Families of Howell County

Hiram Turner

The history of the Hiram Turner family is a work in progress. It began as an inquiry from John Bratt who was researching Martin Verhage and came across a World War 1 manifest that showed Hiram Turner and Martin Verhage were in the same company. This page is a synopsis of the e-mail exchange between the site administrator and Mr. Bratt

There are over 100 Turners listed in the Ozark Heritage Regional phone book which covers Ava, Cabool, Houston, Licking, Mountain Grove, Mountain View, West Plains and Willow Springs, all in Howell and Texas County.

Checking Find-a-Grave for Turner in Howell County there are 70 burials but none for Hiram, Dwight or Melvin Turner. Hiram's daughters probably married so without their married names, I wasn't able to look for them. There are several for J.C. Turner, and two for John Calvin Turner.

There is a Hiram Turner family living in Dry Creek Township, Howell County Missouri on the 1930 census but Hiram is 43 years old and would have been in his 50s during World War II. I also found a Missouri death certificate for John Calvin Turner who died at the age of 50 (1929) and is buried in Mount Zion Cemetery. The family lived in Pomona (where I am) which is in Dry Creek Township so there may be a connection. It says John Calvin was widowed at the time of his death.

The listing at Find A Grave was taken from this death certificate but includes a photo of the grave marker. There are no other family markers nearby. Missouri marriage records however show he married Cleta Wadley on 17 Oct 1899.
John Bratt:
Hiram and my grandfather fought together in the First World War, not WWII. I have attached the page from the troopship manifest that shows Hiram Cagle Turner boarding the Ascanius on 5 June 1918 (and my grandfather Martin Verhage as well). I am certain that this is the same Hiram Turner listed in the 1930 Census, since in both cases the wife's name is Illa. Your information about Ida (Illa?) Turner squares with her age in the 1920 and 1930 Census, and on the marriage license from 1918 her maiden name is given as Fines. My data on Dwight indicates a birthdate in 1928, so he's in his early 80s.
I was curious about Hiram's middle name - Cagle - but discovered that it is his mother's maiden name. She was Armenda Cagle Turner who died in 1937 at the age of 87. Find her death certificate on the Missouri Digital Heritage web site -

That's it - I'm done for now. When I get a chance I'll try to look up Dwight and see what I can find. I made some updates to the Ancestry.com copy of the 1930 census for Hiram's family - lots of errors in transcriptions. Couldn't figure out where Dziebl fit in until I took a close look and realized it was Dwight.
John Bratt:
I found another Howell County soldier in my grandfather's unit, Dean W Davis from West Plains. He had a son named Dean W Davis Jr who died on Nov 10, 2003.
Just a few miles north of Pomona on Highway 63 there is Dean Davis Wildlife Area. This 172-acre area includes a one-mile long trail, an archery range, a walnut plantation, a pine plantation, upland game species such as rabbits quail, deer, turkey and squirrels. The area was originally intended to be the site of a community lake. In 1959 the lake bed, dam, and concrete spillway were constructed. Unfortunately, the lake never held water due to unforseen sinks and seepages. Despite this setback, the area provides abundant opportunities for wildlife management and public use.

Wildlife habitat management includes the creation of watering ponds and the manipulation of fields within the forest to provide added food sources. Timber harvests also help produce forage and cover for wildlife. Dean William Davis was born in 1894 in West Plains. He was a WWI veteran, and a successful business man who owned several movie theaters including the one and only drive in theater. He died of a heart attack in 1953 at the age of 58. He married Gladys Hollenbeck and they had one son, Dean William Davis, Jr who everyone called Spider. His son never married and passed away about five or six years ago. Gladys passed away in 1994. That particular Davis line ended with him. Dean donated the land that the conservation area occupies.

Mr. Bratt send a copy of the manifest that led to this discussion and it is included here.


Mr. Bratt has written an extensive history of the Martin Verhage family and it may give some insight into Hiram Turner as his experiences would have been very much the same. That history is presented here in PDF format, and can be viewed, or downloaded at your convenience. Each will open in a new browser window.

Persons with an interest in this family may contact John Bratt at jandebratt@frontier.com directly.

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