WILLIAM ALLEN TURNEY and ELIZABETH POTTER

Submitted by Mary Elizabeth Turney Miller


William Allen Turney was born September 14, 1839 near Higden, Arkansas; and died February 12, 1918 in Higden. He is buried at Higden/McLehaney Cemetery. He married Elizabeth Potter January 13, 1867 in Van Buren County,Arkansas. He was the son of Henry Turney born 1815 (Smith County,Tennessee) and Minerva Gilley, the daughter of Gideon Gilley of Tennessee. William Allen Turney is said to have been tall, slender, and brown-haired; a Democrat and a Mason.

Elizabeth Potter Turney was born December 27, 1839 in Arkansas; and died in 1925; she is also buried in Higden/McLehaney Cemetery at Higdon. She was the daughter of William Potter and Nancy Carpenter Potter. Elizabeth was listed as a seamstress in the 1860 Arkansas census. After she married, she used her loom to make cloth for her family. This loom was given to the Restoration Building at Conway, Arkansas by her family in the 1970s. She is said to have been an auburn-haired, ninety-five pound bride.

In the 1860 Arkansas census of Giles Township, young Bill Allen is found living with his grandmother, Hannah Turney. I suppose this was because his father had remarried and begun a new family. Bill Allen is listed as age 21, a laborer, and he could read and write.

Early in the Civil War, Bill Allen along with his brothers Peter Gid (born 1842) and John (born 1841); and three uncles: William Allen born 1816, Joseph born 1824, and Russell born 1836 - joined the 10th (Merrick's) Arkansas Infantry Regiment, CSA. According to pension records, Bill Allen saw service in Co A, enlisted at Quitman, Arkansas, in Cleburne County July 1861. He was in battles of Shiloh, Port Hudson, and was captured along with his unit in 1863. After his parole, he returned to Higden area. It was about this time that his brother Peter Gid Turney married Dicey Belle Potter - the sister to Elizabeth, Bill Allen's future wife. In late 1863 or early 1864 the men who had been in the infantry unit formed a mounted infantry or calvary unit, also known as the 10th Arkansas - (Witt's). They were in on Price's MO Campaign. Bill Allen was captured at Fort Scott, Kansas and sent to prison. He was released at the end of the war. Also in the 10th Arkansas besides his brothers and uncles, were several Bailey, Bittle, and Barnes cousins. Also listed in pension records as being in Co G of the 10th Arkansas was TC Potter. This would be Timothy Carpenter Potter born 1832 and a brother to Elizabeth.

Upon the return from war, Bill Allen built a house about three miles south of Higden. There he and his new bride, Elizabeth, raised the following children.

1. Emily Turney born May 12, 1868; died December 20, 1942. She married Andrew Lynn, Jr. January 06, 1884. She is buried at Higden. (She was my great-grandmother and I have heard many stories about Grandma Lynn from my father). Andrew Lynn was at one time postmaster at Higden.

2. Sarah Jane Turney born 1871. Married 07 November 1889 in Cleburne Co to Daniel Benjamin Johnson.

3. John Calvin Turney born 1875. He married Emine Stevens 29 August 1897. Emine or Ermine Stevens was the daughter of Rebecca Hoggard Stevens Turney. Emine was raised as the daughter of Thomas Lafayette Turney (my great-grandfather as I am a double Turney). I believe John Calvin and Emine lived at Quitman, Arkansas.

4. Nancy E. Turney born November 1873. (in Bill Allen's 1912 pension report, he lists her as Nanna Turney). All I have on her - she is living with her parents in the 1880 census age 7, and 1900 census age 26.

5. Lucy Turney born March 1877. February 26, 1896 she married Robert E. Lee Flowers (born May 1865 KY), the brother of Ann Flowers. I believe Lucy and Robert had five children, and that Robert remarried after Lucy's death.

6. George Allen Turney (known as Red George Turney) born 1880. August 22, 1902 he married Lucy Ann Allison who was born 1881, and a sister to Will Allison. Some of their decendants still live in Higden area.

7. Everett Turney who died around 1902.

I find it interesting that in 1900 census Saline Township, Cleburne County, Arkansas I find Bill Allen and Elizabeth Turney in household number 101 with children Nancy and George. Household number 100 was James Buel Mullins, with second wife Jane and children - one being Mary Ann Mullins age 8, my maternal grandmother. (she would marry Daniel Moses Barnum, Jr.).