Calvin Smith Turner1

M, #5479, b. 25 December 1825, d. 10 November 1871
RelationshipGreat-grandson of Terisha Turner
FatherWilliam Suddarth Turner2,3 b. 1790, d. 14 Jan 1871
MotherElizabeth Pearl Smith b. 1790, d. a 20 Sep 1850
ChartsDescendant Chart (Box)


Amanda Ann Tucker b. 20 Jun 1836, d. 16 Feb 1906
Last Edited29 Sep 2019
     Calvin Smith Turner was born on 25 December 1825, son of William Suddarth Turner and Elizabeth Pearl Smith, in Tennessee.4

     On 24 August 1827, John Turner, in his will of this date, says:
     Be it remembered that I john Turner of the county of Shelby & State of Tennessee being weak of body but of sound and perfect mind & memory, blessed by Almighty God for the same, do make and publish this my last will and testament in manner & form following to wit.

     I give & Bequeath to my wife Elizabeth one negro woman named nance with her son called Sam, also I give to her all my household furniture except such part of it as my son William S. Turner has in his possession which (sic) which I give to Isaac H. Turner, William R. Turner, Carolina (I believe this should be Calvin) S. Turner & Samuel Turner, children of William S. Turner.

     I bequeath to my wife one horse & two cows & calves.

     I give to my children Sally Caffey, Terisha Turner, Polly Read, James Turner & William S. Turner the sum of one dollar & no more.

     Likewise to the children of my deceased daughter, Betsy Tinsley. I give one dollar equally divided between them.

     The sum of seven hundred dollars due me by James Eidson & John Spain, I give and bequeath to my wife together will all other demand which I may have after my just debts are paid.

     And I appoint my wife Elizabeth & Kader Harrell commissioners to execute the above.

     I hereby revoke all former wills which I have made.

     In testimony whereof I have affixed my seal this 24th day of August 1827.
At the request of John Turner we have               John Turner (seal)
affixed our names as witness of the above
Charles H. Stone
James R. Harrell
Jacob F. Eilett (sic - Elliott?) In Shelby County, Tennessee.5

     Between 1842 and 1846, Calvin was one of the men in the first group of Texas Rangers, serving under Jack Hays. "He took part of the Battle of Salado in 1842. He served through the Mexican War of 1846 in the famous regiment of Rangers commanded by Col. Jack Hays, his old captain. He took part in the Battles of Monterey and Buena Vista."6

     After returning from Mexico he received a commission from Gov. P. H. Bell as second lieutenant in the ranger company commanded by Capt. Henry E. McCulloch. He engaged in stock-raising after coming to Pleasanton, and also opened a hotel. He served under Capt. John Tom part of the time as minuteman to repel Indian incursions, and participated in the Indian battle on San Miguel Creek. During one raid near town his Mexican herder was killed by Indians. During the Civil War he was a lieutenant in Captain Maverick's company, Wood's regiment."7

     On 25 October 1847, Calvin S. first enlisted in the Texas Mounted Volunteers (Rangers) on October 25, 1847, as a Private for 12 months of service. He was 21 years old and had blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion. He stood 5'11" tall. He gave his birthplace as Seguin. His enlistment officer was Captain Henry E. McCulloch.8

     On 25 October 1848, he again enlisted, this time as a 2nd Lieutenant. He served on this enlistment for 1 month and 13 days of service.8

     On 5 November 1850, he again enlisted on November 5, 1850 for 6 months of service.8 "I'd love to tell a fun story on my Texas Ranger ancestor:"

     "Don't know if you have ever been to Texas or not but just above San Antonio and to the east it gets into the Edwards Plateau - ground makes an abrupt jump right behind my parents home (outside New Braunfels) about a mile away behind their house - sudden tall cliffs. I guess a massive earth quake lifted the ground up after the water receded long ago when the ocean came further inland to our continent. And part of the ground stayed level. At the base of this break water came up from artesian underground aquifers. In my hometown of New Braunfels a small river is spring fed and is crystal clear coming from the base of this cliff. Anyway on the top part of the cliff - Edwards Plateau - the hills begin and the country gets rough the further north you go."

     "The Indians loved to swoop down from the desert areas in west Texas and hit around Austin and down towards San Antonio plundering and pillaging where ever they found a lonesome cabin. Then they would go into the hill country escaping into the brush and rough terrain making camps and later heading back into the far desert and mountains in west Texas."

