Below is the transcript of a letter written by Theodore Turley’s grandson, Joseph Ingersoll “Soll” Turley, to members of the Theodore Turley Family Organization in August 1971. Joseph had an interest in family history from a young age, and he became acquainted with many branches of Theodore Turley’s descendants throughout his life. Of particular value are Joseph’s accounts of his conversations with Theodore’s children and their spouses. These individuals gave him unique insights into the 19th century experiences of Theodore and his family members. As with most reminiscences, historical records have now come to light correcting some of the details provided.
If you would like to view a photocopy of the original typewritten letter, click here or on the image below.
Note: This transcript retains Joseph Soll Turley’s original spelling and punctuation, incorporating his corrections. Headings and paragraph breaks have been added to help readers navigate the information. The main portion, addressed to Theodore’s descendants, is 25 pages long with two short post-script notes. There are an additional two typewritten pages that appear to have been attached to the original letter. A horizontal line separates the transcription of those pages from the main letter.
TO ALL THE DESCENDENTS OF THEODORE TURLEY:
Greetings and God’s richest blessings to you. I am writing this to remind you of the greatness of our wonderful ancestor and founder of the family to revive and increase your interest in the family organization and increase your fellowship one with another. My grandfather and your great-grandfather was a wonderful man; I guarded his diary with my life for fifty years and considered it my most precious possession.
When Lawrence wrote that he wanted to form a family museum in Theodore’s honor, I made a special trip to Arizona ten yrs. ago to the family reunion to bring his journal so that you all could see it and have access to it because I believe that all of his possessions and relics should belong to the whole family and not just one. I also donated some other things and I have a few more to donate. I am glad that Lawrence has had the diary published so that you all may share it. Those of you who have read it know something of the hardships and sufferings that he endured.
Theodore’s “hardships and sufferings”
He sold his property in Churchville for $1400 and moved to Kirtland, Ohio and later to far west Caldwell Co. Missouri in 1837 and was present at the dedication of the temple there. He was a member of the committee that went to the state capitol to plead with Gov. Boggs for the relief from prison of the Prophet Joseph Smith and when they were driven out by the hoodlum mob, and the state militia, he stayed behind to help the poor escape and as he says in his diary, “so I arrived late, the season far advanced, so I made for to plant a crop for food for the next winter before getting out materials to build a house. We had for shelter a tent of factory cotton and would wake in the morning soaked to the skin, our fire washed away, and the children trying to shelter themselves under their mother’s skirts to escape the rains. This, together with hard labor to which I was unaccustomed brought on an attack of the chills and fever, shaking with cold one minute and burning up with fever the next, one leg swollen twice its normal size but when Apostle Smith came on Friday and told me he was going the next day, the last to go on the great mission, in Sept. 29 1839, I called for the elders to lay hands on me and pray. I arose the next morning and started with Apostle Smith, but we were so weak and ill we only made 14 miles the 1st day and had to lie on the bare ground of the prarie with no shelter that night, the 29th of September, and it froze.”
But when he got back to England, and was offered the superintendency of a chinaware factory, he replied, “I prefer America and independence to all you have to offer.” which deserves to rank among the great expressions of patriotism along with John Paul Jones, “I have not yet begun to fight,”, Captain Lawrence’s “Don’t Give Up the ship”, Commodore Perry’s, “we have met the enemy and they are ours”, and Com. Steven Decaders reply to the barbary pirates, “millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute.” And Thomas Jefferson’s immortal “all men are created free and equal and with alienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”, and Patrick Henry’s immortal “give me liberty or give me death.”
At least 4 and probably 5 times over he sacrificed all he owned which consisted of a home in town, a shop, and land usually ten acres or more to grow food for family and church.
When he accepted Elder Parly Pree Prats declaration to him late on the night of March 1, 1837, of peace, brotherhood, and cooperation on earth, he made 17 converts in the first 3 weeks and labored incessantly and zealously for the faith.
By the way, he was not a machinist, he didn’t stay in the cities when they first had crews and machinery, but, when he came to Toronto in 1825, they soon moved out to Churchville about 10 mi. west and when he came to Salt Lake, the census showed he lived not in the city but in the Salt Lake Valley. He lived in three small towns after that.
Incidentally, that census of 1850 contains one error: my grandmother, his last wife, whom he had married that year in the Salt Lake Temple, was 38 yrs. old, not 28. She was born in Marblehead, Mass. June 29th, 1812 and this census shows him to have been 50 yrs old in 1850.
His diary under the date of Feb. 2nd, 1840, under the heading of family geniology, while his parents and all his brothers and sisters except Frederick, were still living, and copied from the family Bible, the records of their birthdates, and put his as April 10th, 1800 and I saw with my own eyes when I visited Colton in 1911 his Indenture made out and sworn to by his father William Turley when he was fourteen, in 1814, to serve his master, “Samuel Parks, Stamper, Piercer, and Toolmaker” for seven yrs. to learn his trade. The first five yrs. for bed and board, the last two yrs. if he wished to move elsewhere, he was to receive the munificent sum of five shillings (a dollar and twenty cents) a week for board and lodging which proves again that he was born in 1800, fourteen being the universal age boys were apprenticed to learn a trade.
His father, William Turley, at that time, was a member of a Royal Battn, so he was probably one of Wellington’s soldiers at the Battle of Waterloo the following June 18th, and helped at the final defeat of Napoleon. He was a member of “no mean family”.
