Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: BIOGRAPHY – Families
Turner Family, 1919-1986


0051a P. Roettinger Album. “Aunt Judy and Aunt Stacey Ellen arrive.” Two women in sun bonnets, one standing by a horse and the other, a mule [roe_051a.jpg]

TURNER FAMILY, 1919-1986

TAGS: Turner Family, Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain Community, PMSS Workers, PMSS Boarding School Students, PMSS Community School Students

Members of the Turner Family lived in the community of Pine Mountain since very early years. Many were among the student body and workers at Pine Mountain Settlement School. According to the DEAR FRIEND LETTER 1911 [Hindman], they are descendants of the four original settlers of Greasy Creek, Kentucky — Minyards, Napiers, Turners and Chappels.

For additional assistance in locating histories of families in Eastern Kentucky see:

Harlan County, Kentucky, Genealogy – FamilySearch/Wiki

Early Settlers on the Poor Fork of the Cumberland River, Harlan County Kentucky and Adjoining Counties by Jackie Owen (1990) [out of print – Contains information on the Creech Family and related families as well as black-and-white photos, and an index. It also includes family charts, pages for recording births, marriages, and deaths and information on the families of: Adams, Ball, Blair, Branson, Caudill, Chadwell, Collier, Creech, Day, Ely, Ewing, Howard, Kelly, Napier, Nolan, Parker, Posey, Scott, Sims, Spencer, Turner, and others.]


Alice Boggs Turner is identified in a photo [see below: ephemera_002xx.jpg] by Grace Lewis Creech, writing that Alice was Coburn Turner[‘s] mother in a letter to Geoff Marietta, 2016. GRACE LEWIS CREECH Biography.

Alice Turner assisted with an operation on Miss Gallagher’s lungs at Pine Mountain in 1928, according to Evelyn Wells’ history of health care at PMSS. INFIRMARY (HILL HOUSE)

Alonzo Turner, Creed Turner and Luther Turner were participants in the 1950 COMMUNITY FAIR DAY. Alonzo Turner was one of the participants in the “sword dance” at the 1979 Homecoming. 1970s ALUMNI RELATIONS. (See also ALONZO TURNER Biography.) At the 1983 Homecoming, Alonzo E. Turner was recognized for his “many years of dedication in teaching Country Dancing at Pine Mountain.” See photo of Alonzo below: [pmss_archives_alonzo_ turner.jpg] 1983 ALUMNI RELATIONS

Alta Collins Turner was listed as among the 1981 Homecoming attendees, along with her husband Chad Turner and granddaughter Kary, all from Piqua, Ohio. 1981 ALUMNI RELATIONS

Andy Turner and Carmen Huff, are described in a 1916 (?) Marguerite Butler letter, as “both age fifteen. They are here on trial for a month having promised not to leave the school land so as to get “nary a drop of moonshine,” for they have been drinking frightfully. Miss Pettit is taking charge of their physical training and care, taking charge of their baths, etc., but has handed them to me for mental and moral training, They are two of the most interesting boys I ever worked with and I do think there are great prospects for them.” 1916 MARGUERITE BUTLER LETTERS, Letter 5.

Anna Ruth Turner is listed as a PMSS student in CONIFER 1949.

Ethel de Long, on a 1911 trip from Hindman to Pine Mountain to search for a school location, spent 5 days with Aunt Judy Turner and her 8 sons and 1 daughter who lived at the mouth of Big Laurel on Greasy. De Long, impressed at the devotion the children showed their parents, listened to stories Aunt Judy told of her girlhood. Later, she joined a meeting, led by Hiram Turner, where she met other mountain people eager for a school. DEAR FRIEND LETTER 1911 [Hindman], pages 3-6. Aunt Judy Turner’s funeralizing is described in a Katherine Pettit letter of September 26, 1930. KATHERINE PETTIT CORRESPONDENCE 1930

In her 1917 narratives about PMSS staff, Evelyn K. Wells described a knitting party that was attended by “Aunt Judy Turner, the first settler in these parts, [who] had come up Greasy on her ‘pieded’ horse.” Also attending was Mrs. John Turner and her baby.  (See photo below: [nesb_026_mod.jpg]] EVELYN K. WELLS 1917 Excerpts from Letters Home

Ava Turner Boggs and Virgil Boggs were parents of Alvin Boggs who was born in Big Laurel, KY, in 1924. Rev. L. Alvin Boggs, a former PMSS student, a college graduate and an ordained minister, was a PMSS teacher of vocational subjects in the 1950s and PMSS Director from 1973 to 1983. ALVIN BOGG Biography

