Tarrant County, TXGenWeb

Charles Turner


Born: March 15, 1822, Tuscaloosa, Pickens County, Alabama
Died: October 31, 1873, Bryan Station, Texas
Charles Turner's body was moved to Pioneer Rest Cemetery, Fort Worth, Texas
Son of: Judge Robert Turner * and Nancy Hames

* "Judge Robert Turner, was the first Judge of Shelby County, Texas, also one of the men appointed by General San Houston to select a place for the Capitol. The site of the city of Austin was decided upon. I have a sworn affidavit to that effect." From the collection of Mrs. Josephine Harvelia Turner Hirshfield Ryan, daughter of Charles Turner.

Charles Turner first came to Fort Worth in 1848 or 1849 but apparently did not settle at that time as he and his wife Amanda Levicia Adams are on the 1850 Shelby County, Texas census. By trade he was known as a 'trader and plunger.' He was one of 5 soldiers sent out from Johnson's Station, June 6, 1849 to locate a site for a fort; the location of present day Fort Worth was selected. Charles Turner was here when they were surveying the Peters and Dr. Mercer colonies.

Charles and John S. Hirshfield (his son-in-law) had stores of General Merchandise along the train route from Bremond to Kosse, Texas. He was also in business with Captain E.M. Daggett, in the firm of Turner and Daggett in an old brick house facing the public square, which was one of the first dry goods stores in Fort Worth.

Listed in "1840 Citizens of Texas, Volume 1, Land Grants," by Gifford White, page 253: Charles Turner, arrived in Texas 1839 and met the requirements for land grant by his residence in San Augustine County, 1840. He received his certificate September 4, 1832 in Shelby County Texas. The amount of land was 320 acres, as he was a single man at that time.

Charles served as a Second Lieutenant in the Mexican War. Muster rolls received from the Texas State Library and Archives show Charles as follows: Muster roll dated June 21-Aug 31, 1847 w/ Hay's Texas Mtd. Vols. Enrolled May 20, 1847 at Rusk County for 12 months. Muster roll: 2nd Lt. Capt. Ferguson's Co., Texas Mounted Vols. age 25. Roll dated at Austin 21, 1847, muster-in date June 21, 1847. Joined for duty and enrolled May 20, 1847 at Rusk County, Texas, for a period of 12 months. Muster roll: 2nd Lt. w/ Hay's Texas Mtd. Sept-Oct., 1847 at Rusk County for 12 months. On this muster roll is a notation Charles resigned his commission at the Mouth of the Rio Grande, October 1, 1847 * From Muster Rolls: Organization Charles mustered-in during Mexican War subsequently became Company I, 1st Reg't (Hay's) Texas Mounted Vol.

Fort Worth Star Telegram, June 14, 1954 article describes a plaque that was placed at Greenwood Cemetery beside an oak tree, known today as the Turner Oak. It was on this area Charles established a home for his family. At the beginning of the War Between the States he disobeyed a direct order that all gold should be exchanged for Confederate money. He buried what was believed to be thousands of dollars worth of gold under that oak tree with a trusted slave. Later, that gold was a stabilizing influence in young Fort Worth's economy and also freed Ft. Worth of debt owned Northern creditors. His daughter, Mrs. Josephine H. Turner Hirshfield Ryan revealed the following in memoirs: "At the commencement of the War Between the States, the Confederate Government confiscated the Northern enemies properties for the use of the Confederacy, for instance, the firm of Turner and Daggett in Fort Worth were indebted in New York for $30,000.00 worth of goods, the firm paid that sum to the Confederacy and after the war paid off the New York creditors also." At the close of the War Between the States, Charles lost 150 slaves, giving them their freedom. Many begged their master to allow them to stay and some did and were paid wages for their services. Charles served in the Confederate States Army, however, because of ill health he returned to Fort Worth and hired a substitute, one John Kinder. Charles was then appointed Commissary and Beef Commissioner. He organized a company of young men at his own expense, outfitted them and they were sent to the Mouth of the Red River where they met Sweet's Regiment, Walker's Division. During its travels to the Mouth of the Red River there were Indian attacks on the men by the Commanche and Kiowa Indians. Civil War documents from the Texas State Archives, " Captain Charles Turner, Tarrant Cty. Hussars, Mtd. Inf. 10th Brig., TM. Enlisted: July 1861 at Fort Worth. Remarks: R&F 85; Co. comm.S-23-61; l muster roll."

Mammy Delia Turner a former slave was purchased on the block at a slave auction in New Orleans by Charles Turner.* Delia Turner was given her surname by the family and lived to be 106 years old. She nursed every member of the Turner Family and lived in Fort Worth, Texas. *Newspaper article on Delia Turner stated she was purchased by Charles Turner, however, in the "Recollections of Josephine H. Turner" she states Delia was purchased by her grandfather, Judge Robert Turner.

Charles is buried at Pioneer Rest Cemetery, lot 71, Fort Worth, Texas

Property of Caron Withers Snyder
Copied from The Caron Withers Snyder Collection,
From the Collection of Josephine Harvelia Turner Hirshfield Ryan Genealogical Papers.

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This page was last modified 5 Apr 2002.

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