He says of his grandfather Joseph that he was steward (manager) to Lord Dudley and clerk of the Parish “a man of understanding”. Dudley is the name of a ridge running N.W. from Birmingham rich in both coal and iron and it’s surface covered with blast furnaces, iron and steel plants that sent a red glow over the whole country at night and made its owner one of the richest men in the kingdom. The three men that held that title between 1754 and 1818, were all Oxford Univ. graduates, members of Parliament, the governing body of the nation, and one of them wrote a book on the science of gov’t, and the 3rd one was promoted to the rank of Earl; one of the highest ranks next to the royal family, for his extraordinary services to the country during the Napoleonic Wars. So his grandfather Joseph held a position of very great importance, power and authority in charge of all the lordships, business affairs, while he devoted himself to statesmanship and politics.
Theodore’s Metalworking Skills
As Lawrence can tell you a man that can make his own tool, can make anything made of metal. One of the things I gave to Lawrence was a ¼ in. thick piece of leather stamped with the dyes he had made of the numerals from 1 to 9 plus 0 in 1937, when I was in Beaver, in the possession of a maternal cousin, Charles Woodhouse, Jr., historian of Beaver, he refused to sell me the die but I have written to his sons to see if we can buy them now.
He made everything made of metal from cooking utensils to plows and wagons and even pistols and guns. In fact he was working on an invention for a repeating gun when Samuel Colt brought out his revolver. T.T.’s idea was the same as has been adopted by the armed services of all the countries on earth since. A clip that would hold a no. of bullets and would slide past the barrels and be fired, is the principle of the modern machine gun and rapid-fire-rifles. The revolver was a superior invention for a hand gun and the pioneers were such good shots with a rifle that they didn’t feel the need for a repeater at the time, so he dropped his experiment. But he made two pistols for the profit.
Close to Joseph Smith
And I was told in Beaver, in 1937, by others and relatives, that he was “very close to the Prophet Joseph”. He also at least one winter kept Brigham Young and his family from starvation by giving them flour to live on.
Theodore built the first LDS house in Nauvoo
I gave the Nauvoo paper thanks for crediting him with the eldest house, and from the picture that was published, he could’ve made a wonderful career as an architect. As I recall that picture, he had more roof levels than I have ever seen on any other house, making it look like a whole nest of houses and built on a hill where it could be seen for miles around, it would be a wonderful ornament.
I also brought Lawrence an issue of “Family Circle” magazine in 1942 when it published an article on the history of the coinage of gold going back to over 500 yrs. B.C. and they had a picture of the five-dollar gold piece coined by the church after the Calif. Gold Rush, for which Theodore Turley made the dies, with the beehive on one side and clasped hands of brotherhood on the other, and stamped with the letters G.S.L.P.G. (Great Salt Lake Pure Gold) at least one of which I have been told is in the museum at Salt Lake City but unbeknown to grandfather and against his wishes, it was mostly lead, gold plated on the outside.
San Bernardino Colony
He was one of the founders of San Bernadino and members of its first school board and the only lay member of the committee of three consisting of apostles Amassa Lyman, his son-in-law, and Alonzo Snow that carried the purchase price of $14,000 of gold to the Lugon family for the Spanish land grant on which San Bernadino was built. He had his town shop on D St. and E. is the main no. and so. street of San Bernadino, the family home north of there, and 10 acres in the country. In addition to horse-shoeing (they had to make their own nails in those days and shoes. I have the nailpullers that he and his son used which I will send to Lawrence) he also made plows and wagons and I was also told even furnaces, and he also put silver inlays to decorate bridles and saddles for cowboys that wanted to show off. There were about 500 members that left Salt Lake and spent that summer and fall at Lytle Creek where his daughter Marianne married John Cook under a Sycamore tree. They finally moved down to what they hoped would be their permanent home in S.B. in December of that year, and my father, Jacob Omner, his youngest son who lived to maturity, was born there Jan. 30, 1852. His youngest son Alvin was also born there in 1855.
Brigham Young ordered their return to Utah in mid-winter and Aunt Sara told me they spent Xmas day camped on summit in El Cajon Pass in the snow. There were no roads in those days and they had to cross a canyon east of present Las Vegas, Nevada, with vertical lava-rock walls where they had to take their wagons, in pieces, and lower them on ropes, one wheel at a time, and pull them up on the other side of the canyon, which required at least a week or ten days of very hard work with no shelter from the winter’s cold waves and storms that sweeped down as from the N. Pole carried the thermometer down to 38 below zero in Flagstaff. I saw a copy of the deed where in the courthouse in S.B. where he and 3 of his sons and sons-in-law sold a mining claim in S.B.’s mts. for $1000 cash, which was worth many times that amount now. I would like to know what, if anything, he got for his properties there when he left.
Family of Frances Kimberley Turley Parsons McIntosh
Maybe Tillman, who is now principal of a special school for delinquent boys in Riverside Co. in Elsinore might be able to find some info. about the indenture which should be in the possession of the Button Family who live in Riverside. They are a descendent of Francis, the only one of his 11 children by the Clift Sisters that lived to 1850. She married a man by the name of McIntosh, and lived most of her life in the Mojave Desert and S.B. Co. and whom I met at Aunt Sara’s in Colton in 1911.
Theodore Turley’s wives
It’s a peculiar coincidence that all three of the Clift Sisters and 10 of their children should’ve died within ten yrs. or less. It is my personal opinion that the great love of his life was his first wife, your great grandmother, Francis Amelia Kimberley, and that he married the Clift Sisters, two widows w/children and the other a spinster because he felt sorry for them.
