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John Perry Turner


John P. Turner

John Perry Turner was born on March 11, 1868 in Fayette County, PA, the son of George Washington and Mary Frances (White) Turner

At the age of 28, on July 6, 1896, John married 18-year-old Lillian Mae Flowers (1878-1953). Born in Allegheny County, PA, Lillian was the daughter of John W. and Josephine Flowers and at the time of marriage dwelled in Stewart Township, Fayette County. Rev. William J. Cocke officiated at the wedding ceremony held in Uniontown. The couple was a decade apart in age.

Lillian's maiden name also has been given as "Yates," but on her marriage license application, on file in the Fayette County Courthouse, here maiden name clearly was listed as "Flowers" and her parents' names as John and Josephine.


John and a favorite vehicle

At the outset of the marriage, and continuing for decades, John earned his living as a laborer.

The couple produced six children -- Henry W. Turner, Mary G. Williams, Ethel Mae McMillen, Samuel Joseph Turner, Susie Elma Brown and Charles P. Turner. 

When the 1910 census was taken, they lived in Rostraver Township, Westmoreland County, PA, as next-door neighbors to John's brother Charles and family. Both John and Charles were employed in 1910 as farm laborers.

During the decade of the 1910s, the Turners relocated to Butler, Butler County, PA. The federal census of 1920 shows that John earned income providing "labor - anywhere."

They were members of the First Methodist Church. 

John and Lillian appear to have separated during the 1920s and later divorced. When the census again was made in 1930, John worked as a wood chopper for a coal company and lived with his son Samuel.


Bird's-eye view of Butler, Pennsylvania



John and son Samuel, 1917

Tragically, their son Charles drowned in July 1937 when he fell off a sand barge into the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland.

On Nov. 2, 1947, Lillian joined the North Street Christian Church in Butler.

In the early 1950s, John lived with his son Samuel at 325 Wagner Avenue.


Butler Eagle, 1951

Suffering from chronic cardiovascular disease, John contracted bronchial pneumonia and died at the age of 83 on Nov. 26, 1951. His obituary was published in the Butler Eagle newspaper, with burial in the Rose Hill Cemetery. The Eagle said he was survived by 13 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. 

Lillian outlived her former husband by about two years. Burdened with acute congestive failure, she passed away in January 1953. Her remains were placed into repose in Rose Hill Cemetery.


~ Son Henry W. Turner ~

Son Henry W. Turner (1893- ? ) was born in 1903. 

He worked for Pittsburgh Coal Co. and labored performing "trapping" in Rostraver coal mines circa 1910.


~ Daughter Mary G. (Turner) Williams ~

Daughter Mary G. Turner (1898-1976) was born in 1898 in Ohiopyle, Fayette County.

She married James N. Williams (1881-1969). 

They made their home in Chicora, Butler County, PA and were the parents of Alverta Cozin Benner Sullivan.

When the United States Census was made in 1920, Mary and her daughter lived under the roof of her parents in Butler. The census-taker marked her as "married."

The Grim Reaper cut away James on March 2, 1969. Interment was in West Sunbury Union Cemetery in Butler County.

Mary passed away in Butler County Memorial Hospital on Jan. 14, 1976, at the age of 78.

Daughter Alverta Williams (1917- ? ) was born in about 1917. During her life, she was married three times. Her first spouse was Joseph Cozin ( ? - ? ). They produced a daughter, Joann Catherine Cozin. Her second husband was Joseph Benner. Her third and final marriage was to (?) Sullivan, and they bore a son, James Arthur Sullivan.

  • Granddaughter Joann Catherine Cozin
  • Grandson Joseph Arthur Sullivan

Butler's Main Street viaduct and business section


~ Daughter Ethel Mae (Turner) McMillen ~

Daughter Ethel Mae Turner (1899-1957) was born on March 23, 1899 in Fayette County.

At the age of 19, in about 1918, she married 21-year-old Robert J. McMillen ( ? - ? ).

They were the parents of Viola Houston and Dorothy M. Geibel Tilkins.

The federal census of 1930 shows Robert laboring as a coal miner and in 1940 as a blacksmith in a local steel mill in Butler.

