Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
WILLIAM LAFAYETTE TURNER, M. D. Belonging to Greene county's enterprising class of professional men, Dr. William Lafayette Turner, of Galloway, Clay township, is deserving of specific mention in these pages. To the active practice of medicine he has given, not only the gravity of his thought and the truest exercise of his abilities, but the strength of his personality and the momentum of his character. He is a physician of discriminating mind, keen and acute in reasoning, a patient and persistent investigator, sinking his inquiring lead down to the bottom of principles, and thereby, being enabled to better and more fully understand the case or cases to be treated, and consequently he meets with a high degree of success.
Doctor Turner was born near Marshfield, Webster county, Missouri, July 17, 1871. He is a son of Robert N. and Sarah F. (Cox) Turner. The father was born in Webster county, this state, in 1843, was reared on the farm and received a meager education in the early day schools. He worked for his father on the homestead until he was married, then began working at the carpenter's trade, at which he became quite expert and which he has made his principal life work. Has also done considerable contracting. Naturally talented as a musician he made himself proficient in that art and for some time taught music during the winter months when there was no carpenter work. About 1899 he moved to Texas where he remained some three years, then went to Ft. Smith, Arkansas, and established his home, and in that city his death occurred on March 12, 1914. Politically, he was a Democrat, and he belonged to the Methodist Episcopal church, South. His wife was also a native of Webster county, Missouri, where she grew to womanhood and was educated, her birth having occurred in February, 1841. She is still living in Springfield. She is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, South To these parents ten children were born, namely: Doctor William L., of this sketch; Mrs. Hepsabeth Straughan, Robert J., John B., who lives in Ft. Smith, is the inventor of the automatic street car switch which is in use all over the country; Lucy, Jessie P., Mrs. Nellie Guthrie, Della, Oma and Lee.
Doctor Turner grew to manhood on the home farm in Webster county and there he assisted with the general work during the summer months. He received his education in the public schools of his native county, later attended high school at Marshfield, and when nineteen years of age he began life for himself as a teacher. He kept up home study and in 1895 was enabled to enter the Springfield Normal where he spent a year, then studied two years at Drury College, after which he resumed teaching, which vocation he followed for some time in Greene and Webster counties. He gave a high degree of success as an educator and his services were in large demand, but believing that his true bent lie in another direction, he abandoned the school room in 1901 and began the study of medicine, entering Barnes Medical College, St. Louis, he remained in that institution until his graduation in 1906, making an excellent record. Returning to Marshfield he remained there a short time, then located for the practice of his profession at Galloway, Greene county, where he has since remained, and has built up a large and growing practice and is regarded among the leading general practitioners in this section of the country. He owns a pleasant home on the Springfield and Ozark road.
Doctor Turner was married on July 18, 1901, to Joel P. Haden, who was born in Greene county, Missouri, April 22, 1883. She is a daughter of Joel H. and Nancy A. (Beshears) Haden. The father was born in this county, December 4, 1847, and here grew up on a farm and received a common school education. During the Civil war he served in the Home Guards, seeing considerable service in his native county. After the war he returned to the farm, and has followed general agricultural pursuits, being now owner of a valuable and well-improved farm of three hundred acres. He has long made a specialty of raising fine live stock, and is an excellent business man, well known and influential in his vicinity. Politically he is a Democrat. His wife was born in this county, December 2, 1858, and here she grew to womanhood and was educated in the public schools.
Mrs. Turner was reared on the home farm and was given good educational advantages.
To Doctor Turner and wife six children have been born namely: Edith, deceased; Retha, deceased; Joel, Fred, Mary and Pinkney are all at home.
Politically, Doctor Turner is a Democrat. He is a member of the Greene County Medical Society, and the Missouri State Medical Association. Religiously, he belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church, South. He is a man of exemplary habits and is popular with all classes.
Springfield-Greene County Library