It was extremely difficult for a woman to make a living in those days, the only things open for them was hardest type of housework with meager, if any, pay, and by the same motive, I think, was one of the factors that induced him to marry Ruth Jane Giles, descendent of a long line of ship captains. But she must have been one of the homliest women who ever lived with a large bulbous nose and a mole on her cheek and a very large “generous” mouth, but on close inspection, very kindly eyes. Aunt Sara said she used to want the older children to shut the door without slamming it when they went thru and also to clean the mud off their feet before they came in the house so they considered her a rather prissy old maid, although she had one 5-yr old son, Joseph, which he adopted.
Joseph Orson Turley’s Family
He remained loyal to the faith all his life and though he came back to Colton, three mi. from S.B. in 1875 and later moved to L.A. he went back to Utah to die. He had five daughters and one son, Lester, who became chief electrical engineer of the L.A. Street Railways System. His oldest daughter, Elsie, married a mining engineer who became State Senator. She had one 6′ 6″ son who became an L.A. policeman and another son who remained in Utah. His daughter Ruth was a beautiful blonde with hair that reached below her knees but became a cripple when she about grown. The streetcar in S.B. started up too soon and she fell to the pavement and always walked with a limp thereafter. She had a beautiful dispostition and was well-liked by everybody. His youngest daughter, Louise, married an engineer and went to Miami, Flo. before WWI and rode back, the climate down there was so hot and humid, so debilitated that if you dropped a handkerchief you didn’t have energy enough to bend over and pick it up.
Theodore’s Later Years in Beaver and Excommunication
One of my lady cousins once wrote me and asked me what grandfather did in his later years and why the church dis-fellowshiped him. I apologize for not answering her sooner, but I am answering for all of you that he and his son Issac at a blacksmith shop in Beaver, which is now the main highway about in the middle of the block, the business district was only about a block long, and he was the same kindly soul, helping everyone in need, even an old Indian who could get no cure from his own medicine man nor the white doctors of that day, but grandfather had studied enough chemistry on his own that he could assay and also make up his own herbs and cure the long-suffering Indian of his disease, and the Indian had heard that crossing the Mojave desert, that an Indian had stolen a silver cup for a baby from grandfather and he made the long journey of at least 600 miles and in those days a lone Indian was counted to be without any rights, an outlaw, an enemy of any other Indian; they lived in brotherhood in their own tribe and the severest punishment they had was to outlaw one to live on his own, and every man’s hand was against him. But somehow or other he bought or induced this Indian to part with this chief treasure and took it back to Utah and restored it to grandfather in gratitude for his great deed.
He was also greatly admired by my mother who was 14 yrs. old at the time and I think that she really fell in love with him and married my father on account of the old adage “like father, like son”. She had to pass his shop at least twice a day on her way to and from school and stopped to talk with him because she told me more about him than my father did, but he had lost so many of his loved ones that he felt lonely and longed to be with them and/or communicate with them. As you know he was a very spiritual-minded man and had started as a lay preacher when he was only 18 yrs. of age. For consolation, took up with spiritualism and communication with the dead, which, as you know, was a nathama to the church; so he was dis-fellowshiped and one overly-zealous mayor of Beaver, around 30 yrs. after his death, had his and my grandmother’s headstones destroyed, leveled the land and obliterated all traces of his grave, which I was told was in the Southwest section of the cemetery and there were people in Beaver in 1937 who knew something of his great services to the church who told me he was “very close to the Prophet Joseph” but the local officials there still refused to allow us to erect a monument in his honor. I propose, but since most of you live in Arizona, you find out if we cannot erect a monument there to him.
He was appointed leader of the first ship of the Great Mission in 1839-40 led by several of the apostles, including Brigham Young, to bring back the first shipload of converts in 1840. He sought no honors, nor power for himself, but he was always there to render yeoman service when it was needed. As you can see, he was very active and energetic, “he didn’t have a lazy bone in his body.” He was very zealous for his Faith and always helped his neighbors–the poor and needy and was a great lover of mankind. I think that is why he chose to live in a smaller community where the people are more friendly, than in the larger cities, and he had a heart “as big as outdoors.”
Years ago, when I gave a talk about him to the San Bernadino Pioneers Society and mentioned the fact that he had 21 children of his own, adopted four more, and reared another, George Selwyn, who declined to have his name changed a lady rose and said “Yes, I can verify that because I am his daughter.” He became a letter-carrier in San Diego. We can all be thankful that we share in his inheritance; we have some of his nature within us and he certainly gave us a model worth striving to emulate. We should be proud and happy because we do have some of his nature and abilities in common, although I know of none of us who have surpassed him in achievements.
Frances Amelia Turley Daniels
His oldest daughter who died in childbirth at the age of about 22, was always referred to as “A wonderful horsewoman.” I would like to know what became of her child, if any of you know please let me know.
Mary Ann Turley Cook
His second daughter, Marianne, was the smallest of all the Turleys that I know of, and from the picture that I have taken in her later years, was hollow-chested and almost a hunchback, but she had more of her father’s courage and independence than any of his descendents that I know of. Though Brigham Young wanted her and had her sealed to him for five years, the marriage was never consummated. Aunt Sara told me that she had been out in a swamp near Winter Quarters all night while Brigham’s men searched for her and one of them passed within three feet of her but did not see her in the darkness. She is the only person I ever heard of who dared to defy Brigham Young and lived afterward.
