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 David Turner

David Turner

Pudsey, Metropolitan Borough of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England
Death 25 Dec 1887 (aged 68)
Saint George, Washington County, Utah, USA
Burial Washington, Washington County, Utah, USA
Memorial ID 53117 · View Source
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David Turner Jr. was born June 3, 1819 in Pudsey, Yorkshire, England, a son of David and Mary Moorhouse. He became a maser machinist and a weaver, and was an expert with the machinery which they used in the cotton mills.
Just before his 20th birthday, in April 1839, he married Rose Collier, who was born on the 16th day of January 1821, in Leeds, Yorkshire, England. She was a daughter of Richard Collier and Mary Butterfield.

It is very probable that David had left Pudsey and possibly walked the few miles to the big manufacturing center of Leeds to obtain employment, and while here met his future wife and married her. They made their home in Leeds, for it was there that Mary and Sarah, the two oldest children were born. Mary, the older, come to America with her parents, but Sarah died and was buried in far away England.
Just about three years after the marriage, early in 1842, having decided that the future in their native land held very little in store for them, they embarked on a sailing vessel for America, the land of promise and wonderful opportunities. For six long weeks they were on the water. If the winds were favorable they made fair headway and if it was calm they just had to wait. The ships water become so stale it was impossible to drink it unless they would find something to season it with, even some tea or coffee, anything to flavor it with.

David and Rose knew well their destination as they had an uncle, a mill owner, in Somerset County, New Jersey, in the village of Milltown. It was here they settled, and at once began to work in the cotton mills or factory. The year following their arrival in Milltown, the second of September 1843, their third child was born. They named her Martha. There they remained a number of years, in fact, the greater part of their family was born there. In all, the Turners had twelve children, besides adopting one, William Webster, which made their number thirteen.

One day in Milltown, David's brother, Isaac, remarked to him, "Well, David, they have killed old Joe Smith, so that will do away with the Mormons." David did not know a thing about the Mormons, but this set him to investigating. It was not long after that the Mormon missionaries, John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff, visited that part of the country and taught him the principles of the everlasting gospel. In the year 1849 David was baptized and became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and was every staunch and steadfast in his belief.

Several years later the Turner family moved to New York. In fact they were living in Glenham, Duchess County, New York, in 1861 when they decided to join the Mormons in Florence, Nebraska, the starting point of the overland trail, connecting the western border with the Great Salt City and the Mormons. Rose was baptized in September 1859. They arrived in Utah the 12th of September 1861, in the John R. Murdock Company.
After a few days rest in Salt Lake city, they moved on to Fillmore, in Millard County. Here they spent the next two years. David soon had a little home, humble though it was, and the older children found employment in various families. David received a call to go to Deseret and help build up that country. This was 1863. There, on the 18th day of October 1863, their youngest child was born, a son, James Edward Turner. For five hard and dedious years they worked, subduing the soil and turning the water from the river out over the thirsty land and then in about 1868 they moved to Holden where they made a living with shovel and plow. Their leaving at Deseret was sad because they could not keep the dam in as floods were unmanageable and they had to give up their farm and abandon the was leave or starve.

David and Rose lived in Holden until 1874, when he was called by Apostle Erastus Snow to go to Washington in Dixie County and work in the cotton factory there. The results were very satisfactory. It was in this mill where he wove the material used in the upholstery work of the St. George Temple, and also made the cloth for the suites of clothes for the men who worked in the Temple. David and Rose later did a great deal of work for their kindred dead in the St. George Temple.

David married Alice Robinson for his plural wife, who born him a son. They lived in Washington until their death. David died on the 25th of December 1887 after a short illness. Possessed a real human spirit, kind, gentle, and liberal and died with an abiding faith in Church and in his God and looking forward to a glorious reunion with loved ones gone before.

(Bio supplied by great great grandson, Mike Kelly)

Family Members




  • Maintained by: Max Turpin
  • Originally Created by: Utah State Historical Society
  • Added: 2 Feb 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 53117
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for David Turner (3 Jun 1819–25 Dec 1887), Find A Grave Memorial no. 53117, citing Washington City Cemetery, Washington, Washington County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by Max Turpin (contributor 46863402) .