By Adrienne Williams, TTFO Secretary

Participants: (23) Mary Ann Clement, Ann Turley, Adrienne Williams, E. Bouc, Janet Packham, Julie Hatch, Shania, Natalie Tanner, Sheli Dimig, Shane Stradling, John Bushman, Kay Lovell, Ted Pyper, Debbie Turley James, Val Turley, Brent Turley, Marilyn Smart, Lynnea Stokes, Sherman Feher, Reuben Judd, Carl Pyper, Mini Bennett, Nancy Turley.

Introduction by participants.

The information shared during the meeting is collected and can be found on the Theodore Turley Family (https://theodoreturleyfamily.org) website. If you want information that has been collected over the years, this is a good place to start.

Welcome by Adrienne Williams
Opening Prayer: E. Bouc

Mary Ann Clements shared excerpts from the video “Over the Years and Roads: A Virtual Tour of the Colonies in Mexico” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1r0YRK_puY). This video was produced and narrated by Byron & John Hatch and is on YouTube. It was shared through the McClellan Facebook page, a family line for Janet Packham (Janet is a descendant of Esther Turley McClellan). The excerpts viewed were:

  • 6:20 – 7:30 Colonia Juarez
  • 7:30 Road to mountain colonies
  • 8:15 – 8:48 Matta Ortiz, or Pearson, place of Exodus departure to El Paso for women/children saints in 1912
  • 11:11 – 12:43 Organ cliffs and Canyon Road
  • 13:00 – 13:30 Arch flats and ancient cliff dwellings
  • 14:04 – 14:56 Wagon wheel ruts and perspective of pioneer journey to Mexico
  • 17:33 Colonia Pacheco, picture of old ward building and monument on “temple hill” with Isaac Turley’s name.
  • 26:30 – 27:00 summary and credits. Tombstone of Henry Eyring shown.

If you choose to watch the recording of this presentation from the meeting you will also hear comments from Mary Ann on history specific to the Turley family. When visiting the area, you can find the “Mormon Colonies” by locating locust and poplar trees, as they are not native plants. The colonies on the flats had lots of fruit orchards, while the colonies on the mountains depended on lumber, cattle, and hunting parties.

Some additional participants joined in during the presentation and introduced themselves.

Brent Turley shared an update on Rick Turley. He will be writing the definitive book on Joseph Smith for the LDS Church (see Church Newsroom article “First Presidency Commissions New Biography of the Prophet Joseph Smith”). Ted Pyper requested that Brent gather information, photos, videos to share with the group on his upcoming trip to Colonia Juarez. Nancy Turley asked for travel details for the possibility of a future family field trip. Multiple participants were interested. Natalie Tanner is willing to be the trip planner.

Reuben Judd led a discussion about what is known in the group about the Churchville area. There is a lot of information about Churchville on the TTFO website at https://theodoreturleyfamily.org/places/churchville-ontario/. Mary Ann gave an overview of Theodore Turley’s time in Churchville, visit to Kirtland, and move to Far West. You can listen to it in the meeting recording (1:01 – 1:06). Much of the information discussed about Theodore’s time in Far West can be found in “8: Fleeing Far West” from Theodore Turley: A Biography and the 1839 Redress petition (you’ll have to scroll down to the “T’s” to find Theodore (https://rsc.byu.edu/mormon-redress-petitions/individual-affidavits-lds-historical-department-p-z). Mary Ann pointed out that he never financially recovered after his losses in Far West. He left Churchville with wealth but continually met with financial ups and downs due to anti-Mormon sentiment. Theodore was always strong in defending his faith and loyal to the Prophet Joseph. Brent shared a quote from his great grandmother, Mary Bommeli Eyring – Referencing all the apple trees around, “Apples do not fall far from the tree.” An opportunity to help Theodore’s descendants recognize his faith and loyalty, that they will see that “stubbornness/strength/kindness/friendship” in themselves.

Close of first hour meeting

Business Meeting

Participants (11): Janet Packham, Ann Turley, Kay Lovell, Mary Ann Clements, Lynnea Stokes, Reuben Judd, John Bushman, Shane, Carl Pyper, Ted Pyper, Adrienne Williams

The April 8, 2023, meeting minutes were read by Adrienne Williams.

Kay Lovell provided an update on the organization’s financials. We received $400 in donations and there were no expenses. The ending balance was $7,467.60. There were two financial questions. The first regarded security concerns with leaving money in the Paypal account. It was explained that Kay moves any donations from the PayPal account to the bank account, so money does not remain there for long. Also, it was asked if the funds were specifically designated for anything. The answer is not currently. The $300 was from a Rushton family member that Mary Ann assisted. They wanted to donate to the Theodore Turley papers project, but they don’t have an account for that. Money could be used for that project. We have had donations designated for headstones in the past.

Videos/Photos – Do we have videos/photos that are at a standard we are happy with? Mary Ann said that currently the videos we have links to on the website belong to other groups, so we don’t have the ability to edit them. When people go on these fieldtrips, if they could provide even raw video footage we could work with that to produce items to tell our stories. Even if people have old photos or videos, we can use those as well. The same issue with photos found on the internet.

Cemeteries Project – Provide directions and photos of places, sites, headstones where ancestors are buried. Any descendent of Theodore Turley and their spouses. This will make it easier for family members to visit when they are in the area. Check the website page to see what is already available and what is needed. https://theodoreturleyfamily.org/resources/cemeteries/

Email and Website report from Mary Ann Clements: We have 924 current subscribers, down 6 from the last meeting (3 unsubscribed, 5 were found invalid, and 2 new subscribers). Two TTFO emails were sent since the last meeting:

  • May 23 (Memorial Day) – 45.7% opened, 4.7% clicked.
  • Oct 6 (Fall meeting link) – 36.0% opened, 2.7% clicked.

The website has had 2,816 views YTD, 1,379 visitors. The top pages visited were Theodore Turley’s life sketch, Johnathan Turley, Theodore Turley, Timeline, and Isaac Turley.

The question was asked if we are interested in increasing the number of our subscribers. Do we want to increase high value subscribers or just get as many descendants as possible? Decided to go after high value subscribers. Have the family reps make sure that their close family members are included in the email list.

Next Meeting To Do’s:

  • Follow-up on Brent & Rick’s November 2023 trip to Colonia Juarez
  • Determine who would want to go to Mexico?
  • Fieldtrip to San Bernadino/Nauvoo or video visit to Nauvoo.

Brief Research Update:

  • We received an inquiry regarding Theodore Turley’s connections to the Rushton family. It turns out Theodore baptized Edwin Rushton’s mom, Lettice Rushton, during his mission in Staffordshire, England. Richard Rushton, Jr., (the first family member baptized) married Eliza Bromley, who is one of the girls who would visit Theodore in prison. Theodore referred to her as a surrogate daughter. Theodore left England before Edwin Rushton was baptized. The Rushtons (Edwin & his father) helped build Theodore’s two-story brick house in Nauvoo. It gives some insight to why Theodore was mentioned in Edwin Rushton’s “White Horse Prophecy.” https://byustudies.byu.edu/article/edwin-rushton-as-the-source-of-the-white-horse-prophecy/
  • A letter stated that Edwin Rushton purchased Theodore Turley’s property Ferryville, Iowa, in June 1849. This suggests that after Winter Quarters was abandoned in early 1848, the Turley family moved to Ferryville, Iowa, NOT Kanesville (Council Bluffs, Iowa) as previously thought. Ferryville was located directly across the river east from Winter Quarters. So Theodore Turley’s child Theodoreus Turley, who died in December 1848, was probably buried at Ferryville. Theodore left for Utah in July 1849, just a couple weeks after he sold his property to Edwin Rushton.

Next Meeting: Saturday, April 13, 2024 @ 10:00 am MDT.

October 2023 TTFO Meeting Minutes

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