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Tom Turpin
Original name: Thomas Turpin
Birth: Nov. 18, 1871
Chatham County
Georgia, USA
Death: Aug. 13, 1922
Saint Louis
St. Louis City
Missouri, USA

Ragtime Musician, Composer, and Businessman. He is considered "The Father of Saint Louis Ragtime" due to his influence in rag music genre and is credited with publishing the first rag by an African-American, the "Harlem Rag" (1897). Born in Savannah, Georgia, where he taught himself to play the piano, his father was politically active during the Reconstruction era in the South after the Civil War. His family moved to Saint Louis, Missouri in the early 1880s where his father opened a saloon and ran it until 1903 when it was razed to build a railroad station. In 1885 he and his brother, Charles, moved to Nevada where they had purchased an interest in a gold mine, which proved to be unsuccessful. Returning to Saint Louis, he opened and operated the Rosebud Café, which became a gathering place for African-American ragtime musicians and was the first stop for any musician traveling through Saint Louis en route to the West. He was one of the first politically powerful African-Americans in Saint Louis and, along with his brother, he controlled interests in a theater, gambling houses, dance halls, and sporting houses. His other published rags were "The Bowery Buck' (1899), "A Ragtime Nightmare" (1900), "St. Louis Rag" (1903), and "The Buffalo Rag" (1904). He died in Saint Louis, Missouri, on August 13, 1922. (bio by: William Bjornstad) 
Family links: 
  John S Turpin (1849 - 1902)
  Lulu Waters Turpin (1855 - 1899)
  Charles A. Turpin (1870 - 1935)*
  Tom Turpin (1871 - 1922)
  Elenore Turpin (1882 - 1932)*
  Nannie Turpin Thomas (1891 - 1942)*
*Calculated relationship
Saint Peter's Cemetery
St. Louis County
Missouri, USA
Plot: Section 29, Lot 167
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jun 04, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 22602
Tom Turpin
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Tom Turpin
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Tom Turpin
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