After refusing for five years to live with him, he finally gave up and released her officially so she could marry the man of her choice, John Cook at their camp at the forks of Lydle Creek near San Bernadino while they were waiting to get possession of the Lugo Spanish Land Grant for their permanent home. She was left a widow with one son, Henry, a splendid man whom I had the pleasure of knowing in his later years. He built and owned a white stucco apt. house the West Adams S.W. District in L.A. and had two sons, William and Walter who raised Lima Beans on the famous Irvine Ranch S.E. of Santa Ana, the Co. Seat of Orange Co. and later moved to Santa Ana, went into the real estate business and prospered. William is still living in retirement with a daughter about 28 mi. no. of L.A.; he is now close to 90 yrs. of age. His brother Walter was the father of Leona Clapp who has written to you from her home in Coronado across the bay from San Diego. She sent me a clipping from the Santa Paula paper on her death telling about how hard she had to work to make a living for her son and three daughters but found time to knit sweaters and make other warm garments for people she considered poorer than herself. And it added that “the world will not soon see her like again.”
Priscilla Rebecca Turley Lyman
His next daughter, Priscilla, lived in retirement in Redlands, she married the Apostle Amassa Lyman and had at least three sons I met by him. The oldest, Theodore K., born in S.B. was a big man, six feet two or three inches tall and heavy-set, very friendly and popular and had the largest Livery Stables in S.B. and owned the Stage Lines to the mt. resorts of beautiful Lake Arrowhead about a mile high and Big Bear Lake about 6,500 above sea level where they have deep snow in the wintertime . His two younger brothers were in the hardware business in S.B. but later moved to Long Beach.
His son Frederick had three daughters: Amelia, who was tall and stately and carried herself like a queen who married a furniture-store owner and carter in Riverside, they have no children but adopted a very handsome boy who grew to be six feet three in. in height. She was very friendly with my brother who was about the same age and was familiarly known as “Milly”. Her two younger sisters were twins but one of them was very short and the other one, tall, named Rosella and Arzilla. One of them married a Mr. Johndrew and both lived side by side in Colton and both were overweight. Their husbands worked at the limestone mine and cement plant just west of Colton. Frederick died suddenly at age 45 in Beaver; he was making hay and sweating on a hot day but sat down to eat his lunch, leaned against a damp haycock, caught cold, and died within three days of what was called “quick consumption” but was probably flu or pneumonia.
Sarah Elizabeth Turley Franklin
Aunt Sara Elizabeth, whom I had the pleasure of visiting several times in Colton was in bed between the yrs. of 1911 and 1914 when she passed away. She lived the longest of any of T.T.’s children, aged 79. She had one son, George, who owned his own marble shop in Huntington Beach and whom I also had the pleasure of knowing. She had two daughters. The older, Elizabeth Miller lived in retirement in S.B. She had one son, a cowboy on the desert and a teen-aged daughter when I visited them in 1911. She was rather short and somewhat overweight but was very cheerful and pleasant to me and she lived in Colton with her other Married daughter Marianne, a wonderful woman who had suffered a bad accident in her younger years and had to hobble around on crutches but was very cheerful and sweet and did all her housework in a two-story house and cared for her invalid mother and her husband. He was a veteran of the Civil War and his name was Brown, and was in the real-estate business. I hope I still have the family picture of the three of them which I will send to you through Lawrence if I can find it taken in front of their tent. I also have a picture of her and her son George taken on her 50th birthday when he was a small boy playing at her side. She had her father’s and indenture but I am sorry that I didn’t ask for them, but she finally surrendered them to her half-sister, Frances, whom she did not like and they passed to her daughter who had married a Mr. Button lived in Riverside and had two sons about ten and twelve yrs. of age. She did not appreciate these documents but her husband did. He said he wanted them for his sons. I wanted them for the family, all of T.T.’s descendents, and was glad when I could restore the diary to the family at large.
Charlotte Turley Bushman
Charlotte, his youngest daughter, married Jacob Bushman and they moved to eastern Utah and you know more about them than I do. Is her daughter that was over 90 years of age, still living?
Gratitude to Family Members
I wanted to lay special thanks to Genevieve of Joseph City of her entertainment to me when I took the diary ten yrs. ago to the family reunion and to her contributions to the family letter and while I’m expressing thanks, I want to express special appreciation to cousin Hazel for her entertainment of me for four or five days when I visited Mesa after the reunion. I would like to hear from her from a letter addressed to her last Christmas to the address she gave on my last visit to a family reunion three yrs. ago in Mesa was returned here by the post office at Mesa. So, I am unable to write to her and to my disappointment, she has been to busy to write to me. And I want to express special gratitude to Lawrence for his great services to the family organization. I told him that I considered that he was one of the nearest to Grandfather’s qualities and vocations.
I’m sorry that I do not know more of the rest of you, but would be glad to hear from any of you and if you ever come over to Los Angeles, I would be glad to see you. We live 18 mi. almost due north of the L.A. City Hall at 1800 and 73 ft. above sea level, at nearly the highest point on the highway between Pasadena and San Fernando in a gap between the Verdugo Hills, 2886 ft. el. so. of us, between here and Glendale and Sister Elsie Peak (“Mt. Lucas”) 5040 ft. to the no., almost in our backyard to the N.E. As you know, the higher the elevation, the better the air, so we have less smog here than anywhere in the L.A. Basin. We had this house as extra-strongly built so we did not suffer any loss during the Feb. 9th earthquake but one ornamental lamp that was too close to the edge of a bedroom dresser. We had a five-gallon bottle of Arrowhead Springs Water standing upside down on olla which toppled over and slid down the handles of a mop and broom and landed right side up on the concrete floor of our garage without a crack nor spilling a single drop.
