portola, this state; Thomas Kennedy, of this review; and Daisy Agnes, who is the wife of Thomas Miller, of Sierraville, at which place she is the postmaster.  One other child died in infancy.

            Thomas Kennedy Turner was born on September 28, 1878, was reared on the Turner farm and acquired a f air education.  He did his share of the farm work and also was employed in the sawmill operated by his father and brother.  Later he became associated with his brother in the operation of Turner Brothers’ sawmill.  Thomas K. Turner is an expert logger and timberman.  At the present time he is engaged in road building and highway maintenance, under the direction of Supervisor W. E. Miller, in the fifth supervisorial district in Sierra County.  He is a capable and experienced road builder and is ably assisted by his oldest son, who runs a caterpillar tractor and road-grading machines.

            Mr. Turner was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Meyer, of Beckwith Township, Plumas County, this state, where her family settled in a very early day.  To them have been born six children, as follows:  George F., who is a junior in the Polytechnic College of Oakland, majoring in electrical engineering, and who is a practical engineer and during his summer vacations runs the caterpillar tractor for his father; James T., who drives the stage from Reno, Nevada, to Calpine, Sierra County; Mildred, who died at the age of two years; Elizabeth A.; Edward M. and Frank Henry.  The spirit of good cheer and hospitality is always in evidence in the Turner home and the members of the family are highly regarded by all who know them.  In his political views Mr. Turner is a Republican and takes an active interest in local public affairs.  Kindhearted, straightforward in all of his relations with his fellowmen and loyal to the best interest of his community, he is regarded as one of Sattley’s best citizens.



Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: Wooldridge, J.W.Major History of Sacramento Valley California, Vol. 3 Pages 354-356. Pioneer Historical Publishing Co. Chicago 1931.

 © 2010  Gerald Iaquinta.



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