Wm. Turner, son of John B. and Naoma A. was born in Patrick county, Va., Jan. 17, 1841. What pity he had not been favored with a classical education. Nine months in detached intervals in rude country schools, was the some of his educational opportunity. Still it must be said he is a scholar. Has always been a student and closest observer of men and things. Had a retentive memory; an expert judge of men and their motives. His aspirations, ideals and cravings are of a lofty character. Combative but an open fighter; unswerving in purpose, but governed by reason. In politics, Republican. Voted for Lincoln in 1864, and Taft in 1912. In religion, Methodist Episcopal. Has met the exigencies of life successfully; has filled many positions of trust and responsibility.
Enlisted in the Union army in Dec., 1861, as a private; was commissioned a captain Feb. 11, 1864, and honorable discharged Aug. 1, 1865. Was severely wounded in action June 8, 1862, at the battle of Cross Keys. On April 11, 1866, he married Martha Doliver, a daughter of Hon. James H. Hinchman; of Logan county, W. Va. He settled his home at Matville, Raleigh county, W. Va. Was appointed postmaster, which position he and his wife alternately held for 34 years. In 1867 was elected Survey or Lands, and served out two consecutive terms. Was school commissioner and trustee for 15 years.
Under General Grant's administration was appointed, commissioned and served 4 years as U. S. Internal Revenue Assessor and Distillery Surveyor for the 6th Div. 3rd Dist. W. Va.
On Feb. 10, 1871, he was licensed a local preacher of the Methodist Episcopal church, which license are still annually renewed. He was energetic, forceful, and effective until his voice failed about 1900 on account of bronchial trouble. For anumber of years he was in active politics as organizer, committeeman, writer, speaker and delegate to conventions, but never an office seeker, as refusal to accept a tendered nomination for State Senator in a district where nomination was equivolent to an election shows. Office came to him, usually unsought. He seved two years as a member of the school book board of Raleigh county, W. Va. Scholarship was required and he was not found wanting.
In 1902, on account of securing better educational advantages, he sold his personal and a part of his realty for $20,000 and removed to Barboursville, Cabell county, W. Va., the location of the splendid Morris Harvey College. He was elected and served as corporation counselman two terms.
In 1910 he and his wife visited Washington, D.C., looked over the city, liked it, and purchased for themselves a $5,000 home and had it conveyed to them as "joint tenants." They occupy it through the winter and spring, spending their summer and autumn in West Virginia.
They own valuable property in Raleigh, Logan and Cabell counties, W. Va. In Suffolk, Va., Milmay, N. J., several hundred shares of stock in western mining companies, bank stock, and other interest of minor importance.
But their greatest legacy is their 9 fine living children, ranging ages, the youngest 24 to 47 the oldest; all well situated, and six of the nine are college graduates; one P. H. D. Prof. of Economics in Cornell University, N. Y.; two M. D.'s, one P. H. G., one C. E. and Draftsman, one Real Estate, one Elocutionist, and China Decorator. All are workers, all Republicans, all Methodists and all proud of Turner name. Four of their sons-in-law are Democrats, but good and acceptable all the same. No recantations desired.