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By Wally and Frances Gray
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Letters from Dr. Joseph Soll Turley

Written to descendants of Theodore Turley from Tujunga, California, on August 4, 1971, and was read to a Turley Family Reunion by Lawrence Turley in the summer of 1971.  Joseph Soll Turley is the grandson of Theodore Turley and Ruth Jane Giles and the son of Jacob Omner and Louisa Woodhouse Turley (Jacob is the son of Theodore Turley and Ruth Jane Giles.) See Theodore Turley biography page for wives and children of Theodore Turley

The letters were edited by Ella Mae Judd and Wallace F. Gray. Headlines have been added, paragraphs restructered and punctuation altered. Other minor editing has been done. Bracketed items are added by the editors. Ella Mae Judd is the author of Biography and Autobiography of Theodore Turley.

Some of the letters contain biographical information on many Turley family members. Some of this information has been incorporated into the Theodore Turley biography page (mentioned above.) The letters of Joseph Turley were addressed to Lawrence Turley. (See below for information on Lawrence.)

e-mail address:

Concerning the question, "Who is Lawrence Turley?" and the one which might follow, "Why was Dr. Joseph Turley in communication primarily with him?," I believe Dr. Joseph learned rather late in his life of the Turley family organization and of his many Turley family relatives descended from other wives of Theodore Turley. At that time, Lawrence was President of the Turley family organization.

Lawrence Turley was a real leader in the Turley family. He started the Turley Family newsletter, and was a backbone of the Turley organization for many years; therefore it was natural that any kind of "visitor" to a reunion would have contacted him. I know Lawrence moved from Mesa a few years ago, and that he passed away. His wife Florence (McBride) is in a rest home in Salt Lake City.  His parents were Edward Franklin (son of Isaac and Clara Ann Tolton) and Annie Sariah Martineau Turley.

Lawrence Turley began the mammoth project of producing the red Theodore Turley Family Book, and persisted with it for several years. It was then turned over to Wayne and Nancy Turley to finish. [Wayne is from Wallace Mar Turley, Alma Ruben Turley, Isaac Turley, Theodore Turley; Nancy is from Kathryn Eleanor Bates Romans, Lucy Turley Bates, Theodore (Teed) Wilford Turley, Isaac Turley, Theodore Turley: they are both descendants of Theodore Turley.] Wayne and Nancy finished, published and distributed the book, which is such a blessing to the Theodore Turley family. The work done by Lawrence, Wayne and Nancy to produce and distribute this book is beyond description. If there is an extra or unused copy anywhere, please inform us. There are many people who would like a copy.

I think I learned why Dr. Joseph Soll Turley was often called "Soll," nearly always in quotes. His middle name apparently was "Ingersoll." His parents were, as you know, Jacob Omner (son of Theodore and Ruth Jane Giles Turley) and Louisa Ann Woodhouse Turley. There are some very nice pictures of members of his family on pages 548-551 of the Theodore Turley book. He was born on August 3, 1887 in Emmett, Idaho, and married Lyla Doench (p. 547.) He and his wife are pictured on page 551. Joseph died in December 1973 at Tujunga, California. (Source of death date is the Social Security Death Index.)

Books referred to in this section:

The Theodore Turley Family Book. (Mesa, Arizona, 1978.) 574 pages, illustrated. (Referred to as the red  family book.) The first half of this book compiled under the direction of Lawrence Turley. The latter half compiled under the direction of Nancy Romans Turley. Includes index and these other families: Barker, Bushman, Kartchner, Romney, Tanner, Walser and related families. Found in FHL US/Canadian book area with call number 929.273/T848t. Also on FHL microfilm (1321300, item 4).

Sketch of Life and Missionary Journal of 1840. By Theodore Turley. 14 leaves. FHL call number 921.73/Al /no. 93. Also on FHL microfilm. (0962585, item 6.)

Tujunga, California
August 4, 1971


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 [Theodore Turley] 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 years 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.

