The word prompt for the 15th Edition of Smile For The Camera is “they WORKED hard for the family.” The professions of our ancestors are almost as interesting as the people themselves. Some of our ancestors worked very hard; they took in laundry, worked the land, raised many children, or went to school and became professionals. Photographs of them working are called occupational photographs and are rather hard to find. If you do have a photograph in your collection or family photographs, bring them to the Carnival.
My maternal great, great, grandmother was Amy Turner Keithley b. May 15, 1835 d. May 16, 1912. Her brother L.M. Turner owned the Fairview Fruit-farm residence in the illustration above. Their father Elisha W. Turner originally purchased the land in 1865 and bequeathed his property to his son with certain restrictions as identified in his will. Elisha died in 1879 and Lewis (L.M.) took over the business and land. According to H.E. Woods in the History of Fairview Township and Village of Fairview, by 1888 Lewis not only had fruits he had berries, in fact he “had an acre each of strawberries, raspberries and blackberries under cultivation.” Also as early as 1875, according to H.E. Woods, one of Lewis’ sisters, Sarah, and her husband T.H. Travers also lived in Fairview and produced 30,000-50,000 gallons of cider each year.
My mother and I visited Fairview last year and spent several hours with the local town historian. She took us to their public library where they have photos of the farm as well as many other photos of the Turner family at work and play that were taken by Lewis, who was a photographer of local renown. Be sure to visit my other pages that discuss our trip and have more photos that Lewis took: Illinois Trip and Elisha Turner. This local historian also escorted us to see the land where the fruit farm once was but today it is just a huge field.
My submission to this edition of Smile for the Camera includes the illustration of the farm along with these photos showing the same farm with the buildings and kids probably taken before 1900 when the family moved into town. Clicking on any of the photos takes you to my other website where there is more information on this farm including Elisha’s will, a local historical map and other photos.
The Biography of Lewis M. TURNER
Portrait and Biographical Album of Fulton County, Illinois containing full page portraits of Prominent and Representative citizens of the county, Biographical Publishing Co, Chicago, Illinois, 1890. Pages 831-832
[Surnames: HOUSER, KEITHLY, MARCHANT, MORSE, PATTEN, SOLDWELL, TRAVERS, TURNER]
LEWIS M. TURNER. This gentleman is pursuing a successful career as an agriculturist, operating one hundred and forty acres on section 21, Fairview Township. One of the most noticeable features of the estate is the attention paid to horticulture, in which Mr. Turner is building up a fine reputation. At present he has an acre each of strawberries, raspberries and blackberries under cultivation. In 1889 he erected a fine barn with a slate roof, which is a model of rural architecture. The residence is a commodious one and is represented by a view on another page, together with the other prominent buildings.
Elisha W. Turner, the father of our subject, was born in Westmoreland County, Pa., and taken to Hamilton County, Ohio, when seven years old. He married a lady of that county, Miss Sarah Morse, and in 1840 the young couple located in Hancock County, Ill. After a sojourn of three years they removed to Galena, remaining there until 1865. During that time Mr. Turner was engaged in lead mining and farming in the township of Shullsburg, La Fayette County, Wis. He had previously been occupied in the latter pursuit alone. In 1865 he purchased the estate now owned by our subject and removed thereto. His good wife bore him five children, namely: Mary, wife of James Patten, a farmer in Fairview Township; Amy, widow of Enoch Keithly, whose home is at Lewistown; George, a grocer in Galena, Kan.; the subject of this notice; Sarah A., wife of Thomas Travers, whose history is given on another page in this Album. The father died in 1879 at the age of seventy-four years, and the mother in 1880 at the age of seventy-three. Grandfather Turner, who was born in the Empire State and bore the given name of George, was a saddler.
The subject of this brief biographical notice was born at New Diggings, Wis., February 25, 1849, and was a youth of sixteen years when he came to this county. He had attended the country schools of Shullsburg Township and after coming here continued his studies in Fairview. His taste led him to the pursuit of agriculture and he finally became much interested in fruit-growing. He is a man of more than average intelligence, clever and quick witted by nature and having his faculties well developed by study, observation and intercourse with mankind. His character is one of sterling worth, and he finds many friends among those of his own class and in the circles of the neighboring towns. His political adherence is given to the Republican party.
Mr. Turner established his own home in 1878, when he was united in marriage with Miss Mary Houser. This lady was born in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, and was well educated and trained in useful domestic knowledge and habits. She is a twin sister of Mrs. Martha Soldwell, of Yates City and they are the oldest in a family of five girls. Their father, William Houser, a blacksmith in Yates City, was born in Ohio. Her mother, Sarah (Marchant) Houser, was a daughter of Joel Marchant, the first permanent settler in Farmington. Mr. And Mrs. Turner are the parents of three children: Sarah Naomi, Frederick D. and Blanche, whose bright faces and charming ways add to the joys of their home.