Families of Howell County
By Vivian McMahan Brake
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I am the daughter of Maudena Turner McMahan, the granddaughter of Adam Turner and the great-granddaughter of Mary Ann Barton who married James Marion Turner, November 9, 1869 in Jasper, Alabama. Mary Ann’s parents were James Allen and Celia Brock Barton. James Allen is the son of Moses and Fannie Barton.
In 1870 James Marion Turner and his brother John Calvin "Cal" Turner came to Howell County Missouri to homestead land in the Dry Creek Township while their families remained in Alabama. During this time land was available in Missouri through the Homestead Act. By filing a claim and making improvements to land an individual could purchase the land for $1.25 an acre after a two year period. According to stories handed down through the Turner family, the two years were very difficult and the two brothers nearly froze to death in the lean-to they first built.
In 1872 the brothers brought their families from Alabama to Howell County Missouri. Their mother, Celia Steadman Turner, and brothers, Dock Greenbury, David Alexander, George Washington and sister Delila also moved from near Jasper, Alabama to Howell County. Their older brother William Haden and his family moved from Giles, Tennessee to join the family in Howell County.
James Marion Turner and Mary Ann’s farm was located west of West Plains, Missouri and James became a successful and well-thought of farmer. Mary Ann died at the age of 68 in 1918. My grandfather Adam, said it was thought his mother, Mary Ann, had cancer but that is not known for sure.