Theodore Turley's Early History in Ohio and Missouri

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. He sold his property in Churchville [Canada] for $1,400 and moved to Kirkland, Ohio and later to Far West, Caldwell County, 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 Governor 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 [began] 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 [on his mission to England] the next day, the last to go on the great mission, on September 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 prairie with no shelter that night, the 29th of September, and it froze."

Mission to England: From Nauvoo to Liverpool (1839-1840)

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 Decader's 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 [inalienable] rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," and Patrick Henry's immortal, "Give me liberty or give me death."

His Sacrifices

At least four and probably five 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 Parley P. Pratt's declaration to him late on the night of March 1, 1837 [in Canada], of peace, brotherhood, and cooperation on earth, he made 17 converts in the first three 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 miles west and when he came to Salt Lake, the census showed he lived not in the city but in the Salt Lake Valley.

Theodore Turley's Family in Utah and His Early Days in England

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 years old, not 28. She was born in Marblehead, Massachusetts June 29th, 1812, and this census shows him to have been 50 years old in 1850. His diary under the date of February 2, 1840, under the heading of family genealogy, while his parents and all his brothers and sisters except Frederick, were still living, and copied from the family Bible, the records of their birth dates, ... puts his as April 10th, 1800 [other records including those of Olive K. Turley show birth year as 1801] 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 years to learn his trade; the first five years for bed and board, the last two years 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.

Theodore Turley's Father and Grandfather

His father, William Turley, at that time was a member of a Royal Battn [Battalion?], 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 its 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 University graduates, members of Parliament, the governing body of the nation. One of them wrote a book on the science of government, and the third 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 Turley's Skills and Inventions

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 inch thick piece of leather stamped with the dyes he had made of the numerals from 1 to 9 plus 0 in 1937. I obtained this 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. Theodore Turley'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 number 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 [Prophet?]. 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 Turley's House in Nauvoo and Gold Rush Metal Dies

I gave the Nauvoo paper thanks for crediting him with the oldest 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.  [Picture of house is on page 474 of the Red Turley family book.] 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 years B.C. and they had a picture of the five-dollar gold piece coined by the church after the California 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.

Theodore Turley One of San Bernardino Founders

He was one of the founders of San Bernardino and member of its first school board and the only lay member of the committee of three consisting of apostles Amasa Lyman, his son-in-law, and Alonzo Snow that carried the purchase price of $14,000 of gold to the Lugor family for the Spanish land grant on which San Bernardino was built. He had his town shop on D Street, and E is the main North and South street of San Bernardino, 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.

The Return to Utah

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 San Bernardino in December of that year, and my father, Jacob Omner [of Theodore Turley and Ruth Jane Giles], his youngest son who lived to maturity, was born there January 30, 1852. His youngest son Alvin [of Theodore Turley and Ruth Jane Giles] was also born there in 1855. Brigham Young ordered their return to Utah in mid-winter and Aunt Sara [of Theodore Turley and Frances Amelia Kimberley] told me they spent Christmas day camped on the 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 swept down from the North Pole and carried the thermometer down to 38 below zero in Flagstaff.

I saw a copy of the deed in the courthouse in San Bernardino where he and three of his sons and sons-in-law sold a mining claim in San Bernardino's mountains for $1,000 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. Maybe Tillman [son of Tillman, son of Alma], who was then principal of a special school for delinquent boys in Riverside County in Elsinore might be able to find some information about the indenture which should be in the possession of the Button family who live in Riverside. They are a descendant of Frances, 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 San Bernardino County and whom I met at Aunt Sara's in Colton in 1911.

It's a peculiar coincidence that all three of the Clift Sisters and 10 of their children should've died within ten years or less. . . Ruth Jane Giles [fifth wife of Theodore Turley, and grandmother of Joseph Sol Turley]  was a descendent of a long line of sea captains. . . .  Aunt Sara said she used to want the older children to shut the door without slamming it when they went through and also to clean the mud off their feet before they came into the house . . . .

