James E. Turner biography

JAMES E. TURNER, well known as an agriculturist and representative citizen of Tarrant county, living in the vicinity of Smithfield, finds ample opportunity for the exercise of his native talents and powers in the supervision and conduct of his valuable farming interests, which are represented by nearly three hundred acres of rich land. He is a native of Marion county, Missouri, where his birth occurred on the 23rd of October, 1842, his parents being William and Mary E. (Mallory) Turner. Both the father and mother were natives of Virginia and after some years’ residence in Missouri they came with their family to Texas in 1846, making the journey to Dallas county, where they resided for a number of years. In 1856 they came to Tarrant county, the family home being established about ten miles northeast of Fort Worth when this was a pioneer district in which the work of improvement and progress had scarcely been begun. They aided in reclaiming the wild land for the purposes of civilization and their labors were a practical element in the general growth and improvement of the locality. William Turner remained upon the homestead farm there until his death, which occurred on the 28th of September, 1878, and which occasioned widespread regret because he had endeared himself to many friends who recognized his loyalty to principle and his devotion to friendship as well as to the ties of home life. Of his family two sons yet survive, James E. and William H., the latter a resident of Comanche county, Oklahoma.

James E. Turner, whose name introduces this review, was only four years of age when brought by his parents to Texas, and his youth was largely passed upon his father’s farm in Tarrant county, where he early became familiar with the duties and labors that devolve upon the agriculturist. In early life he also learned the blacksmith trade and for thirty years conducted a smithy on the farm where he now lives. In addition he cultivated the fields in successful manner and for several years he was engaged in carrying on a hardware business in Smithfield. He was indebted to the early subscription schools of Dallas and Tarrant counties for the educational privileges afforded him, but, possessing an observing eye and retentive memory, he added continually to his knowledge and practical experience brought him many valuable lessons. Moreover he found that earnest and persistent labor constitutes the basis of all honorable success and to his energy and enterprise he has looked for the prosperity which is the goal of all business endeavor.

On the 20th of May, 1866, Mr. Turner was united in marriage to Miss Mary E. Paschall, who was born on the first of February, 1844, in Weakley county, Tennessee. She was a daughter of Patman F. and Rebecca (Kendrick) Paschall, the former a native of Tennessee, born in 1821, and the latter of Kentucky, born June 4, 1828. With her parents she came to Texas when a maiden of about twelve summers, the family home being established in Kaufman county amid pioneer surroundings, and there Mrs. Turner was reared to womanhood. She was born February 1, 1844, and the year of the removal of the family to Texas was 1856. Her father died when eighty-two years of age in the eastern part of this state, while her mother passed away in Kaufman county, aged thirty-six years. Mrs. Mary Turner, mother of our subject, now resides with him upon the home farm near Smithfield, and on the 16th of December, 1905, she will have attained to the very advanced age of eighty-six years. She is one of the worthy pioneer women of this section and has for a number of years been a widow, her husband, William Turner, having departed this life in the seventy-eighth year of his age. Five children graced the marriage of our subject and his wife: Charles E., who is now living at Mineral Wells, Texas; Mary A., the wife of J. H. Clark of Clarendon, this state; Sarah E., the wife of Dr. W. S. French, a well-known physician of Republic, Missouri; William J., whose home is in Tarrant county; and Lucy R., the wife of Walter Crane of Smithfield, Texas.

Since the fall of 1871 James E. Turner has resided upon the farm which he yet makes his home. He is one of the representative agriculturists of the community, carefully conducting his business interests which now return to him a gratifying income annually. Interested in all that pertains to the general welfare, his aid and co-operation have been given to movements for the public schools system. He belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church, South, of Smithfield, and he saw military service in the Civil war, being for four years a member of the Confederate army, during which time he took part in several minor battles and in many skirmishes, continuing with his regiment until the close of hostilities. There are many elements in his life record well worthy of emulation and the strong characteristics of an honorable manhood constitute him a valued citizen of Tarrant county.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 148-149.