Alvin Hope Turley & Jacob Omner Turley
T.T. had one son, Alvin, who was born in S.B. in 1855, who died in Salt Lake when he was seventeen, but my father, Jacob Omner, born in S.B. January 30th, 1852, and died in Boise, Idaho in September of 1924, was his youngest son who lived to maturity and left seven sons of which I am the fifth and only one living.
Omner Jay Turley
My two oldest brothers were born in Beaver, Jay on April 16, 1877, who grew to be 6’6″ tall, became a civil engineer, he was an engineering genius who could tell by just looking at the landscape whether it would be cheaper to build tunnels through the ridges and siphons across the canyons or a surface canal all the way around. He chose the site and planned what has been built by the U.S. Reclamation Service on the San Juan R. in N.W. New Mexico as it emerges from the mts. of Colorado. He planned this project in 1907 and my third brother Walter G., later of Santa Fe, did most of the surveying for it. I have a picture of him perched on top of a 2,000 ft. cliff with his left heel hooked around the left side of the point of the cliff so he could lean over to the right to look through his surveying instrument which he entitiled “Hanging Around the Thin Edges”. The project was to be built by the same co. that built the famous Twin Falls Project in Idaho and they sent a man named Hollister out from Chicago to sign up my brother’s but the bank’s stringency the late summer of 1907 that closed all the banks in the U.S. for 16mts. and no one could get a dime from any of them so when Mr. Hollister reached Durango, Co. on his way to Turley, N.M. (it is still on some of the highway maps) at the head of the San Juan Valley, somewhere east of Farmington he received a telegram with the sad news that they could not get financing to go through with the project. The present project will irrigate 180,000 acres mostly for the Navajo Indians. My brother’s plan included a tunnel under the Continental Divide to take water through the Rio Grande Valley around Albuquerque. Think what it would’ve meant to my brothers and the whole no. N.M. to have had that development in 1907. The present project (the dam) wasn’t completed until 1962.
My oldest brother went to N.M. shortly after the turn of the century and made friends with Gov. Otero. He wrote the code of irrigation Law for the Constitution of N.M. when it became a state in 1912. He also studied law and was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the U.S. in the boundry dispute with Texas over involving the old course of the Rio Grande River. He also came down here and warned the Chamber of Commerce, L.A. that the San Franciscito Dam on the L.A. Aqueduct would never stand because it was built with only a 20ft. foundation not on bedrock as it should’ve been but on clay, and you all know what happens when clay gets wet. The dam began to leak and the watchmen pulled frantically to hdqrts. in L.A. and Chief Engr. W.M. Mulholland and his Chief Asst. Van Norman who went up there at 5pm, the roadway was already washed out for 2 mi. and they had to leave their car and walk but Mullholland said, “Oh, that’s nothing, all dams leak.” They had an electric timer stretched across the top of the dam, it went out at 12:00 that night. A wall of water 200 ft. high that lifted and pushed the whole dam for one-half mile down the canyon before the water could escape around the end; it filled the whole valley 10 ft. deep (the Santa Clara Valley) with sand and silt and a loss of over 450 lives. This happened in 1928 and the City of L.A. had to pay many millions of dollars for damages. That same year, we voted a bond issue of 28 million dollars at the fork of that river, it seemed an ideal spot for the dam would back water up the east fork and the west fork from one hundred eighty degrees.
He tried to point out to the engineering profession that vertical concrete dams are in mistake that the water pressure is downward and is shoving them downstream and the downstream slope cannot hold the tremendous pressure. Whereas, if the upstream side of the dam were sloped the downward pressure of the water would hold the dam in place and it would be safe. In 1927 and 1937, they had tremendous floods in the Missisppi Valley, in one of those years, 32 of the vertical concrete in Penn. went out.
He also pointed out that the Grand Canyon was not made by water alone; if so, there would’ve been waterfalls at what are now the verticle cliffs the famous redwall and hardrock sides of the canyon. The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is now 7,200 ft . above sea level and the North Rim, 8,100 ft. But in Cedar Bricks in Southern Utah, where the first colored motion picture “Drums Along the Mowhock” was made and later “My Friend Flicka”, the top of the plateau, east of Cedar City, is 10,000 ft. high but it slopes down to a very broad shallow valley, possibly 60-80 mi. wide, near the Utah-Arizona state line and is covered with washed gravel, showing that it was the ancient bed of the Colorado River, but when the earth was cracked by a tremendous earthquake, and opened up a lower channel to the south through the Grand Canyon, the water flowed there, it is also proved by the sharp angles of the river below the Grand Canyon where it makes a sharp turn from n.w. to south and water naturally has no such sharp angles.
Louis Alvin Turley
My second brother, Louis Alvin, took his M.A. and Ph.D. in Harvard Univ. with the shortest Dissertation ever submitted for the Ph.D. degree at Harvard, but with two models who were life-size models of the human kidneys, that were so perfect and accurate, in every detail, that they were used as models for classroom instruction in the medical school and were written up and photographed for Life Magazine in its third issue in Dec. 1937.
He was a professor of pathology at the Univ. of Oklahoma, School of Medicine from 1908 to retirement 1940-1944 and was written up in “The American Men of Science” series in the 30’s and early 40’s. He was called an expert witness in court cases involving diagnosis in five states from Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, and Texas. He stopped an epidemic of encephalitis (sleeping sickness) in Durant, Okla. by forbidding the dragging of dead horses through the dirt streets to the edge of town for burial. He was the author of at least eight scientific treatasies and “THE FIRST HISTORY OF THE PHILOSPHY OF MEDICINE”. He was 6′ 4″ tall, broad-shouldered, but slender; his average weight was 156 lbs. He also drew the plans for several of the University buildings and the New School of Medicine in Oklahoma City and superintended its construction so that so that all its contractors had to do was furnish the men and materials and collect their pay; so they gave him a new car and offered him twice his U. salary just to travel and design their special buildings for them, altho’ he had never studied archietecture. He was also offered a position at Harvard Univ which he declined because promotion was so slow and he was head of his dep’t at O. U. But when the first world war came, several of the Harvard Proff. left to enter gov’t service so he would’ve become head of the dep’t of pathology there and regretted that he had not accepted that offer. He died of a heart attack at 74½ yrs. of age.
