60 years, Turner family lived, worked along Market Street


Ras and Cleve Turner operated Turner Bro’s Grocery beginning at the end of the first decade of the 20th Century. The store was located at 314 (later renumbered 2320) Market St., just to the west of the Lindell Avenue/Gordon intersection. The building is vacant, but still standing in 2022. This rare photo was contributed by Archie Hayden.


MARY LOU MONTGOMERY


During the later years of the 19th Century, John F. Turner (1857-1937) - son of Civil War-era Marion County businessman ‘Ras Turner - opened a store at 314 (later renumbered 2320) Market St. For a time he sold stoves just west of the Gordon/Lindell intersection. He settled his family: wife, Emily, and teen-age sons, Erastus (Ras), Cleveland and Frank, in an apartment on the second floor of his business building, and in this very same building his family would maintain a presence for the next 60 years.


Through those plate-glass, store-front windows, and via the second-story balcony, the Turner family in succession would watch the evolution of business and commerce, from the paving of alternately dusty and muddy Market Street to hard surface, from the transformation of street lighting from coal oil to electric, and to the launch of automobiles which slowly replaced trusty horse- and mule-drawn wagons.


The frame building was just a stone’s-throw from Hannibal Brewing Co., 117 Lindell; Nicholas N. Kriegbaum’s blacksmith shop at 214 Market; and, at the beginning of the 20th Century, C.B. Hoagland’s Wedge House boarding house at 315 Market.

As young men, the two oldest Turner sons, Ras and Cleve, worked for various Hannibal businesses, including the Meyers Planing Mill, and the Star Shoe Co. By 1907, by now both married, they launched a business together, opening Turner Bros. grocery store where their father’s stove shop had once been located. The building (314 Market) which still stands today, is a keen reminder of a simpler era when families built businesses in the neighborhoods where they lived.

History of soap

The photo accompanying this story, contributed by Archie Hayden, shows prominent advertisement in the display windows for Lenox soap, manufactured by Procter & Gamble Co. Production started circa 1886. Lenox soap - a yellow laundry bar containing tallow and rosin, was marketed as a heavy duty soap.

(Source: encyclopedia.com, the Procter & Gamble Company.)

Samples of Proctor & Gamble’s Lenox soap advertisements, including an example of the cutouts shown in this photo, can still be found traded among collectors on Ebay.

Separate paths

During the World War I era, brothers Ras and Cleve set out as independent businessmen. While Cleve and his wife Lorene continued to operate the grocery store (by now numbered 2320-22 Market), Ras tried his hand at farming. In the mid 1930s, he opened a used furniture business at 2113 Market, while living upstairs over his brother’s grocery store.

Their father, John F. Turner, who dealt in real estate in his later years, settled with his wife, Emily, into a small frame house at 2116 Market, across the street from his son’s furniture establishment.

(While the furniture store building has been demolished, John F. Turner’s house is still standing in 2022.)

The elder Mr. Turner continued to live at 2116 Market until his death in 1937, at the age of 80. His wife, Emily, died in 1956.

Law enforcement

John F. Turner, father of Ras and Cleve, was born Jan. 11, 1857, son of Erastus and Susan L. Turner, pioneer residents of Marion County. John’s brother, A.E. (Pete) Turner, was long associated with the Hannibal Police Department, at times serving as night captain, chief of police and a plain clothes officer. At the time of his death in 1931, Pete Turner was sheriff of Marion County, Mo.

Civil War tale

Erastus Turner (1836-1901) - the family patriarch - was a young Palmyra businessman during the Civil War, and was a primary in a story told by Ham Byrd to the Monroe City News in 1893.

The Marion County Herald newspaper, of Palmyra, Mo., reprinted a story in its March 2, 1893, edition, which was originally published in the Monroe News, Monroe City, Mo.

Ham Byrd told a story about the Civil War days, when he, Ras Turner (grandfather of brothers

Ras and Cleve) and Daniel McLeod were young men of Marion County.

