JOHN LEWIS TURNER, a carpenter and manufacturer,
ranks high in the business circles of this community and well deserves mention in the history of Christian County
for the prominent part he has taken in all the public affairs that tend to benefit and upbuild the community. The
record of his life is as follows: A native of Indiana, he was born in Greene County on the 2d of September, 1844.
He is of English and Scotch descent,
the paternal grandfather having been a native of England, who died in Tennessee.
He is also descended from one of the Revolutionary heroes, his maternal grandfather, Benjamin Phillips, a native
of Scotland, having served as a soldier in the War of Independence. He lived to quite an advanced age, and died
in Greene County, Ind.
The parents of our subject,
Archelaus and Susan (Phillips) Turner, were both natives of Tennessee.
The father was a farmer and mechanic. His death occurred in 1846, of brain fever,
County, Ind., but his wife lived until the
3d of April, 1883, surviving her husband about thirty-seven years, and died at the home of the subject of this
They were both members
of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and were highly respected people. Their family numbered ten children, five
sons and five daughters, of whom seven grew to mature years. Nancy is now the widow of William Anderson; Delphia,
who is the second in order of birth, lives with her brother Thomas; William is a minister of the Gospel, residing
at Lincoln and is the father of President Turner of Lincoln University; Jane is the wife of Rev. R. J. P. Lemmon,
County, Ark.; James Riley died at Owaneco,
this county, June 21, 1893; Thomas J. makes his home in Taylorville;
and John L. is our subject. Those who died in early childhood were Elizabeth, Benjamin and an infant.
John L. Turner, whose name heads this record,
was only two years old when his father died, and when he was a lad of ten summers his mother removed with the family
from Indiana to Shelby County, Ill. This was in 1854. There he was reared to manhood upon a farm, remaining with his mother until he
had attained his majority. His education was acquired in the district schools of the neighborhood, and no event
of special importance occurred during his boyhood and youth.
After arriving at man's estate he was united
in marriage, on the llth of April, 1867, with Miss Lizzie, a daughter of William and Mary Haskins, of Dubois County,
Ind. Four children have been born of their
union: Benjamin Archelaus, John Ellis, William Ezra and Docia Mae. The eldest son married Miss Lydia B. Sweigert,
and resides in Edinburgh, Ill., and is cashier
of the banking house of George P. Harrington. One child graces their union, Homer A.
In the winter of 1865-66, Mr. Turner removed
to Christian County and located in Taylorville,
where he has since made his home. For the first ten years after his arrival he engaged in carpentering, which he
then abandoned to enter upon the manufacture of brick and tile. This business he followed for a number of years.
He made the first drain tile in this section of the country, and that branch of his business was his specialty.
Although he began on a small scale, the
demand for his product constantly increased, and in consequence his facilities were enlarged. This is one of the
leading industries of the community, and adds greatly to the prosperity of Taylorville
and surrounding community, as it furnishes employment to a number of men and insures good crops on lands that are
Mr. and Mrs. Turner and their children are
members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, in which he serves as Deacon. In politics, he is a supporter of
the Republican party. Mr. Turner has
had a successful career, which is due entirely to his own business ability and sagacity, combined with well-directed
energies and persistent effort. His prosperity, therefore, is well merited, and he may truly be called a self-made
He owns a good home and other city property, and, having disposed
of his manufacturing business, he and his good wife are at this lime living rather retired, devoting themselves
to the education of their children, trying to prepare them for useful lives.