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Turnersville History 1936

Turnersville History Written in 1936

Turnersville. This town, although located in the extreme north part of the county, far from a railway or a trunk line highway, is distinguished for its progressive citizenship, its churches, schools, club life, and civic improvement, which give it a social life comparable to towns of several times its size. This is a post Civil War town, although there were many settlements there in the 1850's.

The big spring at Turnersville was originally known as Buchannan Spring, because Green Buchannan had a cow ranch there. When the two Primitive Baptist elders were attacked by Indians near old Rainy Creek Church in 1860, it was to this that the wounded elder Griffith was taken, and here he died a few days later. Elder White was found dead near where they met the Indians. Mr. Buchannan gathered a posse and pursued the Indians until the trail was lost.

It was near Turnersville that some of the most thrilling incidents of the range wars occurred. In this territory, the Boob-Pancake interests, and the Standefer interests contended fiercely for control of the range. It was near here that John Pancake settled in 1858 and built up the largest cow ranch this county ever had. At one time it was fourteen miles across the Pancake ranch. Soon after the Civil War, Pancake swapped for 640 acres of land worth $1.00 per acre. In payment he gave yearlings worth $25.00 per head.

When the notorious Bill Bobb was preparing to leave Coryell County, he wanted a horse that he could depend on. John Pancake had the horse, a blue-gray, named "Grayback". Bobb gave John Pancake twenty cows and calves, three good mules, a pet bear, and $300 for the horse. Upon this trusted horse, Bobb left Coryell.

Near Turnersville in 1889 the wounded Jim Leeper who was later hanged with Ed Powell at Gatesville, was captured by a posse under Sheriff Lanham.

In 1881-1882 Dr. J. B. Cranfill published the "Turnersville Effort." That was the beginning of a journalistic career which had brought an erstwhile citizen of that town undying fame. Among other prominent pioneers wore Wm. Young, Fred Foote, Lige Wallace, Mr. Humes, and many other pioneers who had vision and foresight. From that vision and foresight we have the Centennial Turnersville of today, with its Humes', Tharps', Wallaces', Hobins', Footes', Harrells', and others, still forging ahead, looking forward to a better Turnersville of the future. Out of that vision has grown the present Turnersville School. A magnificent building where thirteen teachers are instructing the young schoolastics in educational lines. The school has a P. T. A. and home economics unit efficiently organized. Five big school busses of the latest model deliver the children from the outlying districts. This school is fully affiliated.



31° 37' 2.568" N, 97° 44' 20.076" W