Ulysses Simpson "Grant" Turner was born in 1869 in Wharton Township, Fayette County, PA, the son of George Washington and Mary Frances (White) Turner. He entered this world just four years after the Civil War ended, and was named for famed Union Army General Ulysses Simpson "U.S." Grant.
As a young man, Grant was a laborer, and lived in Stewart Township.
Grant married Mary Etta Hilling (1871-1947), the daughter of Nelson and Catherine Hilling. The ceremony took place on Nov. 26, 1891, when Grant was age 22 and Mary Etta 20. Justice of the peace R.S. McCrum performed the ceremony at Ohio Pyle.
They resided in Mt. Braddock, Fayette County for four decades. In an interesting twist, Grant's cousin Della Firestone was married to Mary Etta's brother, William T. Hilling.
Grant and Mary produced seven children -- of whom only two survived into adulthood, Maude Hartzell and Grant Turner Jr. -- three lived only into their teens -- and the rest died as toddlers. The unfortunate toddlers were Fanny Turner (1892-1894) and Nelly Turner (1894-1896). The teens were Robert Finley Turner (1900-1918), Arthur Turner (1901-1918) and Ocie Ollie Turner (1904-1918), all three of whom died in the fateful year 1918.
Further heartache visited the family in the dead of winter 1918, when 16-year-old son Arthur was critically injured in a coal mining accident and died Feb. 22, 2918. Then, seven months later, with an epidemic of influenza sweeping the nation, 19-year-old son Robert and 14-year-old daughter Ocie contracted influenza and bronchial pneumonia. Both quickly succumbed, he on Nov. 8, and she on Nov. 11, 1918. In reporting on Robert's death, the Daily Courier noted that "Mt. Braddock Stricken: Five deaths from influenza and pneumonia were reported [today]."
Circa 1946, when two of Grant's brothers died in separate events, Grant was named in the Connellsville Daily Courier and Uniontown newspaper obituaries.
Mary Etta died on March 25, 1947, "after a lingering illness," reported the Daily Courier.
Grant followed her to the grave a year later, in 1948. He was laid to rest in the Fairview Cemetery at Percy near Uniontown.
For such a small graveyard, the cemetery at Percy contains the final resting places of several diverse branches of the family. Among these are Catherine (Minerd) Nesmith Dean, Frank and Margaret (Kilgore) Minerd and young children; and William H. Minerd, killed in an industrial explosion in 1884, the first known -- but not the last -- tragic demise in the mining and metals industries.
~ Son Arthur Turner ~
Son Arthur Turner (1901-1918) was born on Christmas Eve 1901. At the age of 16, in the winter of 1918, he was employed as a coal mine laborer at Mount Braddock.
In the dead of winter 1918, on Feb. 19, 1918, Arthur was "injured in the mines at Mount Braddock," said the Connellsville Daily Courier. He contracted an infection of meningitis in his blood stream, leading to periostitis (an inflammation of tissues surrounding the bone).
After suffering for five days, he died in nearby Dunbar Township on Feb. 22, 2918. The Daily Courier said that following a funeral at the church at Percy, the "funeral party will leave Mount Braddock on a special street car."
He was laid to rest in the family plot at Fairview Cemetery in Percy, near Uniontown. Arthur is one of far too many cousins in the extended family to lose their lives in workplace accidents in the mining and metals industries.
~ Son Grant Turner Jr. ~
Son Grant Turner Jr. (1907-1980) was born in 1907.
He resided in Tacoma, WA in the late 1940s.
Grant died in 1980. His remains were placed at rest at the Fairview Cemetery in Percy, near Uniontown, with his parents and five younger siblings.
~ Daughter Maude (Turner) Hartzell ~
Daughter Maude Turner (1896-1989) was born in 1896.
She married Milton Hartzell, a civil engineer. The Hartzells moved to Fayetteville, Franklin County, PA, and and three children -- George Turner Hartzell (1920- ? ), Ida Mary Kistler (1921- ? ) and Mary Ellen Moyle (1924- ? ).
Maude died in 1989, at the age of 93. She rests for eternity in the family plot at the Fairview Cemetery at Percy.
Grandson George Turner Hartzell (1920- ? ) resided in Fayetteville and worked there for a construction company. In 1977, he published a 124-page book, A Book of Life, regarding the genealogy of the Hartzell, Hertzel, Hirtzel and Hirzel families. His work has been cited in other research studies, among them Ancestors and Descendants of James Vincent Hartzell et. al., authored by Marlyn Hartzell Dalsimer.