Seven Turk Brothers Whose Ages Total 546 Years Were Born In Banks County


Banks County Journal, August 14, 1936


One of the familiar faces that frequented the streets of Commerce for the past forty years is that of John I. Turk of the Hebron Community of Banks County. He notes with a great deal of pride the many civic and social improvements that have been made here during his lifetime.


Mr. Turk was born and grew up in Homer over 80 years ago. He remembers visiting Commerce before the railroad was built and before there were any brick buildings. During his early recollections only two stores was (sic) in business, one belonging to Seaborn Shankle and the other to C. W. Hood.


Mr. Turk received his higher educational training at the Harmony Grove Academy, now Commerce High School, under the direction of the noted Prof. Morgano L. Parker.


Following the completion of his education he taught several schools in the rural sections of Banks County. In 1881 following the example of many young men of his day he went west to seek his fame and fortune and spent 15 years in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas and California. Contrary to the story book tales of the wild west of the eighteen eighties he found the west settled with an industrious populace, however he gained a rich experience of frontier life.


Returning from California on a visit to relatives to Banks County he married Miss Rose Mason of Homer who died shortly. He later married Miss Annie Glasure of the Hebron community and has resided with her in that community for almost thirty five years. They have one son, Clovis Turk, who is a prominent school teacher in Mitchell County, Georgia.


Mr. Turk is one of seven brothers now living, who have reached a very mature age. Thay are A. A. Turk, of Pitts, age 88, L. N. Turk, Homer, age 84. a sister Mrs. Jane White, Decatur, who died recently at age 82, John I. Turk, Commerce, age 80, J. J. Turk, Homer, age 78, W. H. Turk, Rochelle, age 76, C. A. Turk, Homer, age 72, and J. C. Turk, Maysville, age 68.


All these gentlemen grew up and remained farmers all their lives. They enjoyed good health considering their age. They have been prominent leaders in the life of the communities where they have lived. They have observed the golden rule and have lived morally and soberly. Neither have ever used alcohol or tobacco. All are members of the Presbyterian church and five are either elders or deacons.


These gentlemen have reared moderate sized families. The members are scattered from Florida to California. Two are doctors, two are nurses, several are teachers, and the remainder are tradesmen, farmers and housewives.


The founder of the Turk family in America was James Turk, who with his family, consisting of his wife, Mary, and three children, Jane, William and Irby, came from Northern Ireland, Province of Ulster, County of Antrim, to this country in 1757. William, then thirteen years of age, landed in Charleston, S. C., and settled in Abbeville district, Abbeville, South Carolina, on Long (Cane) Creek.


He entered the service of his adopted country in the early part of the Revolutionary War and bravely continued throughout the struggle, a part of the time being on General Pickens' staff as his express bearer of courier.


After the close of the War he married Miss Margaret Archibald, daughter of John Archibald who live in Rhone (Rowan) County, now Iredell County, South Carolina. In 1792 he moved his small family and his mother to Elbert County, Georgia, and settled on Coldwate (Coldwater) Creek. He afterward moved his family and a servant girl, Nellie, to Franklin County, Georgia, and located on Webb's Creek, where he died April 10, 1795.


A son, William, (grandfather of J. I Turk) was born June 20 1749 (correct year is 1794) in Franklin, now Banks County, in a fort called Norris on Webb's Creek where the family had taken refuge from the Indians. This place was one and one-half miles of Homer. His occupation was farming. He was a soldier, serving as Colonel during the Seminole War, and he served for several years as judge of the inferior Court and for six years was the Principal Keeper of the Georgia Penetentiary at Milledgeville, receiving his first appointment under Governor Hershell V. Johnson. He died in 1877.


William H. Turk, (father of John I. Turk) was born in Franklin, now Banks County, November 1818 and followed farming all his life. Early in the late Civil War he enlisted in Co. A 24th Georgia Regiment and served three years. He officiated a number of years as Justice of Peace and died in 1885.


Mr. Turk's great grandparents on his mother's side were William and Jane (Flemming) Ash. (William Ash) was a native of South Carolina, and served under General Sumpter during the War of Revolution. His maternal grandparents were Alexander Flemming and Elizabeth (McCracken) Ash. He was born in Union District, S. C., and came with his father when a boy to Franklin County, Georgia. He served in the Indian war as Major. Represented Franklin County in the Georgia Legislature for a number of years and was a man of great force of character.


The seven living Turk brothers whose ages total 546 years are not only unusual for their longevity but for maintaining the force of character and rugged individuality that were bequeathed to them by their forebears. They are each a forceful and intregral part of their several communities."



Copyright 2004 by Jacqueline King