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James P. Turner Biography


This biography is from "Memorial and biographical record; an illustrated compendium of biography, containing a compendium of local biography, including biographical sketches of prominent old settlers and representative citizens of South Dakota..." Published by G. A. Ogle & Co., Chicago, 1899. Pages 498-499

JAMES P. TURNER, a well-known blacksmith of Faulkton, South Dakota, is a self-made man who started out in life for himself in limited circumstances, has battled earnestly and energetically, and is now the possessor of a handsome competence. He is a man honored, respected and esteemed wherever known, and most of all where best known. 

Mr. Turner is a native of Ontario, Canada, born near the town of Aylmer, December 1, 1858, and is a son of James Turner, who was born in Scotland and emigrated to Canada with his father, Donald Turner, a carpenter by occupation. The father of our subject also learned the carpenter's trade, which he made his life work. He wedded Miss Mary Jardine, a native of Canada and a daughter of Joseph Jardine, one of the most prominent and successful farmers near Hamilton, Ontario, where he owned a fine farm of two hundred acres, on which he was engaged in general farming, stock raising and hop culture. He was also an importer of stock. Mr. and Mrs. Turner were married in Hamilton some time previous to 1854, and became the parents of five children, of whom our subject is third in order of birth. The father died in May, 1863, when James P. was only five years old. 

During his boyhood and youth James P. Turner was given a good common-school education, and at the age of nineteen years commenced serving a three years' apprenticeship to the blacksmith's trade. On the expiration of that time he continued to work at his trade in Canada for two years, and in the spring of 1882 came to Watertown, South Dakota, where he remained one year. In the spring of 1883 he took up his residence in Faulk county, and as one of its first blacksmiths started a shop in La Foon, which was then the county seat. 

Soon after the removal of the county seat to Faulkton in the fall of 1886, Mr. Turner returned to Aylmer, where he was married February 3, 1887, to lilies Belle K. Puntine, a native of Canada and a daughter of John Puntine, a ship builder by trade. As her mother died when she was only two years old, Mrs. Turner was reared by an aunt in her native land. Our subject and his wife now have a family of four children, namely: Jessie A., eleven years of age; Hugh A.; Frank A.; and Muriel. 

In the spring of 1887 Mr. Turner returned with his bride to Dakota, and opened a shop at his present location in Faulkton. He has since enlarged it and now has the largest plant of the kind in the county. He does a general blacksmithing and wagon repairing business, and has built up a good trade. Soon after coming to this state he secured a homestead and erected thereon a shanty, 8 x 10 feet, making it his home for three years. Besides this he now has a tree claim adjoining, and a pleasant residence. He has steadily prospered during his residence here and the success that he has achieved is certainly justly merited. In politics he is a Republican and he has served his fellow citizens as a member of the school board in most acceptable manner. Socially he is member of the Masonic lodge of Faulkton, in which he is now filling the office of master, and also belongs to the Knights of Pythias, the Modern Woodmen of America and the Ancient Order of United Workmen.