Joseph [Adopted Son of Theodore Turley and Ruth Jane Giles]

Ruth Jane Giles had one five-year old son, Joseph, which he [Theodore Turley] adopted. Joseph remained loyal to the faith all his life and  though he came back to Colton, three miles from San Bernardino in 1875 and later moved to Los Angeles, he went back to Utah to die. He had five daughters and one son, Lester, who became chief electrical engineer of the Los Angeles Street Railways System. His oldest daughter, Elsie, married a mining engineer who became State Senator. She had one 6' 6" son who became a Los Angeles 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 was about grown. The streetcar in San Bernardino started up too soon and she fell to the pavement and always walked with a limp thereafter. She had a beautiful disposition and was well-liked by everybody. His youngest daughter, Louise, married an engineer and went to Miami, Florida before World War I and rode back. The climate down there was so hot and humid, so debilitating that if you dropped a handkerchief you didn't have energy enough to bend over and pick it up.

Theodore Turley as a Blacksmith

[Theodore Turley] and his son Isaac had a blacksmith shop in Beaver, Utah, 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. 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 [Theodore Turley] was also greatly admired by my mother who was 14 years 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.  As you know, he was a very spiritual-minded man and had started as a lay preacher when he was only 18 years of age. . . .  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. . . .

Theodore Turley Leads First Shipload of Converts from England

He was appointed leader of the first ship of the Great British Mission in 1839-40, 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 Bernardino 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 arose 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 [Theodore Turley's] 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.

His oldest daughter [Frances Amelia Turley of Theodore Turley and Frances Amelia Kimberley] 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. His second daughter, Marianne [Mary Ann of Theodore Turley and Frances Amelia Kimberley], 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 descendants that I know of. . . . [Mary Ann married] John Cook at their camp at the forks of Lydle Creek near San Bernardino while they were waiting to get possession of the Lugo Spanish Land Grant for their permanent home.[His second daughter, Marianne], 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 apartment house [in]  the West Adams S.W. District in Los Angeles and had two sons, William, and Walter who raised Lima Beans on the famous Irvine Ranch southeast of Santa Ana, the county seat of Orange County and later moved to Santa Ana, went into the real estage business and prospered. William is still living in retirement with a daughter about 38 miles north of Los Angeles; he is now; close to 90 years 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 [antecedent unclear] 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 sons 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."

His next daughter, Priscilla [of Theodore Turley and Frances Amelia Kimberley], lived in retirement in Redlands; she married the Apostle Amasa Lyman and had at least three sons I met by him. The oldest, Theodore K., born in San Bernardino, 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 San Bernardino and owned the Stage Lines to the mountain resorts of beautiful Lake Arrowhead about a mile high and Big Bear Lake, about 6,500 feet above sea level, where they have deep snow in the wintertime. His two younger brothers were in the hardware business in San Bernardino 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 6' 3" in height. She was very friendly with my brother who was about the same age and was familiarly known as "Milly." Her 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. 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.

Aunt Sara Elizabeth [of Theodore Turley and Frances Amelia Kimberley], whom I had the pleasure of visiting several times in Colton, was in bed between the years of 1911 and 1914 when she passed away. She lived the longest of any of Theodore Turley'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 San Bernardino. She had one son, a cowboy on the desert and a teen-aged daughter when I visited them in 1911. She was rather short  but was very cheerful and pleasant to me and she lived in Colton with her other married daughter, Marianne, a wonderful woman. She 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 [name of document missing] and Indenture but I am sorry that I didn't ask for them. She finally surrendered them to her half-sister, Frances, and they passed to her daughter who had married a Mr. Button living in Riverside and had two sons about 10 and 12 years 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 Theodore Turley's descendants, and was glad when I could restore the diary to the family at large.

Charlotte [of Theodore Turley and Frances Amelia Kimberley],  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? [Answer by Wallace F. Gray: Ida Roxana Bushman, daughter of Jacob Bushman and Charlotte Turley, was born September 14, 1879, and died April 28, 1970, at age 90.]