Several Turners played parts in the 1933 production of the play, “H.M.S. Pinafore,” a two-act operetta written by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan: Bennie Turner (“Dramatis personae”) and 3 in the Women’s and Men’s Chorus: Polly Turner, Delia Turner, and Alonzo Turner. “H.M.S. PINAFORE PRODUCTIONS

Christine Turner is listed as one of the ninth-grade students in a 1938 letter to Gladys Hill. GLADYS HILL CORRESPONDENCE

Creed Turner was one of the attendees who sang at a funeral described by Helen Little in an August 1925 letter to Miss Pettit. HELEN F. LITTLE Biography

Delphia Turner’s coverlids and their purchase are discussed in Harriet Crutchfield’s letters to her mother. HARRIET CRUTCHFIELD JOURNAL IV TRANSCRIBED

Dillard Turner at Geneva Conference is referred to in a letter (#024-025) from Hubert Handley to Katherine Pettit. KATHERINE PETTIT CORRESPONDENCE 1930

Grace Turner was a PMSS boarding school student in the early 1930s. GRACE TURNER CORRESPONDENCE (in progress).

When Dr. Evelyn Holt arrived to work at the Big Laurel Medical Center for the summer of 1928, Harmon Turner met her at the railroad station to bring her to PMSS by horseback. He was described by Evelyn Wells as “the in waiting for Big Laurel.” Dr, EVELYN HOLT Biography.

Harriet Turner is listed as a trustee from 1953-1954 in files related to Burton Rogers’ tenure as PMSS teacher, principal and director. GUIDE TO BURTON ROGERS FILES

Burton Rogers, describing a return trip from visiting the Northwest U.S. in a 1960 letter to Edith Cold, wrote of staying “one night with Miss Harriet Turner, who was then at home on vacation on her farm near Quincy, Illinois.” EDITH COLD CORRESPONDENCE IV, 1959-1963.

Mrs. Harvey Turner received a letter from Katherine Pettit in April 1920 inviting her to visit for a week to “just sit on my front porch with me and help me mend and sew. KATHERINE PETTIT CORRESPONDENCE 1920

“Hen” Turner‘s blacksmith shop at Rockhouse Creek was among the sights along a walk taken by Glyn Morris and his friend and described in Morris’ book “Less Travelled Roads.” SUSIE HALL ANGEL

Hiram Turner of Big Laurel, his daughter Nance Turner, Lewis Turner’s store, and Johanna Turner’s horse are mentioned in a narrative by Clara Davis, a PMSS nurse in 1913. CLARA DAVIS Biography


Ila Turner attended the 1983 Homecoming. Alice Turner Ball could not attend but donated money to the Emergency Water Fund, Maxine Turner was among the kitchen help that provided the food for the event. 1983 ALUMNI RELATIONS

Fee, Holly. “Devil Jim Turner: Of Harlan County, Kentucky” Harlan, KY: Footprints P & R, 1990. Print. (A book about James Turner (b. 1837) BIBLIOGRAPHY HARLAN COUNTY, KENTUCKY.

In the winter of 1916, Evelyn Wells and another co-worker walked three miles in the snow down Greasy to Joanna Turner’s, “where we collected her horse.” EVELYN K. WELLS 1916 Excerpts from Letters Home

John L. Turner and W. H. Turner “will donate land” for the Pine Mountain Settlement School, according to A.E. Boggs letter to K. Pettit, dated November 13, 1911. CREECH LETTERS 1911

Justus Turner’s student letter to Katherine Pettit was quoted in a “Dear Friend” fundraising letter written by Ethel de Long Zande in 1923. DEAR FRIEND LETTERS 1923, page 3.

Lee-Turner house” is mentioned in a letter (#007) to Katherine Pettit dated February 7, 1930. KATHERINE PETTIT CORRESPONDENCE 1930

Lewis Turner, General Merchant, “Notions, Shoes & Candies,” of Jane, KY, wrote several letters to Miss Katherine Pettit, Hindman, KY, in 1911. In an August letter, he explains why the people want Pettit to create a good school and invites Pettit to return. (Pettit had visited Turner at Big Laurel in spring 1911 to talk about a proposed local school.) In August, A.E. Boggs wrote to Miss Pettit that land at Big Laurel would be donated by his company and the Turners. KATHERINE PETTIT CORRESPONDENCE 1919

Lloyd Turner of Pine Mountain, Kentucky, is listed as a member of the “Local Advisory Board” in a 1914 (?)  brochure titled The Pine Mountain Settlement School in the Making.” 1915 BROCHURE: “THE PINE MOUNTAIN SETTLEMENT SCHOOL IN THE MAKING”