Their residence in the 1940s and '50s was at 130 Garfield Avenue in Butler, Butler County. Robert is said to have had red hair and played the fiddle.

Stricken with lung cancer, Ethel died on Dec. 13, 1957 in Butler County Memorial Hospital, at the age of 58. Burial was in Greenlawn Burial Estates in Butler.

Daughter Viola McMillen (1921- ? ) was born in about 1921 in Butler County. She was joined in marriage with Royal Houston ( ? - ? ). Their two children were Royal Houston Jr. and Dorothy Houston.

Daughter Dorothy M. McMillen (1924- ? ) was born in about 1924 in Butler County. She was twice wed. Her first spouse was Regis Geibel ( ? - ? ). Her second husband was Robert Tilkins ( ? - ? ).


Samuel with his father and son, 1926

~ Son Samuel Joseph Turner ~

Son Samuel Joseph Turner (1901-1981) was born on June 13, 1901 in Belle Vernon, Westmoreland County, PA.

He labored in a Butler glass works at the age of 18 in 1920.

Samuel was first married to Lula B. Dawson (Feb. 5, 1899-1971), daughter of Harry and Martha (Thompson) Dawson of Center Township, Butler County.

The couple bore one daughter, Vivian Alice Rodgers, born in 1921. However, the first marriage did not last.

When he was 23, on Oct. 17, 1924, Samuel married his second bride, 19-year-old Margaret Elizabeth Watterson (Jan. 23, 1903-1989), daughter of Harry and Phoebe (Reges) Watterson. Their nuptials were held in nearby New Castle, Lawrence County, PA.

The children born to this marriage included Samuel John Turner, Marjory M. McCune Christie, Peggy Thoma, Iris P. Wood, Twila Cypher and Vivian Sue Kalberer.

Samuel's divorced father lived in their household circa 1930 and remained for several decades. Their address in the 1930s through the 1950s was 325 Wagner Avenue.

Samuel earned a living during World War II as an auxiliary policeman in Butler. When Armco Steel held its annual employee picnics, he helped direct traffic. He was a member of the Knights of Malta, Masons and Shrine.

In 1967, Samuel transferred his membership from North Street Christian Church to the Bethany United Church of Christ.

Former wife Lula passed away in Unionville, Butler County on Jan. 21, 1971.

Samuel died in Pittsburgh three days after Christmas in 1981.

Margaret outlived her husband by seven years. She joined him in death on Jan. 17, 1989 as a patient at Chicora Medical Center. She and Samuel rest for eternity in Rose Hill Cemetery in Butler.

Daughter Vivian Alice Turner (1921- ? ) was born about April 1, 1921 in Butler. She married Glenn Rodgers ( ? - ? ). During World War II, she was employed as a crane operator by Armco Steel. In the late 1970s or early 1980s, Vivian sent a family history letter to her half-sister Iris (Turner) Wood, who in turn passed it on to Iris' sister Vivian (Turner) Kalberer. Vivian typed the material into a chronological document and shared it with the founder of this website in July 2003.

Armco Steel plant in Butler.


Son Samuel John Turner (1925- ? ) was born on Oct. 20, 1924 in Lick Hill, Butler County, PA. He served in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II. On June 11, 1947, in nuptials held in Butler, the 21-year-old Samuel wedded Helen Louise McKissich (Oct. 29, 1926- ? ). The only son born to this marriage was Sammy John Turner. Circa 1950, he was employed by Armco Steel Corporation in Butler. Family records show that on Nov. 30, 1958, when he was 33 years of age, he was baptized in the First English Lutheran Church in Butler.

  • Grandson Sammy John Turner (1957- ? ) was born in 1957. On June 1, 1979, in a ceremony held in the Latter-Day Saints Temple in Washington, DC, he was joined in the holy bonds of marriage with Lorrie Jane Leinenbach (1956- ? ), a native of Butler. Their two known children are Travis John Turner and Cody James Turner. Circa 2003, he was employed as a handler in a warehouse.