Personal Comments of Dr. Joseph Turley

I wanted to say special thanks to Genevieve [Tanner Bushman, wife of Elwin] of Joseph City for her entertainment to me when I took the diary ten years 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. [I have] a letter addressed to her last Christmas to the address she gave on my last visit to a family reunion three years ago in Mesa, which was returned here by the post office at Mesa. So, I am unable to write to her and to my disappointment, she has been too 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 miles almost due north of the Los Angeles City Hall at 1800 and 73 feet above sea level, at nearly the highest point on the highway between Pasadena and San Fernando in a gap between the Verdugo Hills, 2886 foot elevation south of us, between here and Glendale and Sister Elsie Peak ("Mt. Lucas") 5040 feet to the north, almost in our backyard to the northeast. As you know, the higher the elevation, the better the air, so we have less smog here than anywhere in the Los Angeles basin. We had this house extra-strongly built so we did not suffer any loss during the February 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 an 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 or spilling a single drop.

Families of Theodore Turley and Ruth Jane Giles

Theodore Turley had one son, Alvin [by Ruth Jane Giles], who was born in San Bernardino in 1855, who died in Salt Lake when he was seventeen, but my father, Jacob Omner, born in San Bernardino on January 30th, 1852, and died in Boise, Idaho in September of 1924, was his youngest son who lived to maturity. He left seven sons of which I am the fifth and only one living. My two oldest brothers were born in Beaver, Utah. Jay [was born] on April 16, 1877, [and] grew to be 6' 6" tall and 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 River in northwest New Mexico as it emerges from the mountains 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 foot 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 entitled "Hanging Around the Thin Edges."  The project was to be built by the same company that built the famous Twin Falls Project in Idaho. They sent a man named Hollister out from Chicago to sign up my brothers but the bank's stringency the late summer of 1907 closed all the banks in the U.S. for 16 months and no one could get a dime from any of them so when Mr. Hollister reached Durango, Colorado on his way to Turley, New Mexico (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 of New Mexico to have had that development in 1907. The present project (the dam) wasn't completed until 1962. My oldest brother went to New Mexico shortly after the turn of the century and made friends with Governor Otero. He wrote the code of irrigation law for the Constitution of New Mexico when it became a state in 1912. He also studied law and was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States in the boundary dispute with Texas involving the old course of the Rio Grande River. He also came down here and warned the Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles that the San Franciscito Dam on the Los Angeles Aqueduct would never stand because it was built with only a 20 foot 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 called frantically to headquarters in Los Angeles and when Chief Engineer W. M. Mulholland and his Chief Assistant Van Norman went up there at 5 p.m., the roadway was already washed out for two miles and they had to leave their car and walk but Mulholland 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 [surged] 200 feet high that lifted and pushed the whole dam for one-half mile down the canyon before the water would escape around the end; it filled the whole valley 10 feet deep (the Santa Clara Valley) with sand and silt and a loss of over 450 lives. This happened in 1928 and the City of Los Angeles 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 a 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 Mississippi Valley; in one of those years, 32 of the vertical concrete [dams] in Pennsylvania 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 vertical cliffs, the famous redwall and hardrock sides of the canyon. The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is now 7,200 feet above sea level and the North Rim, 8,100 feet. But in Cedar Breaks 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 feet high but it slopes down to a very broad shallow valley, possibly 60-80 miles 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 northwest to south and water naturally has no such sharp angles.

My second brother, Louis Alvin, took his M.A. and Ph.D. in Harvard University with the shortest dissertation ever submitted for the Ph.D. degree at Harvard, but with two models which 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 December 1937. He was a professor of pathology at the University 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, Oklahoma 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 treatises and "THE FIRST HISTORY OF THE PHILOSOPHY OF MEDICINE." He was 6' 4" tall, broad-shouldered, but slender; his average weight was 156 pounds. 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 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 University salary just to travel and design their special buildings for them, although he had never studied architecture. He was also offered a position at Harvard University, which he declined because promotion was so slow and he was head of his department at O. U. But when the first world war came, several of the Harvard professors left to enter government service so he would've become head of the department of pathology there and regretted that he had not accepted that offer. He died of a heart attack at 74 years of age. My third brother, Walter Guy, was born on the Holcomb Ranch five miles above Boise, Idaho on the way to Yakima, Washington, October 4, 1881.

