Letter from Theodore Turley to his children in California, dated 12 July 1864. Theodore was living in Minersville, Utah, at the time. (Image is from the June 2012 Theodore Turley Family Newsletter.)

Transcription by Mary Ann Clements

Miners Ville Beaver County UT
July 12th 1864

Dear Children

I recieved your letter date May 30/64 
with pleasure glad to here that you were all well
I have not been well for the last 3 weeks I caught cold
in traviling from the Citty I just home when your
letter came I went to See Norman Taylor  & W
Huntington but neither of them was at home I have
sent your note to Mr.[?] H. I allso [illegible] a parcel from
James Banks that I was not expecti[ng?] did not send it
through expecting you to send the worth back again
as it regards the mairs I have no American Mairs neither
are there any in this parte of the Country I saw when I
was in the Citty the Best lot of Horses come in with the
[E?]migrants from the States that I ever saw but they asked
a high prise for them while I was there there are thousand
of them coming in and going through to the differe[nt]
mines Salt Lake Citty is a great tra[d]ing place now
I have 3 Breeding Mairs with Colts [?] they are small
[Steeven?] as 4 our Stock are doing well I wish you
was all here John I believe you can do better here
than you can where you are come and pay us a Visit &
see I saw Charlotte & Jacob & Pricillia all are well and
with me in love to you all. Please to send me word
in your next where George is and what time who may
expect to see you come

God bles you all is my dayly prayer of your
Father Theo Turley

 

Comments: Theodore Turley’s children were spread out by this point. This letter was likely written to his daughter, Mary Ann Turley Cook, and her family in Los Angeles, California. Theodore specifically mentions Mary Ann’s husband, John Cook, in the letter. Another of Theodore’s daughters, Frances Kimberley Turley (only surviving child of Mary Clift), had been living with the Cook family for many years. Less than a month before Theodore wrote this letter, though, she got married to Benjamin F. Parsons at the ripe old age of 14. At the end, Theodore also asks after his stepson, George Selywn (son of Sarah Ellen Clift). 

In the letter, Theodore notes that he’s seen his daughters, Charlotte Turley Bushman (with her husband, Jacob) and Priscilla R. Turley Lyman. Charlotte and Jacob Bushman lived in Lehi, Utah. Priscilla had moved to Fillmore, Utah, the year before with Amasa Lyman’s other plural wives. It’s likely that on a visit to Salt Lake City he’d stopped in those locations to visit with his daughters.

Theodore had several adult children living in the Minersville/Beaver area at that time with their families, including Frederick Turley, Sarah E. Turley Franklin, and Isaac Turley. (When Theodore says “as 4 our Stock are doing well,” he’s probably referring to the these three adult children and himself.) Theodore still had a full household of his own, with wife, Ruth, and three sons living at home: Joseph Orson Turley, Jacob Omner Turley, and Alvin Hope Turley.