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Below is a family biography included in The History of Lawrence County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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B. K. Turk whose birth occurred in Adair County, Ky., in 1831 is the son of Noah G. Turk, who was born in Kentucky in 1807, and was reared to farm life. He married Ann B. Carter daughter of Benjamin and Polly (Sled) Carter of Virginia and old settlers of Kentucky. To Mr. and Mrs. Turk were born sixteen children, eight sons and eight daughters: Thomas L., Amanda M., Benjamin K., Mary A. Noah G., Albrine M., Margaret J., Julia A., Martisha T., John C., Lusary, Hiram K. and Robert J. The last two were killed in The Confederate army, during the late war, and three died in infancy. In 1854 Mr. Turk moved to Missouri, and settled in Jasper County. He went south during the war, and died in Scott County, Ill., in 1867, at the age of sixty years He was a Democrat in politics, and was a tanner by trade. He was a good business man, a man of property, owning 1,800 acres of land in Jasper County, and some slaves. He was a man of character and honor. He and wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Thomas Turk the great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was a native of Virginia, and his son, Thomas Jr., the grandfather of B. K. Turk, went to Kentucky when a young man, and was one of the pioneers, and a contemporary of the famous Daniel Boone. Kentucky was at that time a wilderness, and overrun by Indians. He married Margaret Cleaves, and reared a family of nine children. Mr. Turk lived to between the age of fifty-five and sixty, spending the whole of his life in Kentucky. He was a soldier in the War of 1812, and his sword and equipments are still preserved in the family. Mr. Turk was a land owner, and the master of slaves. His old homestead is still in the hands of his descendants. B. K. Turk, the subject of this sketch, was reared a farmer, and also learned the tanner’s trade. He secured a common-school education, came to Lawrence County Mo in 1850, opened a tan-yard, and this he carried on until 1854, when he purchased land in Jasper County, and remained there until 1857. He then returned to Lawrence County, and bought his present farm of 400 acres. He also owns about 400 acres in Jasper County. Mr. Turk married Miss Martha A. Gum, daughter of Z. and J. (Hash) Gum, a Lawrence County family from Knox County Ill and of German-Irish descent. To Mr. and Mrs. Turk were born six children: William M., Noah G., John C., Jane A., Sarah E. and Ida B. After Mrs. Turk’s death Mr. Turk married Mrs. Georgie A. (Stroud) Phillips, a widow, and the daughter of Miles B. and Sarah E. (Gum) Phillips. Mr. Turk is a large land owner and a prosperous farmer. He has a fine herd of Short-horn cattle, probably the best herd west of the Mississippi, which were purchased from the best herds of Kentucky. Mr. Turk is one of the founders of the Short-horn Breeders’ Association in Southwest Missouri, and was purchasing agent, also secretary. He visited Kentucky and selected the finest he could find, paying high prices. Mr. Turk ranks high as a representative citizen, and is well known all through Southwest Missouri. He is a good financier, and an upright man. He is a Democrat in his political views, and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.

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This family biography is one of 272 biographies included in The History of Lawrence County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Lawrence County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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