Allen Robertson Turner

Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Schuyler County, Edited by Newton Bateman, L.L.D., and Paul Selby, A. M., Edited by Howard F. Dyson, Illustrated, Chicago, Munsell Publishing Company, Publishers, 1908, Page 947-948
  TURNER, ALLEN R. – It falls to the lot of few men to look back upon a life so bountifully lengthened out and so diligently, usefully and virtuously spent, as that of the worthy man above named, who still occupies the farm in Buena Vista Township, which became his home as early as 1834.  The birth of Mr. Turner occurred in Rushville Township, Schuyler County, Easter Sunday, April 22, 1832, and he is a son of Samuel and Rachel (Robertson) Turner, natives of Virginia, and North Carolina, respectively, and grandson of Elias Turner, also a native of the South.  Elias Turner’s life was not a creditable one, and he furnished a terrible example of the curse of drink.  His wife stood his abuse and neglect as long as she could, and then rebelled against bringing her children up in such an atmosphere.  When her son, Samuel, was about six months old, she took the child in her arms with a few personal belongings, and set out afoot for a port of Southern Illinois, known as the American Bottom, and which then was the home of Governor Ford.  Here she remained about five years, then returned to her native State for her older son, Willis, on horseback, later settling with both of her sons in Madison County, Ill.  After the death of their mother, Samuel and Willis came to Schuyler County in 1823, this section of the State at that time being part of Pike County, and her Samuel Turner built the fourth house in the county, but three permanent settlers having preceded him here.  This house he never occupied, however, but returned with his brother to Madison County, where Willis was taken sick and finally died.  After settling up the family affairs Samuel returned to Schuyler County in 1824, and here his death occurred April 6, 1855, he having been born in 1790.  His wife, who was born in 1795, died April 1, 1843.  Both were devout members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in 1840, Mr. Turner joined the first temperance society organized in Schuyler County.  The lesson of his father’s life was a perpetual warning in his ears, sinking so deep into his nature that he never wearied in his endeavor to warn others from the terrible shoal of mental and moral destruction.
  Allen R. Turner attended the subscription schools and passed his youth on the home farm in Buena Vista Township.  The lure of the mines on the Pacific slope turned his attention from the slow and laborious methods of getting money by farming, and in 1850 he crossed the plains with oxen and a prairie schooner, taking about six months for the trip.  He spent about five months in the well known gold camps of California, but his experience was that of the average rather than exceptional miner, and he was glad of the opportunity to return to Schuyler County, where the rewards of labor were comparatively sure.  Again he took up the task of farming on the old place which has been his home since he was two years old, and the energy of his mature years is evident in every department of its activity.  The place now contains 70 acres in one of the garden spots of the Central West, and certainly no home in Buena Vista Township has more abut if of genuine home-likeness.  As the children have grown to maturity the two oldest have each been given 160 acres of the property, the third child having been given ninety acres adjoining the old place.
  The marriage of Mr. Turner and Isabella A. Sparks, occurred in Buena Vista Township, March 9, 1852, where she was born January 24, 1831, a daughter of Lemuel Sparks, and they became the parents of four children:  Otto, born March 14, 1853, Darwin Samuel, born April 13, 1857; Willis Fred, born March 14, 1854; and Olive Rose, born January 28, 1867.  Otto Sparks married Mary Etta Ford; Darwin Samuel married Emma B. Nelson; Willis Fred married Alice Bertroche; and Olive Rose became the wife of James C. Bartlow.  The decease of the mother, Mrs. Allen R. Turner, occurred February 9, 1893, and was much deplored by a large circle of friends.  In political affiliation Mr. Turner is a Prohibitionist, and for sixty years has unceasingly advocated temperance.  His convictions on this subject are profound and unchangeable, and have been the means of his accomplish a world of good.  In all ways his life has been illuminating and helpful, and he has established a standard of moral rectitude and courage far beyond the average of his fellow wayfarers.  By all classes of people in the county he is held in sincere respect, and no citizen in the community has a cleaner or more enviable record.

Old Settlers Bio

Back to bios

© 2001- 2008 Sara Hemp
Copyright © 1999-2008 to Genealogy Trails' Schuyler County, Illinois host & each Contributor
All rights reserved