Jacob Omner Turley Family in Idaho
My third Bro., Walter Guy, was born on the Holcomb Ranch five mi. above Boise, Idaho on the way to Yakama, Washington, October 4, 1881. My parents remained in Idaho because my oldest brother, then aged 4½ rode on a giant rutabaga for a hobby horse and my father said that any land that could produce such a giant vegetable was good enough for him; so he remained in So. Idaho. My parents spent their first winter there in charge of the Willow Creek stage station on the old Oregon Trail, 18mi. N.W. of Boise the first station on the way to Portland, Oregon. Without any cookbooks, our mother devised 38 different ways of cooking potatoes and her fame spread as far as San Francisco.
The next spring my father homesteaded on the Paytte R. 6 mi. west from Emmett. Then only a crossroads with only three of the four corners occupied, but now a thriving town of several thousand people. Our place where I was born August 3rd, 1887, was so far and isolated that there was only one house within sight and that was 1 and ¾ mi. away.
My second brother, Louis Alvin, received a U. scholarship when he was a junior in H.S. to make drawings of insects for lantern slides for the professor of Entomology to exhibit to farmers throughout the state for 15 to 25¢ an hour to put himself through college. Before graduation, he had written three scientific articles to be read to at National Scientific Conferences, and one an international meeting in Berlin, Germany, telling scientists of the world things they did not know about their own specialty. When I asked him how come that he, a poor farm boy a way out in the sticks had been able to do this, he replied, “I’ll tell you why. Most people do not see what they are looking at.”
Walter Guy Turley
Walter Guy became a graduate engineer and in 1905 joined his older brother, Jay, in N.M. They chose the site, made the plans and surveys, for a dam and irrigation canals from the San Juan River in N.W. New Mexico. I have a picture of my third brother on top of a 2,000 ft. cliff with his left heel hooked over a side so he could lean over the other side and sight through his surveying instrument which he titled “Hanging Around the Thin Edges.” This project included a tunnel underneath the Continental Divide to carry water to the Rio Grande Valley in central N.M. around Albuquerque. It was to be built in 1907-08 by the same company that built the famous Twin Falls Project in S. Idaho but owing to the rivalry of two Montana copper mining millionaires, WMA Clark, who built the Salt Lake R.R. from Salt Lake City to San Pedro, California and became U.S. Senator and built a $5,000,000 “cottage” in N.Y. City and a rival named Heinze who went to N.Y.C. and began buying up banks when he had acquired control of two of them, Clark passed the word to Morgan, Gould, Vanderbilt, et. al., that they shouldn’t allow Heinze to get control of N.Y. banks for he would ruin them all. So they passed out the word to the public in the late summer of 1907 that Heinze’s banks were unsafe; the public just got the word that the banks were unsafe and they made a run on all of them; no bank in the world can pay all of its depositors on sudden demand, so they all went and closed their doors and for fifteen months no one in the U.S. could get a cent of his money from any bank. They passed out pieces of white paper they called ‘script’ merely stating that the bearer had so much money on deposit in their bank.
So, when the irrigation co. man named Hollister reached Durango, Colo. on his way to sign a contract with my brothers, to build a project, he received a telegram that the deal was all off, the company could not get any money to finance the project. The dam was finally built in 1962 by the U.S. Reclamation Service to water only 180,000 acres of land exclus. for the Navahoes (the Turley project was to cover 210,000 acres, ½ of the benefit of White and the other half for the Navahoes). Think what it would’ve meant to the development of the state of N.M. and the development of the Turley Family fortunes if they had been able to build their project 54 yrs. earlier!
Walter Guy then located in Santa Fe and was for many yrs. an engineer for Santa Fe Co. and the State Highway Commission and surveyor of Santa Fe. and his obit. in the “Santa Fe New Mexican” said that he had a better set of maps in detail of the city of Santa Fe than the City Engineer had and that most of the people of the city had had their land located and measured by my brother. It was to his house that Cousin Charles Turley went in his last illness and my brother and his wife took complete care of him until he passed away. One of your number visited him later and reported in the family newsletter that “he was a true Turley all right.” He had no children of his own but he reared his wife’s nephew and put him thru the U. of N.M. and gave him the only job he ever had and when he entered Gov’t Service in the last World War, he left his two small children with Uncle Guy and his wife to rear also, which he did and took him on trips to the mts., fishing, and so forth and gave him the only job he ever had up to the time of his passing. He went to his reward on Thanksgiving Day of 1966, aged 85 yrs. and 55 days.
My oldest bro. Jay, was 6′ 6″ tall and was a captain in the rainbow division (because it had members from every state in the Union in the U.S. and was the first Am. troops that was sent to France in WWI.). He went to France but as a teenager learned the Chinook language, a little Latin and Spanish, which he learned in N.M. He came back knowing thirteen languages and when he went to London on leave, he was accepted immediately by one of the largest clubs there and invited to stay at their Clubhouse because of his Turley name.
