Thomas Johnston Turner

Thomas Johnston Turner

Birth
Trumbull County, Ohio, USA
Death 4 Apr 1874 (aged 58)
Hot Springs, Garland County, Arkansas, USA
Burial Freeport, Stephenson County, Illinois, USA
Plot Section SW - Row 2 - Marker only says T. J. Turner
Memorial ID 24598272 · View Source
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US Congressman. He was raised in Pennsylvania and Indiana before settling in Freeport, where he studied law and became an attorney in 1840. In 1842 he was appointed Stephenson County Probate Judge, and in 1844 he became Freeport's Postmaster. He became Stephenson County District Attorney in 1845, and also established the county's first newspaper, a weekly called the Prairie Democrat. In 1846 he was elected to the US House of Representatives as a Democrat and served one term, 1847 to 1849. In 1854 he was elected to the Illinois House and served as Speaker. In 1855 he was elected Freeport's first Mayor. During the 1858 US Senate race Turner backed Republican Abraham Lincoln, introduced him during the Lincoln-Douglas debates, and served as one of the two debate moderators. In 1861 he was a Delegate to the Washington, DC peace convention. When its effort to avert the Civil War proved unsuccessful, Turner joined the Army, rising to Colonel and Commander of the Fifteenth Illinois Regiment. In 1863 he was a Delegate to the state constitutional convention, and in 1864 he was a Delegate to the National Union convention that nominated President Lincoln for a second term. In 1871 he was an unsuccessful US Senate candidate. He then moved to Chicago, where he lived in retirement.

Bio by: Bill McKern


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bill McKern
  • Added: 13 Feb 2008
  • Find a Grave Memorial 24598272
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Thomas Johnston Turner (5 Apr 1815–4 Apr 1874), Find a Grave Memorial no. 24598272, citing Freeport City Cemetery, Freeport, Stephenson County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .