Alabama Pioneers Honored

BIOGRAPHY: Elijah Anderson Turner born October 21, 1856 – photograph

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Elijah Anderson Turner
Elijah Anderson Turner



(1856-aft. 1904)

Tallapoosa and Shelby county, Alabama

Elijah Anderson Turner was one of the stirring and successful men of Shelby county, Alabama, of Calces. He is one of the “first” men of his town in more ways than one. He was the first man to step off the train when it made its first stop; he was the first man to erect a building in the town; he was the first postmaster, the first merchant, the first official of the town, which dates its growth since 1898.

He was a native of Dadeville, Tallapoosa county, Alabama. His birth was on Oct. 21, 1856; he was the son of Jesse Morgan Turner and Sarah Page (Vaughan) Turner. Jesse was the son of Bartholomew Turner and Sallie (Morgan) Turner, he a native of Georgia, she of Tallapoosa county, Alabama, where they both lived and died near Dadeville. The wife was a daughter of Col. Morgan, a noted character of that county in early days.

Jesse Turner was born in Georgia and married in Alabama. He was a farmer during his life, a Mason and a Democrat. He married Sarah Vaughan daughter of James Vaughan and Sarah Vaughan, both natives of Virginia. They reared a family of six children, three living in 1904. The father died August 12, 1871, the mother July 20, 1903.

After receiving a good common school education, Mr. Turner entered on his business career as a clerk. Following this for a time he gradually drifted into the business of buying and selling horses, always being successful in his ventures. He finally became interested in the manufacture of lime, and was for twelve years superintendent of the Lime Works at Chewacla, Alabama. Upon the opening of quarries in the vicinity of Calces, he severed his connection with the Chewacla works and gave his whole attention to the development of the new town. He sold the lime quarry now operated by the Tennessee Coal & Iron company with a force of some two hundred men to T. H. Spencer and W. M. Spencer. He built the greater portion of the houses in the town of Calces, which he had the honor of naming. Under his enthusiastic lead it developed wonderfully.

Mr. Turner was a man of family. He married Stella Shepard Nov. 9, 1879. She was a daughter of Dr. John F. Shepard and Sarah Cosper Shepard, the latter a widow living at Dadeville in 1904.


To Mrs. Turner were born:

  1. Elijah Albert Turner, born in Dadeville, Sept. 30, 1880, educated at Auburn in the Alabama Polytechnic institute and at Massey Business college, and became superintendent of Giewacla Lime Works; married Hettie Daniel, of Shelby County, Alabama – married 2nd Laura Daisy (Dickerson) Turner (1889-1980)
  2. John Morgan Turner, our subject’s second son, born March 17, 1883; educated at Auburn in the Alabama Polytechnic institute, and later a clerk in his father’s store.

Mr. Turner was a Democrat in politics and he and his family were members of the Methodist church. He also affiliated with the Knights of Pythias and Knights of Honor.



  1. Notable men of Alabama: personal and genealogical,By Joel Campbell DuBose
  2. Find A Grave Memorial # 65976896 # 65977087

WHERE DO I START? Hints and Tips for Beginning Genealogists with On-line resources



  1. I have written a history of this Turner family as Elijah Anderson Turner was my great grandfather. There is a mistake in the article. John Fielder Shepard, MD married Sarah Coker (not Cosper), daughter of Richard and Elizabeth Coker. Sarah Page Vaughan was the daughter of James Vaughan who came to Tallapoosa County from Hallifax County, Virginia in 1837 and was, at one time, Tallapoosa County’s largest land owner.

  2. Mr. Tucker, I am trying to get all of the information about this family as I can. Bartholomew Turner was my 3 times great grandfather. I have found the Turner Cemetery in Dadeville where the plantation was & have pictures of it & other info if you are interested in sharing our information. I would love to see the paper you wrote on the Turners. I hope to hear from you soon. Thanks, Shelley Turner Waites

    1. I’m sorry, I did not see your note until today. Email me at whugh.tucker at and I will be pleased to share what I know about the Turner family with you.