I might explain here that the name “Turley” is derived from the old French word “Tur” meaning power and “ley” meaning land; esp. in England pasture-land, as you may recall from the poet Gray’s Elegy in a Country Churchyard:
"The curfew, tolls, knell of parting day,
The lowing herd whines slowing toward the ley
The farmer homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves this world to darkness and to me".
In England, they divide the pastures into sections called to this day leys and allowed the cattle and horses to feed on each section or ley, for only three weeks at a time in order to give the grass a chance to grow again.
There is a little rhyme in England that “in Ford and Ham and Lee and Ton, most of the English surnames run.” The fords are the rivers where they’re as important as the mountain passes are here, London is located at the first place up from the sea where they could ford the river; and ham comes from the same root word as home and stood for “Hamlet” or village, Lee was for those who lived in the country and Ton meant Town (or anyplace large enough to have a wall around it). Then in Bible days, each man had only one name, but as population increased, there came to be too many Johns and Josephs, they had to add something to identify which one was meant so they began to add the town a man came from like Joseph of Arimathea. Or Jesus of Nazareth, or the Nazarene. Or the kind of work he did; like Smith, Farmer, or Carpenter, so Jesus is also referred to as the Carpenter’s Son.
So in modern English, our name, Turley, means meadow tower. In other words, when surnames were added our original ancestor was tall and lived in the country. When William the Conqueror beat Harold, the last Saxon king of England in Oct. 18, 1066 and became ruler of England, he prayed to his patron saint, St. Martin that if He would give him the victory that day, Wm. would build an Abbey in his honor on the battle sight which he did and since in those days the dead soldiers were of no further use, he had inscribed on the rolls just inside the entrance the names of the surviving knights who could fight again. The Abbey was finally burned in 1799. In those more than 800 yrs, three copies were made of the names inscribed on the rolls of honor. There were known to be over six hundred names, but when all three are put together, they make over 550 names, the name Turley is one of those in the copy made by the duchess of Cleveland. Alfred Lord Tennyson, Poet Laureate of England under Queen Victoria wrote the little rhyme:
"How e'er it be, it seems to me
‘Tis only noble to be good;
Kind hearts are more than cornets (the smaller crowns worn by the Crown Lords and Ladies)
And simple Faith than Norman blood."
Showing that in England to be Somebody in English society it is necessary or very helpful to have Norman descent. Which may be one reason that Cap’n Jay Turley was lionized in London during WWI.
About 1365 A.D. for the first Parliament that included 2 representatives from each county a Sir ? Turley was one of those from Lincolnship. The name Turley is of high standing in England. And Theodore’s brother, John, furnished the money to pay the debt left upon him by his absconding partner which he had been unable to pay and caused his sudden flight to America. He was only 5’9″ tall, which was tall for an Englishman of that time (even today).
We did not invent smog in L.A. they’ve had it in England in that damp, foggy, climate ever since they started burning soft coal hundreds of years ago and in one period of a few days since WWII, there were over 4,000 excess deaths in London due to the heavy burning of soft coal and its poisonous fumes in a period of heavy coal burning, dense fog; so the English have become stunted for a lack of sunshine, fresh air, and properly nourishing foods. But when he came to this country, your grandfather Isaac, rebounded through his ancient extra height of 6’3″ and though in his Beaver years he weighed only 180 lbs, he was so strong that he could lift an anvil by its horn and hold it straight out sidewise from his body at shoulder height without trembling.
Grandfather took up smoking a pipe in his later years and the heat of the stem plus the pressure of its weight, caused cancer of the lip. He had it removed but it reappeared in his throat and it caused his death. Among his last words were, “I consider it the proudest heritage I can leave my descendants to leave them free from superstition.” He was truly a great soul, zealous for the right, hardworking, kind-hearted, sympathetic, generous, and helpful to all who needed him. As the Santa Paula newspaper said of his daughter Marianne, “the World will not soon see her like again”.
Jay Bradford Turley
Getting back to our branch of our family, my oldest brother, Jay, had two sons, one drowned, when 5 yrs. of age by a cave-in on a bank of the river in Highwater. The other, Jay Bradford, b. Sept. 4, 1905, is 6’8″ tall and is in the real estate business, whom I brought to the family reunion three yrs. ago. He has a handsome son, 6’3″, who is a script-writer for TV Westerns and lives in West L.A.; he has two grown daughters. Jay also had two daughters each 6′ 1 ¾” tall and one of them Rosalinda has a son 6’10” tall and a daughter 6’4″ tall; both former basketball players. His youngest daughter has several grown children, all married, living in No. Calif. She is only 5’7″ but with a heart as big as all outdoors.
Joseph Soll Turley
There was a still-birth preceding me which made a six-year gap between Walter Guy and me and my mother only about 5 feet tall and weighing scarcely 100 lbs., trying to do a man’s work, doing raw sagebrush-covered lands was so worn down and weak before my birth that she did not think she would live so she wrote out a list of principles for our guidance to help us become worthy men and citizens. I was born with less vitality and a blockage in my large intestine and has poisoned me all my life and has been a terrible handicap. I had a six-week siege of typhoid fever when I was only 4 yrs. old, scarlet fever and diphtheria at the same time when I was 7½yrs. that has left me with impaired hearing; undulant fever at 11 yrs. from which I have never recovered, arthritis at 15 which injured my heart and aortic valve so that it does not hold back the blood but allows a backflow that causes my heart to skip beats and slows my pulse rate to an av. of 42 per min. instead of a normal 72, so my blood does not circulate fast enough to keep me warm in a cold climate, so I had to come to So. Calif to keep warm and free from colds, but I used to suffer all winter long.
