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John Kenneth Turner
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Birth: Apr. 5, 1878
Multnomah County
Oregon, USA
Death: Jul. 31, 1948
Monterey County
California, USA

John Kenneth Turner was a grandson of Clinton Kelly, an early Oregon Trail pioneer, and settler of Portland. Turner was born in Portland, and moved with his family to California as a youth. A passionate socialist in his youth and early adulthood, Turner became an activist journalist and author, and was part of the early artist colony at Carmel. Turner traveled extensively, and authored "Barbarous Mexico", an expose on the slave labor and peonage system in the Yucatan in the early twentieth century. Many claim this book is the "spark that ignited the Mexican Revolution". Turner married Ethel Duffy in 1905, and they became partners in supporting the Mexican Revolution, and creating awareness throughout the western world of the cruel dictatorship of Porfiro Diaz. The Turners were close to many of the early artists, writers, and journalists who settled in early Carmel. Turner had a falling out with Jack London over the "Mexican" business, that caused grief for their mutual friend and the center of the bohemian colony at Carmel, poet George Sterling. Turner was a serious man, who was widely published in periodicals of the time. In 1913, he was arrested while observing the revolution in Mexico City, thrown in jail, and sentenced to death by firing squad. He was released through the work of a number of congressman and the American Secretary of State, who were relentlessly hounded by Ethel, John's brothers, and George Sterling. John and Ethel later separated, and John remarried another author and socialist, Adriana Spadoni. Turner later became a democrat, and wrote a book "Challenge to Karl Marx", where he was highly critical of communism. Turner was the older brother of Admiral Richmond Kelly Turner, USN, who was the commander of the amphibious forces in the Pacific in WWII, and is buried at Golden Gate National Cemetery along with Admirals Nimitz, Spruance, Lockwood, and their wives.

Turner and his first wife Ethel Duffy Turner are featured characters in an upcoming documentary by Walter Dominguez, entitled "Weaving the Past: Journey of Discovery", which will premier on May 18, 2013 in Hollywood. This documentary, which has been over ten years in the making, is the story of Walter's grandfather and his journey into Mexican Revolution as an anarchist revolutionary, and ultimately his life and redemption as a Methodist Minister. 
Family links: 
  Adriana Spadoni Turner (1879 - 1953)*
*Calculated relationship
John Kenneth Turner and second wife Adriana Spadoni Turner were both cremated and are buried together in the same unmarked plot at the IOOF Garden of Memories Cemetery in Salinas.
Garden of Memories
Monterey County
California, USA
Plot: Urn grave #8, Lot #12, Block #1, Section 4-A
Created by: Maggie Mae
Record added: Apr 06, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 68005591
John Kenneth Turner
Added by: Maggie Mae
John Kenneth Turner
Added by: Mark Schmidt
John Kenneth Turner
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Debbie
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I purchased a 1910 4th edition copy of Barbarous Mexico from a book dealer on the East Coast recently. The book contained three typed letter written by yourself and your Adriana, to Nina lane McBride and Issac McBride. I have the pleasure of your hand w...(Read more)
- Maggie Mae
 Added: Apr. 27, 2013

- Maggie Mae
 Added: Apr. 6, 2011

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