Daughter Marjorie Marie Turner (1927- ? ) was born on Oct. 13, 1927 in Lick Hill, Butler County. On Aug. 3, 1946, in nuptials held in the parsonage of Butler's St. Paul's Reformed Church, she was joined in wedlock with her first husband, William Henry McCune (Feb. 6, 1928- ? ), son of William and Irene McCune. Reported the Butler Eagle, "With her gown of white satin, the bride chose to carry a bouquet of white lilacs, gladioli and astors. She had the traditional something old, something new, something borrwed and something blue." William was employed at the time of marriage by Keystone Chevrolet Company in New Castle. The couple bore two offspring, Debora Sarver and Dennis William McCune. Evidence suggests that the couple divorced. For two decades, Marjorie was employed by the County of Butler in the Tax Claim Bureau and the Personal Property Division of the Tax Assessment Office. In 1975, she married again t Robert Christie ( ? -  ? ). Her final address was 78 Maple Drive in Renfrew, PA. She passed into eternity in her home at the age of 78 on July 31, 2006. An obituary noted that she was survived by four grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Her funeral was led by Rev. Robert C. Huber of North Street Christian Church, with burial in Butler County Memorial Park.

  • Grandson Dennis William McCune (1947- ? ) was born in 1947. After high school, he served in the U.S. Armed Forces in Vietnam. His first bride was Mary Ellen Rodgers ( ? - ? ), married at Armco Park in Slippery Rock, PA on Aug. 28, 1971. They were the parents of Tracy LeFevre and Jesse Brook Briquitte. Later, he wedded Patricia C. Rubino ( ? - ? ), an Ellwood City native. In 2003, Patricia worked as a technician for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They resided in Prospect, PA in 2006.
  • Granddaughter Debora Ann McCune (1952- ? ) was born in 1952. On Nov. 28, 1970, she married Dale Sarver (1950- ? ), son of Dale and Margaret (Nicklas) Sarver. The marriage ceremony was held at St. Johns United Church of christ in Meridian, PA. They produced three offspring -- Jennifer Marie Blank and Melissa Renee Sarver. The couple both worked in 2003 for Vic Nor Farms Inc., him  as a turfgrass producer and she as an office manager. In 2006, their home was in Evans City, PA.

Daughter Iris P. Turner (1929-2018) was born on June 24, 1929 in a home at the corner of Fairview and Morton Avenue in Butler, Butler County, PA. She was baptized at the age of 14 on April 9, 1944 in the North Street Christian Church. At the age of 21, on June 16, 1951, she married James Nelson Wood (Jan. 28, 1926-2018), son of Horatio and Marnie (Yarnell) Wood. The wedding was held in the family church. They dwelled in Butler and were the parents of Judith Starr and David N. Wood. Circa 1970, they may have dwelled in Williamsport, Lycoming County, PA. Said the Butler Eagle, "She was a longtime member of the First United Methodist Church and their Quilters Group. Iris was an accomplished seamstress. Her past times included needlework, quilting, reading, and spending time with her family." They endured the untimely passing of their son-in-law Stephen Arnold Starr. Sadly, James and Iris died just a month apart. He entered eternity on Feb. 17, 2018, and Iris succumbed at the VNA Hospice in Butler on March 21, 2018. Rev. Barbara Stoehr, of the family church, preached the funeral sermon. Burial followed in Butler County Memorial Park.