“Seeing ‘Ras Turner (who was operating a livery business at Monroe City) reminds me of old war times,” said Uncle Ham Byrd Saturday. “Daniel McLeod, now deceased, Turner and I, during the war, went down to Hannibal to buy provisions, etc. We had to bring out a threshing machine, too. Before leaving there we heard that federal guards had surrounded the town, or at least were along the east line of the town. An idea struck me, and I suggested that we hide our flour, ammunition, etc., in the thrashing machine, then each of us took a quart of whiskey in our pockets. A little distance this side of Hannibal we approached seven guards. ‘Halt!’ they cried, ‘All right, gentlemen!’ we answered, ‘will you have something to drink?’ The soldiers, with sixteen horse power throats drew on the bottle and all talked together until they were happier than a dozen policemen on duty. Finally we concluded it time to move on. Search us and let us go, I said. ‘Search you - what yer think we want her search yer fur. Go on ‘bout yer business.’ You may bet we didn’t lose any time in going and we made good use of the quart of whiskey ‘Ras Turner held back from the enemy, too.” Monroe City News.

Deaths and burials

Erastus Turner (1836-1901) and his wife, Susan L. Turner (1833-1925) are buried at Greenwood Cemetery, Palmyra, Mo.

John Francis Turner (1857-1937) and his wife, Emily, (1863-1956) are buried at Grand View Burial Park, Ralls County, Mo.

Erastus E. Turner (1884-1956) and his wife, Tena (1886-1962), are buried at Grand View Burial Park, Ralls County, Mo.

Cleve G. Turner (1882-1960) and his wife, Martha Lorene (1886-1984) are buried at Grand View Burial Park, Ralls County, Mo.

Sheriff Albert Turner 1870-1931 and his wife, Alcinda, are buried at Greenwood Cemetery, Palmyra, Mo.

J. Frank Turner, (1886-1968) youngest son of John F. and Emily Turner, and Frank’s wife, Fannie M. Hoag Turner (1885-1951) are buried at Grand View Burial Park in Ralls County, Mo.


Note: In 1885, Henry Killian (1858-1922) operated a meat market in the building that would later house the Turner Bros. grocery store. Henry Killian and Louisa Margaretha Schittenhelm were married in June 1879 at Hannibal, Mo. He was a butcher in Hannibal from 1875, when he operated a meat market on the north side of Palmyra Avenue across from North Fourth, until the early 1900s, when he went to work for the cement plant.




John F. Turner (1857-1937) opened a stove shop in the building at 314 (later renumbered 2320) Market circa 1897. His family would retain a presence in this building for the next 60 years. Photo posted on ancestry.com by Jacqueline Samuelson.



This is a duplicate of the Lenox Soap advertisement shown in the store front window of the Turner Bro’s Grocery store, pictured with this story. The advertisement, found on Ebay, is dated 1898.





Cleve Turner, (1882-1960) continued to operate the Turner Grocery Store at 314 (later renumbered 2320) Market Street until shortly before his death in 1960. Photo posted on ancestry.com by Jacqueline Samuelson.

The former Turner Bro’s Grocery building is still standing. This photo was taken by Mary Lou Montgomery in April 2022. The Turner family occupied the store front, and often the upstairs living quarters, for some 60 years. The store was located at 314 (later renumbered 2320) Market St.




Albert E. (Pete) Turner, (1870-1931) brother of John F. Turner (1857-1937) served the Hannibal Police Department for a number of years. When he died in 1931, he was sheriff of Marion County, Mo. Photo from the Montgomery Historical Collection.


Mary Lou Montgomery retired as editor of the Hannibal (Mo.) Courier-Post in 2014. She researches and writes narrative-style stories about the people who served as building blocks for this region’s foundation. Books available on Amazon.com by this author include but are not limited to: "The Notorious Madam Shaw," "Pioneers in Medicine from Northeast Missouri," "The Historic Murphy House, Hannibal, Mo., Circa 1870,” and “Hannibal’s ‘West End,’” 47 stories about the Market Street Wedge and on west to Lindell Avenue. Montgomery can be reached at Montgomery.editor@yahoo.com Her collective works can be found at www.maryloumontgomery.com

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