My parents remained in Idaho because my oldest brother, then aged 4 , 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 southern Idaho. My parents spent their first winter there in charge of the Willow Creek stage station on the old Oregon Trail, 18 miles northwest 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 Ranch six miles 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 3, 1887, was so far out and isolated that there was only one house within sight and that was 1 miles away.

My second brother, Louis Alvin, received a university scholarship when he was a junior in high school to make drawings of insects for lantern slides for the professor of Entomology to exhibit to farmers throughout the state for 15 to 25 cents an hour to put himself through college. Before graduation, he had written three scientific articles to be read at National Scientific Conferences, and one [at] 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 became a graduate engineer and in 1905 joined his older brother, Jay, in New Mexico. They chose the site, made the plans and surveys, for a dam and irrigation canal from the San Juan River in northwest New Mexico. I have a picture of my third brother on top of a 2,000 foot 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 entitled "Hanging Around the Thin Edges."

This project included a tunnel underneath the Continental Divide to carry water to the Rio Grande Valley in central New Mexico around Albuquerque. It was to be built in 1907-1908 by the same company that built the famous Twin Falls project in southern Idaho, but owing to the rivalry of two Montana copper mining millionaires, WMA Clark, who built the Salt Lake Railroad from Salt Lake City to San Pedro, California and became U.S. Senator and built a $5,000,000 "cottage" in New York City and a rival named Heinze who went to New York City 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 New York 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 company man named Hollister reached Durango, Colorado 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 (the Turley project was to cover 210,000 acres, for the benefit of White and the other half for the Navajos). Think what it would've meant to the development of the state of New Mexico and the development of the Turley family fortunes if they had been able to build their project 54 years earlier!

Walter Guy then located in Santa Fe and was for many years an engineer for Santa Fe Company and the State Highway Commission and surveyor of Santa Fe, and his obituary 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 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 through the University of New Mexico and gave him the only job he ever had and when he entered Government Service in the last World War, he left his two small children with Uncle Guy and his wife to rear also, which they did and took him on trips to the mountains, 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 years and 55 days.

My oldest brother, 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 United States and was the first American troops that were sent to France in World War I"). He went to France but as a teenager learned the Chinook language, a little Latin and Spanish, which he learned in New Mexico. 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.

Origin of Turley Surname and Ancient History Including Turley

I might explain here that the name "Turley" is derived from the old French word "Tur" meaning power and "ley" meaning land; especially 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 Frd 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 October 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, William would build an Abbey in his honor on the battle site 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 years, 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 Captain Jay Turley was lionized in London during World War I.

About 1365 A.D. for the first Parliament that included representatives from each country 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 Los Angeles; 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 World War II, 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 [of Theodore Turley and Frances Amelia Kimberley], rebounded through his ancient extra height of 6' 3" and though in his Beaver years he weighed only 180 pounds, 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.

Theodore Turley's Later Years

Grandfather [Theodore] 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."

Joseph Soll Turley's Family

Getting back to our branch of our family, my oldest brother, Jay, had two sons. One drowned when five years of age by a cave-in on a bank of the river in Highwater. The other, Jay Bradford, born September 4, 1905, is 6' 8" tall and is in the real estate business, whom I brought to the family reunion three years ago. He has a handsome son, 6' 3", who is a script-writer for TV Westerns and lives in West Los Angeles; he has two grown daughters. Jay also had two daughters and each 6' 1 " 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 northern California. She is only 5' 7" but with a heart as big as all outdoors.

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 pounds. [She was] trying to do a man's work, doing raw sagebrush-covered lands, and 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 [that] 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 four years old, scarlet fever and diphtheria at the same time when I was 7 years old that has left me with impaired hearing; undulant fever at 11 years 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 to an average rate of 42 per minute 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 Southern California 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 University and I didn'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' 8 " 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 putrification of its contents and resulting absorption of all that foul poison into my blood and throughout my whole body, causes 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 macula (the seeing spot in the retina at the back of my eyes) so that I am going blind and cannot see to read or 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. Department of Agriculture and of the President's Committee on Diet and Nutrition after a two-year study of all classes of people in all parts of the U.S. that or more of all the people of the U.S. are suffering from malnutrition, 43% are lacking in Vitamin 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.