  • Granddaughter Judith Lynn Wood (1953- ? ) was born in 1953 in Columbia Hospital, Wilkinsburg, PA and graduated from high school in Williamsport, PA. She married Stephen Arnold Starr (April 3, 1952-1994), son of Charles and Eleanor (Hill) Starr. Their wedding was held on May 25, 1974 in First Methodist Church in Butler. The couple relocated to New York State and made a residence on Gunzen Drive in Cortland. Their children were twins Amber Starr and Amy Degnan, and Tiffany Rae Blanton. In 1975, Stephen received a bachelor's degree from Millersville State College and in 1995 a degree in administration from Scranton University. Said the Ithaca (NY) Journal, he was "a sixth grade teacher at the Dryden Elementary School and was Dryden High School Football Coach. Previously he had held coaching positions in Pennsylvania while teaching grade school in Sunbury, PA. For the past 12 years he had been affiliated with the Dryden Central School where in addition to his teaching and Head Football Coaching positions he was the Assistant Track Coach and was the Junior High Girls Basketball Coach." He also worked part-time for the local Domino's Pizza chain. Their daughter Tiffany is known to have competed at age six in the 1986 New York Little Star Pageant in Albany. Grief blanketed the family on the next-to-last day of 1994 when Stephen died in Cortland. at the age of 42. His funeral service was held in the Dryden elementary school gymnasium, with Rev. K. Wayne Butler and Rev. Nancy Rehkugler officiating. Burial was at Twin Hills Memorial Park in Montoursville, PA. As a widow, Judith has lived in Dryden, NY and earned a living as a library assistant.
  • Grandson David Nelson Wood (1957- ? ) was born in 1957 in Columbia Hospital, Wilkinsburg, PA. On May 25, 1985, at the age of 27, he wedded Kathy Ann Ferrier (1959- ? ), daughter of Robert and Ann (Evanovich) Ferrier of Pittsburgh. They were the parents of David Robert Wood  and Anne Leigh Wood. David earned his bachelor's degree from Grove City College in 1980 and a master's from Robert Morris College in 1990. Cica 2003, he was employed by Mellon Bank in Pittsburgh as a senior estate specialist and she as a medical transcriptionist. Their home in 2018 was in Elizabeth Township, PA.

Daughter Twila Susie Turner (1931- ? ) was born on March 14, 1931 in Lick Hill, Butler County. When she was age 18, on March 8, 1950, she was baptized in the North Street Christian Church in Butler. Then on Sept. 5, (?), she was united in holy matrimony with Chester Leo Cypher (Sept. 20, 1931- ? ). Their wedding mass was celebrated in St. Paul's Roman Catholic Church. The children born to this union were Jeffrey Grey Cypher, Carey Lee Cypher, Scott Bradley Cypher and Elizabeth Susan Cypher. The Cyphers have resided in Medina, OH.

  • Grandson Dr. Jeffrey Grey Cypher (1954- ? ) was born in 1954. As an infant, he was baptized in St. Paul's Roman Catholic Church in Butler. He received a bachelor's degree in 1978 from the University of Toledo School of Pharmacy followed a master's degree in biology from Cleveland State University. He went on to secure his doctorate of chiropathy from the University of Illinois in 1985. Jeffrey was twice married. His first bride was Anna Kisner ( ? - ? ). The wedding was held in 1985 in Wheaton, IL. The couple divorced. Then on Sept. 1, 2001, he wedded his second spouse, Rebecca Born (1968- ? ). The second nuptials ceremony was in Lorain Lakeview Park in Lorain, OH. Circa 2003, Rebecca was employed as a computer numerical control operator.
  • Grandson Carey Lee Cypher (1956- ? ) was born in 1956. His baptism was held in 1964 at St. Francis Xavier in Medina, OH. He obtained an undergraduate degree in 1979 from the University of Akron and took additional studies at Cleveland State University. He has been married twice. In 1981, he wedded his first bride, Kathy Farley ( ? - ? ). His second wife was Cathy Reichardt ( ? - ? ), a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2003, he worked as a physical therapist.
  • Grandson Scott Bradley Cypher (1957- ? ) was born in 1957 and as a baby was baptized in St. Paul's Roman Catholic Church in Butler. On Aug. 28, 1982, at the age of 24 or 25, he was united in holy wedlock with Susan Marie Coyle (1958- ? ), daughter of John and Patricia (Grubisch) Coyle of Akron. The four sons born to this couple are Bradley John Cypher, Andrew Michael Cypher, Scott Joseph Cypher and Stephen Patrick Cypher. After graduation from high school in Akron, Scott received a bachelor's degree from the University of Akron and a doctorate of chiropathy from the University of Illinois. He became a chiropractor and established a practice in Arlington, VA. Susan obtained a bachelor's degree in nursing in 1980 from the University of Nebraska and took additional studies at the University of Illinois.
  • Granddaughter Elizabeth Susan Cypher (1966- ? ) was born in 1966. In nuptials held at St. Francis Xavier Church of Medina, OH, on Dec. 9, 1989, Elizabeth was united in the bonds of matrimony with Michael Ashley Hoover (1964- ? ), a native of Mt. Vernon, Knox County, OH and the son of Larry and Julia (Ash) Hoover. They are the parents of Alexander Phillip Hoover, Eric Matthew Hoover, Luke David Hoover and Claire Julia Hoover. Elizabeth graduated from Ohio State University in 1988, summa cum laude, with a bachelor of science in physical therapy. Then in 1992 she received a master's degree in exercise physiology and was employed as an physical therapist. Michael earned a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics, summa cum laude, from Ohio State University in 1987. He has earned a living as an agricultural consultant and family business specialist.