Mrs. Lloyd Turner is mentioned in a story written by Evelyn K. Wells’ 1918 narrative as “huge woman with the build and features of an Indian, wearing a bright red waist and bright blue skirt.” EVELYN K. WELLS 1918 Excerpts from Letters Home

Mrs. Marie R. Turner, Superintendent, Breathitt County Schools, Jackson, Ky., was listed among the “consultants” on the page for 1937 RURAL YOUTH GUIDANCE INSTITUTE – FINDINGS and 1948 RURAL YOUTH GUIDANCE INSTITUTE

Marion Turner accompanied the PMSS Girls’ Octet on a promotional tour in 1937 that included a visit with President and Mrs. Roosevelt. Marion called the figures for the Kentucky Running Set which was part of the performance. PMSS GIRLS’ OCTET 1936-1937

Pearlie Turner is discussed in a letter dated June 4, 1919, from Katherine Pettit to Marguerite Butler. Among the items on exhibit at the Community Fair were Harmon Turner’s ax handle and onions. 1919 COMMUNITY FAIR DAY, Letter 8.

Polly Turner (Harris) was a PMSS boarding school student from 1923 to 1935.

Rob Turner is mentioned in a children’s letter to Miss Butler, dated August 19, 1918. EDUCATION – CHILDREN’S WRITING II

Roger Turner, Faye Turner and Sophia Turner are mentioned in NOTES – 1999.

Sam Turner ”(one of Ethel McCollough’s friends) killed Doc Nolan (greatest moonshiner in mountains, they say worth $75,000) and shot two other men….” 1918(?) MARGUERITE BUTLER LETTERS, Letter 5.

The following are listed as PMSS students who graduated from PMSS Boarding School.

Ben Turner and Delia Turner – 1935 GRADUATING CLASS
Alonzo Turner – 1936 GRADUATING CLASS
Marion Turner – 1937 GRADUATING CLASS
Bill Turner, U.S. Marines –  1942 GRADUATING CLASS
Dan Turner – 1945 GRADUATING CLASS
Alberta Turner – 1948 GRADUATING CLASS. See photo below: Alberta is the last one on right in back row. [nace_II_album_100.jpg]

Mrs. Turner is mentioned in a 1919 letter written by Marguerite Butler. Butler tells of a supper that was given in Mrs. Turner’s honor at Open House.  “Cooked out back and she loved it – 3 guests, R.B.G[aines], Miss Sandstrom and Miss Sheltman. We all stayed with her in Evarts different times.” 1919 MARGUERITE BUTLER LETTERS, Letter 11.

Many members of the Turner Family were mentioned in Alice Cobbs writings, stories and letters: (See GUIDE TO ALICE COBB WRITINGS,…)

“On Saturday nights the Turner boys from Big Laurel, came in with other boys and girls from the neighborhood to call for sets [set-running of the Kentucky Running Set] and play-party games.” EVELYN K. WELLS, TALKS 1955 Harvard Talk.

Marguerite Butler, a PMSS teacher, mentions having supper with a Turner Family “near mouth of Big Laurel” in a notation on one of her 1914 letters. MARGUERITE BUTLER LETTERS 1914, Letter 5.