My health has been so poor that it took me 12 years to get through Stanford U. and I diN’t fail any exams either. I was 84 on the third of this month but I never expected to live half this long and wouldn’t have if I had not studied Nature and the Laws of Health and worked hard to live up to them. It amuses me to hear people say that they “just can’t keep to their diet.” If I didn’t keep a much stricter diet than anyone else, I wouldn’t be here to tell the tale. To compound my disabilities I suffered a bad fall, tangled up in a stepladder onto concrete steps that cut my height from 6′ to 5’8½” and so badly twisted and dislocated my hips and lower spine that I am in continual pain except when I lie down flat and I cannot accomplish much that way. It takes me hours every night to get freedom from internal pain and bloating due to the kinks in my colon. Consequent putrifaction of its contents and resulting absorption of all that foul poison into my blood and throughout my whole body, causing very painful cramps within an hour or two after I go to bed, requiring two hours to get even water past those kinks and two hours more to get any back so that most of my nights are spent in the bathroom trying to get rid of pain and suffering. One result has been the degeneration of the matula (the seeing spot in the retina at the back of my eyes) so that I am going blind and cannot see to read nor write. But, as I said, I have survived thus far because of my practice of the laws of health. But I cannot tell how much longer, I think I can survive.
However, if any of you are interested, I can try to write you a brief summary of some of the most important points for your guidance according to the reports of the U.S. Dep’t of Agri. and of the President’s Comm. on diet and nutrition after a two-year study of all classes of people in all parts of the U.S. that ½ or more of all the people of the U.S. are suffering from malnutrition, 43% are lacking in Vit. A, 66% in calcium, and 99% of the doctor’s and dentist’s wives (they’re the supposedly best informed people) are lacking in iron.
Theodore Hope Turley and Cresley Roy Turley
My next younger brother Theo. Hope b. May 29, 1890, grew to be 6’3″ tall but died of pernicious anemia due to lack of vitamins and snowed-in all winter long up in where our father worked a mining claim on a diet of white flour, salt pork, canned beans and a few cans of salmon. D. apr. 15, 1919. My youngest brother Cresley Roy was born July 12, 1896 and was killed when he fell from a boxelder tree on May 15, 1906. but he came in from play one day and stood watching our mother wash clothes on an old-fashioned washboard and finally burst out saying, “Ma, I hear people whining and complaining all the time. I don’t live in that kind of a world. I live in a beautiful world!” So may we all. God bless you all.
Your uncle and cousin,
Dr. Joseph Soll Turley, A.B.,D.C.
P.S. Marianne’s grandson, Wm. Cook, is now around 90 or more years of age the oldest living grandchild of T.T. and, as far as I know, I am next, six months older than “Uncle Isaac”.
To Lawrence: Please edit this and add any other details you wish and have it read at the reunion at which I would like to be present and read it myself, but I can’t; also please publish it in the Family Newsletter and as a supplement to the family book and the journal, if possible.
Yours very gratefully and hoping to hear from you soon,
Your father’s cousin,
N.B. I ask your indulgence since you did not consider Grandfather’s original diary to be worth keeping to keep this copy which Marianne Franklin made for your father until I am gone. The photostat you sent me was so poor I souldn’t read it
Theodore Turley’s brother John, who was very prosperous paid T.T.’s fine of no doubt several hundred or possible several thousand dollars.
One of his married sisters came all the was from London to find a two day journey each way. And then the sons of another sister were splendid young men too.
I have one small and two large flower painted drinking cups of at least the 19th century, the two larger ones have the handles broken off. Would you like to have them for your museum. And also my boyhood drinking cup of pewter. Tell me more about your life in the colony in Mexico since boyhood and when you came to the U.S. And more about your family and does your brother, Ireng plan to come and visit you again. I visited him in San Antonio in 1936. I think very highly of him and I would like to see him again very much. Call yp your cousin Hazel and ask her to write to me. I like her immensely too. Please let me know her address so that I can write to her. Our Christmas letter to her was returned to us because of the incorrect address. Although my 84th birthday has passed, I would consider it my most important and best birthday present it you would write to me.
William, Mary Ann’s grandson, must be around 90 years of age, or maybe a little older. He is the oldest male descendant still living and I am the next. The oldest grandson of T.T. still living. Six months older than “Uncle Isaac.” But my health is failing and I don’t know how much longer I can live.
When is your birthday? Are you the oldest son? Give me your father’s life and death dates and the cause of his death. Mary Ann had one son, Henry, who it is my pleasure to know. He came to L.A. built him a beautiful white stucco with red tile roof small apartment house in the west Adams district of L.A. An above average district. The father of William and Walter who was the father of the owner of the Coronado. She also had three daughters whom I met in the 30’s when I went to Santa Paula with cousin Della Shook. Two of them I hear have since moved. One of them to Bakersfield. There are some of her descendants who are still living in Santa Paula.
In case I did not mention it before, the Button family of Riverside should have the original of T.T.’s indenture, when he was 14, datted 1814 to “Samuel Parks, Stamper, Piercer, and Toll Maker.” I suggest that you try to get Tilden Jr. of Elsinore, Riverside County, to investigate this, and also to look up 6’3″ handsome, dark haired, adopted son of Amelia Carter whose adopted fater had a furniture store in Riverside in 1911. Look up the S.B. Court House to see is T.T. received pay for his three properties when he left S.B. in late 1857. When I wrote Aunt Sarah, she told me that they spent Christmas in the snow on top of El Capone Pass, (4,200 ft. el.) in 1857. My cousin in Beaver who had T.T.’s dies passed on and his son wrote me and told me he doesn’t know what became of them.