     "After one such Indian raid a large group of Texas Rangers took off a few days afterwards to follow their trail. My ancestor Calvin Turner was among the men. Each had to have proved themselves worthy to the leader Jack Hays to even get to be a part. Jack lived in the same town (Sequin) with Calvin and their families the Turners and Hays had migrated together for generations, first from Virginia to Tennessee and then from Tennessee to Texas. The men in this outfit were rough and tough and had gone through some hard times living in the early days of Texas. I read where in one year in san Antonio 130 white men were counted arriving that year. At the end of the year nearly 100 of them had died -- most to Indian attacks. This was the environment a few years before Calvin and his family arrived just after the Battle of San Jacinto. Calvin was 16 years old and he and his older brothers eagerly joined up with the Ranger group that Jack Hays organized to protect the settlers after the war with Mexico was over. (I don't imagine plowing held a candle to Indian fighting.)"

     "At the time of this raid Calvin and the Rangers had been on tours of duty together off and on for a number of years."

     "As the group followed the Indian trail they got within a half days ride of them. The commander Jack Hays ordered his men to get in single file and stay in line. They were going through canyons and gullies and rough country and he wanted them to proceed as fast and as safely as possible. His men were pretty unruly tough guys so he gave the order that if anyone got out of line they had to go to the rear - to avoid fighting over their place in line - as no one wanted to eat dust in the rear."

     "Later, one of the men near Calvin had to leave the line for some reason. He came back and tried to get his horse back in where he had been before. Another man he was trying to cut in front of sternly reminded him what the Captain had said. He had to go to the rear! This was not pleasing to this fellow to say the least and with some oaths he worked his horse harder at getting back in line. The other fellow worked hard to prevent it and even jabbed the guys horse with the butt of his gun. This upset the horse who threw his rider off onto the hard rocky ground. Calvin and the others nearby heard the oaths and swearing and anger of this thrown rider and knew there would be a fight later between the two. They all considered on it while they sat on their horses and followed the trail. When they came to a place to make camp Calvin got a few of his friends aside and told them he had a plan involving the two at-odds Rangers."

     "He had noticed some berries they'd passed that stain bright red like blood. 'Hey how about a fake duel between the two,' he suggested. They made their plans and the angered Ranger was easy putty in their hands. He was bound and determined to kill the guy who had jabbed his horse making him fall, so Calvin and his friends were going to oblige him. They got to talking about duels and soon it was arranged that early in the morning they'd settle it once and for all the proper way with a duel. Of course, Captain Jack Hays knew nothing of this."

     "The men who posed as seconds were carefully selected and the other Ranger sneakily told of the fake duel and his part in it. When the seconds took the guns to check them they hid in the bushes for a moment and emptied out the real bullets and replaced them with some other objects. One gun, that of the angry Ranger had the berries in it that stained red. The other Ranger had some pemican (not sure I'm spelling it right - a food substance that was brown and sticky) put in his gun."

     "It was so early in the morning the men didn't let the guys even get dressed, but they faced each other off in their white long johns. (The better to show the red berry stain I guess :) After the required twenty paces they turned and fired. The Ranger hit with the red berries faked that he'd been killed and sure enough looked like he took a good hit in the chest with the red all over. Excitedly and horrified the seconds announced, 'You Killed HIM!' Then they noticed the Ranger standing there looking a bit horrified himself and they said 'You've been hit too! Look his guts are coming out!' Upon hearing this the Ranger looked down and saw some sticky brown goo oozing on his clothes above his belt. He promptly fainted away! To the hoots and hollers of the men who had a great time, let me tell you with that poor old guy. When he came to he was pretty angry at those Rangers but so relieved he hadn't killed the other Ranger that he jumped up and went and shook the man's hand and the two duelists became best friends for the rest of their lives!"9

     Calvin Smith Turner, 25, married Amanda Ann Tucker, 15, daughter of Ezekiel Tucker and Ashbel (--?--), on 16 November 1851 in Hays County, Texas.10

     Calvin Smith Turner died on 10 November 1871 at age 45 in Pleasanton, Atascosa County, Texas,11 and was buried in San Ysidro Cemetery, Pleasanton, Atascosa County, Texas.11