Daughter Vivian Sue Turner (1939-2015) was born on Dec. 29, 1939 in the family's residence at 325 Wagner Avenue in Butler. As a girl, she attended the North Street Christian Church and was baptized on Easter 1951. She received a bachelor's degree in pharmacy in 1962 from the University of Pittsburgh. Over the years, she was employed in the pharmacy of Butler Memorial Hospital. Later, she joined the Veterans Administration health care facility in Butler and retired from the position on Jan. 28, 2000. In 1961, when she was 22, Vivian was joined in wedlock with Kenneth William Kalberer (Feb. 3, 1938-1971), son of Walter Adolph and Ruth Ann Elizabeth (Rodler) Kalberer of Pittsburgh. Dr. N. Quentin Gray performed the nuptials, with a reception held in the North Street Christian Church. News of their wedding was printed in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. They were the parents of Kenneth Jay Kalberer and Kristianne Ovenshine. Kenneth underwent Air Force ROTC training at Stewart Air Force Base in Tennessee in 1959. After his military assignment ended, he received a bachelor's degree in engineering in 1961 from the University of Pittsburgh. The couple's home was at 413 Alice Street in the Knoxville neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Grief blanketed the family when Kenneth's body was found in the Monongahela River on Nov. 4, 1971, reported by "crewmen on a passing riverboat," said the Pittsburgh Press. A report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said that "Police were investigating the cause of death and they report the body had not been in the water long when found near the Monongahela parking wharf below the Smithfield Street Bridge." He was only 33 at death. Interment was made in Pittsburgh's Birmingham Cemetery. In retirement, Vivian worked as secretary of her longtime church. Said the Butler Eagle, "At the church, she served as a deaconess and was active in various ministries. Vivian enjoyed spending time with her family, cross-stitching, water aerobics, tennis, reading, audio book listening and Bible study." She also traced her family genealogy and attended one of our national Minerd-Minard-Miner-Minor Reunions. She died on June 18, 2015. Rev. Bob Huber preached the funeral sermon, held at North Street Christian Church. Burial was in Butler County Memorial Park, with the Eagle printing an obituary.

  • Grandson Kenneth Jay Kalberer (1962-living) was born in 1962 in Aultman Hospital in Canton, OH. On Sept. 3, 1988, he wedded Lisa Maria Lipnichan (1965-living), daughter of Robert and Barbara (Somerille) Lipnichan of Bruin, Butler County. The wedding was held at St. Paul Roman Catholic Church in Butler, with the news and her bridal portraitl printed in the Pittsburgh Press. They have lived in Butler and are the parents of Benjamin Joseph Kalberer. Kenneth is a 2002 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and has worked as manager of information technology for the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Butler.
  • Granddaughter Kristianne Kalberer (1964- ? ) was born in 1964 in Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. She married Gordon Ovenshine (1962- ? ), son of Alexander and Elinor (Hyle) Ovenshine. The wedding was held in Butler on Oct. 21, 1988. Kristianne was awarded her degree in 1989 from Slippery Rock University. They produced two known children, Samuel Gordon Ovenshine and Emily Hope Ovenshine. Their home in 2015 was in Cranberry Township, Butler County.

