JOHN BURNETT TURNER, the seventh of the family, grew upon the farm,acquired a common school education; was 6 feet tall; weight 165 to 170 pounds; well developed; very strong, straight, erect and good looking, but likely always had too much confidence in "the other fellow" to safeguard his own financial interests.
NAOMA (VIA) TURNER
On Sept. 19, 1838, he married Naoma A., a daughter of Wm. Via, a well doing, respectable farmer. This place is now called "Dodson" She was born Sept. 6, 1821. They settled in a home about one mile north from Hairston's iron furnace, now called Fayerdale, Patrick county, Va. Owned a good farm, a nice, comfortable home; owned four colored servants. There were born unto them six children, 4 sons and 2 daughters, born in rotation as follows:
(1) Henry Clay, born 1839, and died of "Bold Hives" three weeks after birth.
(2) William, born Jan. 17, 1841.
(3) Nancy Elizabeth, born Jan. 17, 1843.
(4) John Burnett, Jr., Nov. 26, 1847.
(5) Mary Jane, born Dec. 22, 1850.
(6) George Washington was born June 6, 1853.
Way back about 1847, unfortunately, John Burnett Turner engaged in a tobacco manufacturing enterprise, bought up a large amount of leaf tobacco on time; also a wagon and team outfit; had it manufactured, placed the team and tobacco in the hands of a trader, who went South to sell. By and by the trader returned, but nothing tangible in compensation for team and tobacco appeared. Under the then law it was merely a breath of trust. But honest (victim), John Burnett Turner, paid all his creditors, principle and interest. But it swept away all his holdings, home and servants. Of necessity he became a renter, and in a sense a dependent.
He leased, for a term of years, a farm of the John A. Hairston lands, on Hales creek, one mile west from Fayerdale. He and his family worked and economized with all their might to recuperate. He never lost his manly pride or dignity on account of unavoidable poverty. But in the circumstances that then existed in Patrick county, what chances had the unfortunately, poor, strugling renter to rise socially and financially?
John Burnett Turner was astute enough to see the propriety of Horace Greely's advice. "Go West." So he removed with his family in Nov. 1857, to Raleigh county, now W. Va. Fortunate move. At that time thousands of acres could be purchased at 50c per acre, that now, 1914, sells at from $50 to $100 per acre. During the winter of 1857-58 he had a long seige of typhoid fever that wrecked the physical powers of the strong man. In thepolitical crisis contest of 1860 he voted for Belle and Everett. But when it was ascertained that Lincoln was legally elected and by a large majority, he said, "The majority must rule, the minority, otherwise anarchy prevails. That he was loyal to his country, and that his loyalty was not bounded bystate lines." He was past age for military service; kept quiet, worked as best he could on the farm. His son, William, entered in the union army in Dec., 1861. A mortal offense, seemingly to the Southern Confederacy, for none other than known provocation, a scouting part of seven Confederates burned his home with all its contents. His took the spoiling of his goods cheerfully, simply saying, "I am one among many innocent sufferers."
In 1870 he was elected Assessor of Raleigh county, and served a term of two years. His valuations of property was much praised for its uniformity.
In 1862 he was soundly converted from nature to grace, and died in great peace May 9, 1897, aged 81 years. His wife died Dec. 11, 1898, aged 76 years. They died honored members of the "Methodist Episcopal church"; and their mortal remains slumber side by side in a little cemetery near Matville, Raleigh county, West Virginia.
Of their children we briefly speak as follows:
(1) William Turner
(4) Mary Jane Turner
(5) George W. Turner
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