Turner Family: IN PINE MOUNTAIN AREA, 1919-1942

O’Toole Chester (?) 1937 COBB STORIES “Sunday School…” Married Mary Turner.
Turner Felix 1937 “Big Laurel boy”
Mr. & Mrs. Turner Hemp (Hep, Hamp) 1934 COBB STORIES “Death of…” & “A Trip to Turkey Fork…”; MAP OF COM
Turner Ham 1934 COBB STORIES “Visit to Uncle Hen…”
Turner Will 1934 COBB STORIES “Death of…” store owner
Turner Alice 1934 COBB STORIES “Pre-Christmas…” school teacher
Turner Little Bill 1930s COBB STORIES “Abner Boggs…”
Mr. & Mrs. Turner Louis 1934 COBB STORIES “May Graveyard…” Husband was paralyzed visitor at graveyard preaching.
Mr. & Mrs. Turner Frank 1934 – 1942, 1935 MAP OF COMMUNITY RESIDENTS 1934 – 1942; COBB STORIES “Taking Moving Pictures…”
Mr. & Mrs. Turner Hi 1934 – 1942 MAP OF COMMUNITY RESIDENTS 1934 – 1942
Mr. & Mrs. Turner Wilson 1934 – 1942 MAP OF COMMUNITY RESIDENTS 1934 – 1942 Mrs. Laurie Baker
Mr. & Mrs. Turner Dan 1934 – 1942 MAP OF COMMUNITY RESIDENTS 1934 – 1942 Mrs. Martha Lewis
Mr. & Mrs. Turner Harmon 1934 – 1942 MAP OF COMMUNITY RESIDENTS 1934 – 1942; COBB STORIES “Visit to Harmon…”
Mrs. Turner Jude (Aunt Jude) 1934 – 1942, 1935 MAP OF COMMUNITY RESIDENTS 1934 – 1942; COBB STORIES “Taking Moving Pictures…”  “Aunt Jude” with sheep; “white-haired and sweet and motherly”
Mr. & Mrs. Turner Monroe 1934 – 1942 MAP OF COMMUNITY RESIDENTS 1934 – 1942 Mrs. Ellen Jane Day Turner – Monroe killed, July 1942
Mr. & Mrs. Turner Hen 1934 – 1942 MAP OF COM & COBB STORIES “Visit to Uncle Hen…”
Mr. & Mrs. Turner Alonzo 1934 – 1942 MAP OF COMMUNITY RESIDENTS 1934 – 1942
Turner Bird 1919 Lavender Album school teacher on Big Laurel
Turner Ernie 1937 COBB STORIES “A Trip to Turkey Fork…”
Mr. & Mrs. Turner John 1934 – 1942 MAP OF COMMUNITY RESIDENTS 1934 – 1942
Mr. & Mrs. Turner Silas (Silus, Si) 1934 – 1942 MAP OF COM & COBB STORIES “Party for…”, “Ballad Singer” Sally Bell = their “middlin one”
Mr. & Mrs. Turner Arthur 1934 – 1942 MAP OF COMMUNITY RESIDENTS 1934 – 1942
Mr. Turner Walter 1934 – 1942 MAP OF COMMUNITY RESIDENTS 1934 – 1942
Mrs. Turner Mable 1934 – 1942 MAP OF COMMUNITY RESIDENTS 1934 – 1942
Mr. & Mrs. Turner Frank 1934 – 1942 MAP OF COMMUNITY RESIDENTS 1934 – 1942
Mr. Turner Otis 1934 – 1942 MAP OF COMMUNITY RESIDENTS 1934 – 1942 Mrs. Alin(?) Boggs Turner
Mr. & Mrs. Turner Chad 1934 – 1942 MAP OF COMMUNITY RESIDENTS 1934 – 1942
Turner Howard 1934 – 1942 MAP OF COMMUNITY RESIDENTS 1934 – 1942
Turner Sarah Jane 1934 COBB STORIES “Hike to Napier…”
Turner Family 1937 COBB STORIES “Handing…”; “Sunday School…” Walter, Floyd, MInnie, Mary (Chester? O’Toole – formerly married to Kermit Creech)
Turner Aunt Jane 1940? COBB STORIES “Migration…” Lived with the Joe Wilson family.
Mr. & Mrs. Vance John 1934 – 1942 MAP OF COMMUNITY RESIDENTS 1934 – 1942 Mrs. Jude Turner

Turner Family: WORKERS AT PINE MOUNTAIN, 1941-1986

Boggs, Ila (Turner, Miss Ila Boggs) Ila Kitchen Assistant Daughter of Abner Boggs, folksinger 1941, 1942, 1943
Miss Turner Harriet Volunteer Relief Dietician Summer 1946 Dietician June 1951-1963 Laurel House Father: T.Will Turner Summer 1946; 1951-1962 or 1963
Turner Sophia Domestic, Laurel House/West Wind Birth Date: Dec 09, 1941 Oct 1984 – 1986?
Turner Maxine Domestic, Laurel House/West Wind Birth Date: Mar 16, 1937; Part-time Mar 1983 – 1986?
Turner Myrtle Domestic, Laurel House/West Wind Birth Date: Feb 17, 1934; Part-time May 1985 – 1986?

Turner Family: PMSS BOARDING STUDENTS, 1928-1951

Turner, Alberta 1944-1948 yes
Turner, Alonzo E. 1929-1936 yes
Turner, Anna Ruth 1948-1951
Turner, Annie Rose 1937-1938
Turner, Bennie 1928-1936 yes Graduated May 1935
Turner, Buster 1936-1937
Turner, Charles 1940-1941
Turner, Chester 1934
Turner, Christopher Columbus, Jr. 1943-1945
Turner, Curtis 1943-1945
Turner, Della 1929-1935 yes
Turner, Earnest 1934-1935
Turner, Eddie 1933
Turner, Emily 1931-1933
Turner, Felix 1939
Turner, Floyd 1934-1935
Turner, George 1935-1936
Turner, Gertrude 1937
Turner, Grace 1931
Turner, Hilldred Christine 1936-1939
Turner, Inez Doris 1931
Turner, James 1940
Turner, John 1932-1934
Turner, Jueann 1934-1935
Turner, Lela Mae 1935
Turner, Lillian Lucille 1936-1938
Turner, Loyd 1940
Turner, Luther 1937
Turner, Marion 1932-1937 yes
Turner, Minnie 1934-1936
Turner, Ora 1932-1933 Application only
Turner, Orrin Creech 1942 Medical form only
Turner, Polly 1925-1934 yes
Turner, Ruby 1939-1940
Turner, Sally Belle 1942
Turner, Sarah Jane 1930-1936
Turner, Stacy Ellen 1941
Turner, William 1936-1942 yes