Daughter Margaret Mary "Peggy" Turner (1941-1990) was born on April 27, 1941 in the family dwelling at 325 Wagner Avenue in Butler. At the age of 13, she was baptized in the North Street Christian Church in Butler. At the age of about 19, Peggy was united in marriage with Wayne Thoma (Aug. 24, ?- ? ), son of Paul Thoma. Their nuptials were held in St. John's Catholic Church of Cabot, PA. The couple bore four children -- Timothy Robert Thoma, Tammy Thoma, William Samuel Thoma and Matthew Thoma. Sadly, at the age of 49, on Aug. 7, 1990, she passed into eternity at her home on Grohman Road in Butler. Interment was in St. Marys' Cemetery in Herman, PA.

  • Grandson Timothy Robert Thoma (1961- ? ) was born in 1961. He has been twice married. His first wife was Jacque ( ? - ? ). Their only son was Joshua Timothy Thoma. His second bride was Gretchen. They are the parents of John Wayne Thoma.
  • Granddaughter Tammy Thoma ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She was united in wedlock with Jeffrey Curry ( ? - ? ). Their two children are Shannon Curry and Turner Eugene curry.
  • Grandson William Samuel Thoma ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). He has been wedded twice. His first marriage was with Terry Garcia ( ? - ? ). The couple bore two daughters, Alyssa Marie Thoma and Lydia Margaret Thoma. William's second marriage was with Dollie ( ? - ? ). Their son is William Thoma.
  • Grandson Matthew Thoma ( ? - ? ) was born in (?) in Butler. He was joined in matrimony with Janine. Their two daughters are Emily Thoma and Isabelle Thoma. Matthew is a graduate of the Butler county Memorial Hospital School of Nursing.


~ Daughter Susie Elma (Turner) Brown ~

Daughter Susie Elma Turner (1903-1991) was born in 1903 in Butler, Butler County, PA.

She married Stewart R. Brown (Aug. 19, 1907-1959), son of John and Elizabeth (Frost) Brown of Syracuse, NY. She was four years older than her groom.

The couple were the parents of James Brown, Betty Jane Brown, Joan Brown, John Brown, Robert Brown and Thomas Brown.

Their address in the 1950s was 323 Wagner Avenue in Butler, next door to the house where she had grown up.

Stewart made a living as a shearman.

At the age of 51, having suffered for a decade from pulmonary tuberculosis, Stewart died at home on Jan. 10, 1959. Burial was in Rose Hill Cemetery.

Later, Susie wedded for a second time to (?) Woods. Two more children were involved with this marriage, William Woods and Lillian Woods.

She died in Butler on April 17, 1991, at the age of 88.

Son James Brown ( ? - ? ) married Myrtle ( ? - ? ). Their three offspring are James Brown, Patricia Perez and Susan Brown.

Daughter Betty Jane Brown

Daughter Joan Brown

Son John Brown

Son Robert Brown

Son Thomas Brown

Son William Woods married Marie.

Daughter Lillian Woods ( ? - ? ) was married twice. Her first husband was "Wimpy" Bowser ( ? - ? ). They bore three children -- Jack Bowser, Sandra Bowser and Karen McCurdy. Later, Lillian wedded Gordon McCullough ( ? - ? ).

  • Grandson Jack Bowser ( ? - ? )
  • Granddaughter Sandra Bowser ( ? - ? )
  • Granddaughter Karen Bowser ( ? - ? ) wedded Gary McCurdy ( ? - ? )


~ Son Charles P. Turner ~

Son Charles P. Turner (1907-1937) was born in 1907.

In about 1936, he left Butler and moved to Maryland.

On the fateful day of July 2, 1937, the 30-year-old Charles drowned in the Chesapeake Bay at Still Pond, MD, allegedly when he fell off a sand barge. His remains were returned to Butler for interment in Rose Hill Cemetery, with Rev. Louis D. Riddell presiding. News of his tragic death was printed statewide in the Bradford Evening Star and Pottstown Mercury.


Copyright 2003-2004, 2006-2007, 2009-2010, 2012, 2019 Mark A. Miner

The late Vivian Sue (Turner) Kalberer graciously contributed images and information for this biography.