Manuscript MS-058



SOURCE: Mrs. Harry Davis

SIZE: 2 volumes

SHELVING UNIT: one flat gray box

PROCESSING: GEC, March 1999; PHW, October 2000



William Weaver Turner was born in LaGrange on June 19, 1844. His parents were James M. (June 16, 1811 -August 20, 1886) and Mary J. Turner (December 23, 1816 - November 20, 1884), pioneer settlers of Troup County. W. W. Turner attended Brownwood Institute. When the Civil War began, Turner joined the LaGrange Light Guards at the age of 17. Serving all four years of the war, he saw active duty in Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia. After the war, Turner returned to LaGrange for a short time before moving to California in 1868. After nine months, he returned to Georgia living in Atlanta for a year. In 1870, Turner moved back to his hometown of LaGrange and two years later established a law practice. He married Mattie Hutchins Coker (February 24, 1856 - September 30, 1927) on September 2, 1875. The couple had six children: Frank, William E., Sterling, Annie, Mary, and Mattie. W. W. Turner was an active participant in Troup County politics and society. He served two terms as Judge of the County (1876-78, 1887-94), an abbreviated term as state representative (1885), and one term as state senator (1896-97). As a community leader and a legislator, Turner championed the cause of prohibition and wrote numerous articles in local newspapers about prohibition. As a state senator, Turner sponsored the first prohibition bill in the Georgia legislature. Turner was a member of the First Methodist Church of LaGrange serving as a Sunday School teacher and a lay preacher. During the late 1880s, Turner was elected President of the Troup County Sunday School Association. In 1891, the North Georgia Methodist Conference ordained him a minister. After retiring from public service, Turner became an evangelical minister preaching in various churches. Turner continued to be an active member of the community until his death on May 5, 1928, in LaGrange.



The collection consists of two scrapbooks that document Turner's life. The bulk of the materials in the scrapbook relate to Turner's judicial, political, and religious careers from 1870 to 1900. There is little information regarding either his personal life or his life before 1860 and after 1900. The documents found in the scrapbooks include newspaper clippings, correspondence, handwritten and typed notes, and photographs. The majority of the newspaper clippings are letters to newspaper editors written by Turner presenting his views on various topics such as politics, the economy, religion, and prohibition. Other newspaper clippings contain articles related to Turner's judicial, political, and religious careers, the Civil War, Jefferson Davis, and Confederate reunions. Other documents in the collection include a brief handwritten account of Turner's life and a typed summary of his participation in the Civil War. There is a duplication of the certificate of greeting written by Turner that was presented to Jefferson Davis during his brief visit to LaGrange on May 1, 1886. The scrapbooks also contain notes Turner took from church sermons. The scrapbooks are in poor condition; therefore, some loose documents were placed in folders. Loose photographs found in the scrapbooks were placed in the photo collection. W. W. Turner compiled the map of 1860 LaGrange hanging in the reading room in 1923.



Scrapbook 1 (1844-1928)

Scrapbook 1 contains newspaper clippings and correspondence. Other newspaper clippings in the scrapbook include his letters to newspaper editors and articles related to the Civil War, Jefferson Davis, and Confederate reunions. The scrapbook also includes an account of Turner's participation in the Civil War, a greeting written by Turner that was given to Jefferson Davis and news articles regarding the prohibition movement. There are also photographs of Turner on the inside of the front and back covers of the scrapbook.

Scrapbook 2 (c. 1890- 1911)

Scrapbook 2 contains church literature, newspaper clippings related to spiritual topics and prohibition, notes taken by Turner from various sermons, and one photograph of Turner. It also includes a newspaper clipping of a letter to the editor of the Atlanta Constitution written by Turner regarding cotton prices and follow up correspondence. Finally, there is a record of a vote taken in the state senate during Turner's term.

Folder 1

W. W. Turner's obituary and editorial reaction to his death from the LaGrange Reporter

Folder 2

Turner's views on prohibition (fragile)

Folder 3

Handwritten account of Turner's life; list of Confederate soldiers who served in the Evans Guards, Company K, 13th GA regiment

Folder 4

Miscellaneous newspaper clippings



Civil War
Ministers - Troup County