Illinois Genealogy Trails

Rock Island County Biographies
- T Surnames -

TURNER, George W -
One of the many advantages of biography is to tell the story of self-made men for it is a great encouragement to read of those who, through personal effort have attained success along any line. George Washington Turner, who is secretary of the Tri-City and North Eastern Street Railroad Company of Moline, Illinois, and a prominent agriculturist of Rock Island county, is an example at hand. He was born in Wayne county, Ill., January 12, 1859, and is a son of Israel J and Lucy A. (Tibbs) Turner. The father was born in White County, Ill., and spent his life as a farmer and miller in his native state. He was a son of William and Charity (Jennings) Turner. His death occurred January 6, 1877; his wife survived him for but twenty-two days.
George W Turner was the ninth born in his parents family of five daughters and six sons. Bereft of both parents in the same year he remained on the home farm a twelve months longer and then went to work on the farm of his uncle, William Cook, with whom he continued for eighteen months. He then secured the position of weight boss at the Happy Hollow coalmines under the late Taylor Williams, and remained there for four years. About this time he married and worked for seven years on his father-in-laws farm, after which he moved to Moline. Whit his available capital he bought a home here and for the next half year worked as a teamster for the government, afterward for three years, for Diminick, Gould & Co. Mr. Turner then bought the John Wells farm of 160 acres, situated on section 21, Hampton township, Rock Island county. In 1809 he rented out the farm and went to Sioux Falls, S.D., where he was in the real estate business for two years and returned to Illinois and for two years more was a coal operator at Happy Hollow. He then resumed farming for two more years and then moved to Silvis, where he invested in real estate and built a residence but only remained there for eighteen months, returning to Hampton, Ill. , where he was occupied in looking after his coal interests until the spring of 1910, when, with his son-in-law, he returned to his farm in Hampton township. Here they carry on general farming and dairying and do a large stock business, raising Jersey-Red hogs and Norman horses. In January 1909, he assisted in organizing the Tri-City and North Western Street Railway Company, which was to be operated between Watertown and Albany, and served as trustee, later as a director and still later was elected secretary of the same. The president of the company is J. W. Simonson of Port Byron; the vice-president is William H Ashdown, and the treasurer is C. E. Peck of Albany.

On September 5, 1882, Mr. Turner was married to Miss Inez L Devinney, a daughter of Samuel and Sarah (Wixcel) Devinney, the former of whom was born in Pennsylvania and the later in Sweden. Mrs. Turner died March 16, 1909, survived by two daughters: Lucy Elizabeth, who is the wife of Frank Fleshman of Silvis: and Mildred A who is the wife of Henry W Harder of Hampton township. Mr. Turner was reared in the Congregational Church. He is superintendent of the Methodist Episcopal Sunday school of Hampton. For two years he was president of the village board of Hampton and served three terms as school director. Fraternally he is identified with Abraham Lincoln Camp No. 153, M.W.A. of Moline and Silver Leaf Lodge, No. 60, Mystic Workers of the World.

He has never been unduly active in politics, but it has not been because he is lacking in every good quality of good citizenship, but rather because his inclinations have led him other directions. He is acknowledged to be a representative citizen of his section.
[Source: HISTORY OF ROCK ISLAND COUNTY pgs, 1469-1470, submitted by Nancy Huaracha,

Joel Thompson and Henry McNeal were squatters in Hampton in the late 1820s. John Mahoney, called Pat, hunted and trapped in these parts and viewed the beautiful area from the banks of the river.

Information submitted by Mary and Rock Nelson of the Hampton Historical Society; A History of Hampton, Illinois 1838-1938, by George McNabney

Rock Island County, Illinois Genealogy Trails