Census and Occupation

DateEnumeration and OccupationLocation
1830probably one of the two free white males between 5 and under 10Shelby County, Tennessee12
185024 years of age and living in his father's householdGuadalupe County, Texas13
186034 years of age and living immediately adjacent to his father-in-law. Also living in his household was Sabra Turner, female, 45, White, born c 1815 in PennsylvaniaPleasanton PO, Atascosa County, Texas14
Stock Raiser with real estate valued at $600 and person property worth $400Pleasanton PO, Atascosa County, Texas14
187045 years of agePleasanton PO, Atascosa County, Texas15
Stock Raiser with real estate valued at $2,000 and personal property worth $2,20015


  1. [S254] Chesney, Terri, e-mail message from (e-mail address) to Toby Turner, entitled "Turner Family Research" dated 12 Oct 2000, entitled "Good documented blurb on Calvin's family :)", reporting on her direct line of descent.
  2. [S2702] Find A Grave. Database and images; accessed 29 Oct 2015, memorial page for William Suddarth Turner at memorial page..., photograph of grave by Jane Jahns Rice, maintained by Rowantree; citing San Geronimo Cemetery, Seguin, Guadalupe County, Texas.
  3. [S567] Sowell, A. J.. Early Settlers and Indian Fighters of Southwest Texas (1900; reprint Austin: State House Press, 1986), page 415.
  4. [S2702] Find A Grave. Memorial page for Calvin Smith Turner at memorial page....
  5. [S5964] "Tennessee, Wills and Probate Records, 1779-2008," index and images, ( Operations Inc, (Provo, Utah), accessed 16 Sep 2019, entry for John Turner, 1832, Shelby County Will Record I-C, Jan 1830-May 1847, page 36, image 44 of 864; citing original data from the Tennessee County District and Probate Courts.
  6. [S254] Chesney. Email, dated 12 Oct 2000, entitled "Re: Turner family research", reporting on her direct line
  7. [S254] Chesney. Email, dated 16 Oct 2000, entitled "Good documented blurb-on Calvin's family :)", reporting on her line.
  8. [S815] Ingmire, Frances T.. Texas Ranger Service Records 1847-1900, VI (St. Louis: F. T. Ingmire, 1982), page 25.
  9. [S254] Chesney. Email, dated 14 Oct 2000, entitled "Fake Duel", reporting on her direct line.
  10. [S254] Chesney. Email, dated 15 Oct 2000.
  11. [S2702] Find A Grave. Memorial page for Calvin S Turner at memorial page....
  12. [S683] "1830 United States Federal Census," Shelby County, Tennessee, Roll 181, page 17, line 23, W. S. Turner household, digital image, citing National Archives microfilm M19. ProQuest's HeritageQuest Online, formerly accessed through participating libraries. HeritageQuest moved their census data to in 2015.
  13. [S961] "1850 United States Federal Census," Guadalupe County, Texas, population schedule, dwelling 44, family 44, William S. Turner household, digital images. ProQuest's HeritageQuest Online, formerly accessed through participating libraries. HeritageQuest moved their census data to in 2015.
  14. [S5507] "United States Census, 1860," index and images, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, (FamilySearch: ), entry for C S Turner, 1860, Atascosa, Texas, United States; citing page 31, household 214, NARA microfilm publication M653 (Washington, D. C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 805,287, accessed 22 Jul 2016).
  15. [S5500] "United States Census, 1870," index and images, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, (FamilySearch: ), entry for C S Turner, Atascosa, Texas, United States; citing p. 3, family 19, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 553,072, accessed 22 Jul 1870).
  16. [S2608] "Texas Deaths, 1890-1976," index and images, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, FamilySearch ( : accessed 2 Feb 2012), Robert J. Turner, 23 Feb 1931; citing Jourdanton, Atascasa Co., Texas, reference 5969, State Registrar Office, Austin; FHL microfilm 2,135,505.
  17. [S2702] Find A Grave. Memorial page for Sarah Turner Franks (1851-1924) at memorial page....
  18. [S2608] "TX Deaths , 1890-1976," FamilySearch, Sarah Franks, 18 Nov 1924; citing El Paso, El Paso, Texas, reference v X cn 35124, State Registrar Office, Austin; FHL microfilm 2,113,742, accessed 8 Jul 2010. Index may link to the wrong death certificate, go to image 130 of 3579 to see it. Mrs. Spencer Gates mistankenly reports Sarah's father's name as William Turner.
  19. [S2608] "TX Deaths , 1890-1976," FamilySearch, Annie Clark, 03 Jun 1952; citing certificate number 31474, State Registrar Office, Austin; FHL microfilm 2,075,087, accessed 18 Jun 2013.