Turner Ada 1951-05-04 1951

Turner Ailene 1940-05-08 1956

Turner Alonzo Jr. 1943-11-11 1950

Turner Bobby Dale 1959-12-10 1965

Turner Diana [n.d.] 1964

Turner Eldon 1944-05-26 1960

Turner Gladys 1961-09-28 [n.d.]

Turner James Stephen 1952-07-26 1961

Turner Janice Lee 1947-02-27 1954

Turner Lonnie 1948-06-20 1963

Turner Phyllis 1948-04-04 1954

Turner Audrey 1946-10-13 1952

Turner Anges Lou 1943-03-14 1954

Turner Betty Lou 1948-06-28 1955

Turner Charlene 1947-03-05 1955

Turner Clark 1941-07-14 1950

Turner Clementeen 1958-09-13 1953

Turner Coburn 1940-02-10 1955-56

Turner Daisy 1938-02__ 1952

Turner Darrel 1954-12-02 1960-61

Turner Edna Jean 1940-09-25 1955

Turner Evelyn 1941-09-14 1952

Turner Georgia Ruth 1937-01-15 1948-51

Turner Glyn Austin 1939-10-22 1950-51

Turner Hazel 1946-05-12 1956-60

Turner Hilda 1952-04-29 1960

Turner Jennifer June 1942-02-05 1955-56

Turner Johnny Lloyd 1946-12-24 1956-57

Turner Joy 1943-07-14 1961

Turner Justin 1936-08-08 1951

Turner Kilburn 1942-04-05 1955-56

Turner Leyon 1946-02-05 1952

Turner Lige Junior 1954-07-30 1960

Turner Lois Faye 1942-03-04 1948

Turner Lonnie 1948-06-20 1962

Turner Marilyn Sue 1954-09-18 1960

Turner Mary 1942-05-18 1957-58

Turner Mossie 1942-06-02 1948

Turner Mayrene 1949-09-07 1955

Turner Opal 1938-08-16 1950-51

Turner Ralph 1945-01-02 1952-55

Turner Ray 1945-01-02 1955

Turner Roger 1944-04-19 1962

Turner Rita 1949-01-16 1955-56

Turner Sammy 1943-08-25 1956

Turner Sandra 1947-04-25 1960-61

Turner Sharon Gayle 1946-07-14 1960

Turner Sharon Gayle 1948-01-27 1960

Turner Yvonne 1943-01-12 1953

See Also:

ALICE COBB STORIES “Visit to the Harmon Turners, 1934”
ALICE COBB STORIES “Visit to Uncle Hen Turner, 1934”

Turner Family: GALLERY


Turner Family




Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Alt. Creator

Ann Angel Eberhardt ; Helen Hayes Wykle ;

Subject Keyword

Turner Family ; Pine Mountain Settlement School ; Pine Mountain Community ; PMSS  Workers ; PMSS Boarding School Students; PMSS Community School Students ;

Subject LCSH

Turner Family.
Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky.) — History.
Harlan County (Ky.) — History.
Education — Kentucky — Harlan County.
Rural schools — Kentucky — History.
Schools — Appalachian Region, Southern.




Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY




Collections ; text ; image ;


Original and copies of documents and correspondence in file folders in filing cabinet.


Series 09: Biography – Families




Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections, Series 09: Biography – Families

Coverage Temporal

1919 – 1986

Coverage Spatial

Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ;


Any display, publication, or public use must credit the Pine Mountain Settlement School. Copyright retained by the creators of certain items in the collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.




Core documents, correspondence, writings, and administrative papers of the Turner Family ; clippings, photographs, books by or about the Turner Family ;




“[Identification of Item],” [Collection Name] [Series Number, if applicable]. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY.

Processed By

Helen Hayes Wykle ; Ann Angel Eberhardt ;

Last Updated

201-06-01 aae ;



Series 09: Biography – Families. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. Internet resource.

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