My next younger brother, Theodore Hope, born May 29, 1890, grew to be 6' 3" tall but died of pernicious anemia due to lack of vitamins [after being] snowed all winter long up where our father worked a mining claim on a diet of white flour, salt pork, canned beans and a few cans of salmon. He died April 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. 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, William Cook, is now around 90 or more years of age, the oldest living grandchild of Theodore Turley 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, Joseph Sol

P.S. 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 couldn't read it

Other Comments by Joseph Sol Turley

Theodore Turley's brother John, who was very prosperous, paid Theodore Turley's fine of no doubt several hundred or possibly several thousand dollars. One of his married sisters came all the way 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, Eyring, 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 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 if 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 Theodore Turley still living. Six months older than "Uncle Isaac." But my health is failing, and I don't know how much longer I can live.

Another Communication from Joseph Sol Turley

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 Los Angeles, built him a beautiful white stucco with red tile roof small apartment house in the west Adams district of Los Angeles. 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 Theodore Turley's Indenture, when he was 14, dated 1814 to "Samuel Parks, Stamper, Piercer, and Toll Maker." I suggest that you try to get Tilden [Tillman?] 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 father had a furniture store in Riverside in 1911. Look up the San Bernardino Court House to see if Theodore Turley received pay for his three properties when he left San Bernardino in late 1857. When I wrote Aunt Sara, she told me that they spent Christmas in the snow on top of El Capone Pass (4,200 feet elevation in 1857). My cousin in Beaver who had Theodore Turley's dies passed on and his son wrote me and told me he doesn't know what became of them.

Another Undated Letter of  Joseph Sol Turley:

My Dearest Lawrence:

I want to thank you for your very nice Christmas message. It sounds like you really do like me and it makes me happy because I think very high of you. I am sorry did not write before, but I am losing my eye sight. I have a high school girl to be my secretary. Unfortunately my health is declining. I do not know if you know of my accident. I twisted my spine, it reduced my height from six feet to five feet eight inches. I am also suffering from osteo (bone) porosis (poris) which means in spite of all the mile [milk?] products I eat my body cannot digest it. My blood is always lacking in calcium, and to get the calcium necessary to keep me alive the blood is robbing it. I cannot get the good of the calcium so my blood tests always show that I am lacking in calcium. It is sad because I was one whose main joy in life was hiking and mountain climbing.

I went to that reunion two years ago with my nephew in his truck, and I got so bounced around I seem to have never recovered from it.

I hoped I could have met your family but if you ever make it over here I would be very glad to meet them. I want to congratulate your daughter. Has she has been to Hurst Liberty Street where Theodore Turley mentioned in his diary? I had zealously guarded that diary for fifty years. I'm sorry that BYU has it where very few will be able to see it. The photo-stat that you sent me was of the poorest [quality] I had ever seen. Even before I lost my eyesight I could not read it.

Have you ever cleaned the salt and pepper shakers? I have a few other things, among them my favorite watch which is over 100 years old. I remember about ten years ago one of our cousins displayed a watch [presumably which had belonged to Theodore Turley] which he gave to his son. It did not show too much consideration for the rest of the family. I still have the horse shoe nail puller that Theodore Turley had. I'll send those and some other relics to you, some antic [antique?] jewelry too.

Francis C. Turley was living in Colt. One of her daughters married a man named Button and is living in Riverside. That is where I got the diary. They might have some kind of legal document that states that Theodore Turley was born in 1800.

Where can I reach Hazel?

I hope to be able to give my contribution to the family reunion. When and where is it to be?

When do you expect to see Eyre [Eyring?]. I have a very high opinion of him too. I would like to see him again.

I hope everything is well with you and your family. And I want to wish you all the happiness and good things in the world.

With all my love, Joseph S. Turley

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