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John Turner

Pioneer Of The Red River Valley


Debbie Dagen


On July 28, 1889, John Turner, son of Mr. John Turner andMrs. Elizabeth Turner, was born in St. Vincent Township.

John must have been a happy boy because there were sixother children in the family.

Mr. Turner recalled the flood of 1897 when he was onlyeight years old.

It began on Easter Sunday when the winds blew sixty milesper hour. The water flooded the wide prairie. All the old, wooden, weakbridges in the area went out.

Mr. Turner used to watch the soldiers from Fort Pembinago marching by as they went on their way to hunt for animals of the RedRiver Valley.

In the years before John got married, he worked as a farmerof the community in which he lived.

On November 12, 1913, John was wed to Mary Ann Kothe. Mr. and Mrs. Turner must have found themselves charmed with their five children,Lester, Gordon, Dale, Raymond, and Flora, who is the only girl. They havetwenty grandchildren and twenty-one great grandchildren.

For about forty years, John Turner was a mail carrier. He went through many hardships during those forty years. Once he wentthrough a snowstorm in which the winds were forty to fifty miles per hour. In the easiest way he could, John Turner brought the mail through.

In 1950, the government retired him when he was seventyyears old.

Now, he has hobbies such as working on guns, fixing cars,and hunting. He is still successful at hunting game such as deer and geeseor ducks. Last fall he hunted for a deer. And he got it! A large deer.

During the winter he does other things in his spare timelike shoveling snow off the sidewalk and doing some of the household jobsfor his wife.

In the summer and spring, he has a large and beautifulgarden to work in. He has won many prizes at the St. Vincent Fair withhis garden produce.

John Turner is now eighty-four years old. He is stillmarried to Mary Ann Turner and they live in the Red River Valley. Lifeseems to be more noisy and less busy than when he was young. It used tobe quiet and less worrisome. He is still happy even if things have changedso much.


Turner, John, St. Vincent, Minnesota, Interview, February,1974

St. Vincent, Minnesota, Interview, February,1974