Search billions of records on


Kansas is pre-eminently an agricultural state and its rich products furnish an important part of the food supply of the country. Agriculture is the most ancient as well as one of the most honorable vocations to which man can direct his energies, and in the majority of cases where men have become prominent in other walks of life, it is found that their early years were spent upon the farm. Mr. Turkleson, of this review, is one who is successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits, in Wolf River township, Doniphan county, and by his well-directed efforts he has become the possessor of a very valuable property. He pre-empted a claim here in 1857, on section 21, township 3, range 20, and since that time he has devoted his energies to the tilling of the soil, meeting with a very creditable success.

As his name indicates, Mr. Turkleson is a native of Norway, his birth having occurred near Christiansand in the southern section of the Scandinavian peninsula, November 18, 1832. His father, Osul Turkleson, came with his family to the United States in 1850, locating in Buchanan county, Missouri, but in 1852 went to Wisconsin, his death occurring in Manitowoc, that state, in 1874, at the age of seventy years. His wife was Isgar Christiansen. and her death occurred in Norway. Their children were as follows Turkle, deceased; Christian O.; Syvert, deceased and Martha, who became the wife of S. Halverson, but both she and her husband died in Wisconsin.

Mr. Turkleson, of this review, came to Kansas from Buchanan county, Missouri. His residence in that state did not identify him with, or awaken his sympathies for, the evils of the time leading up to the civil war; and when the strife between the North and the South was inaugurated he chose the side of the Union and enlisted in the Federal army, becoming a member of the Thirteenth Kansas Infantry, under the command of Colonel Tom Bowen. He was mustered in at Atchison and mustered out at Leavenworth. His service was on the border and he was engaged in only two battles that are mentioned in history -- Cain Hill and Prairie Grove; but was in many smaller conflicts with bands of the enemy, and these frequently required as great bravery and daring as was demanded from those who took part in the larger engagements of the war. He was at the front for almost three years and then received an honorable discharge.

Mr. Turkleson was reared on a farm and throughout his entire life has been connected with agricultural pursuits. He has devoted his energies so untiringly to the work of the field that he has gained the confidence and respect of his fellow men, and at the same time has won a high degree of prosperity. As his financial resources increased he has added to his property from time to time until he now has four hundred and twenty-six acres of valuable land under a high state of cultivation and supplied with all the modern improvements and accessories of the model farm. His life has been characterized by unremitting industry and in that respect his example is certainly well worthy of emulation.

Mr. Turkleson was united in marriage to Miss Rachel D. Speak, and their children are Lea, the wife of John Hobbs, of Doniphan county; Mary C., Oscar; Elizabeth, a graduate of the Kansas State Normal, and now one of the successful teachers in Doniphan county; Esther; Clarence R., who is now in the senior year in the Kansas State Normal; and John.

Mr. Turkleson is recognized as one of the Republican leaders in this township and has been honored with a number of local offices. He served one term as county commissioner, retiring from office in 1888. He was associated on the board with Cyrus Leland and Peter Manville, and during their incumbency they procured a successful settlement of the memorable county-bond compromise proposition. Mr. Turkleson has been three times elected township treasurer, and his services as a member of the school board covers a period of twenty years. His fidelity to duty is most marked, and in these offices he has been ever faithful to the trust and confidence reposed in him. His residence in Doniphan county covers a period of more than forty-two years, during which time he has witnessed almost its entire development and has seen its wild lands transformed into beautiful homes and farms, and in commercial, industrial, educational and material lines the work of progress which has been carried forward. All measures for the advancement and good of the community have received his endorsement, and among the honored benefactors of the county he well deserves mention.