Francis S.
"Frank"
Turner Sr.


 

FRANCIS S. "FRANK" TURNER was appointed to the Camden Fire Department  in May of 1874 to replace Edward S. Andrews an extra man with the Hook and Ladder Company. He served until April of 1876, when he was not re-appointed due to a change in politics in the leadership of the Fire Department. He was re-appointed on April 1, 1879 and served for three years before being let go due to another regime change. Frank Turner was recalled to service on September 7, 1885 as Stoker with Engine Company 2. Frank Turner was still active as a firefighter when the Census was taken in 1910, well past his 60th birthday.

Frank Turner was born in Pennsylvania in August of 1846. He came to Camden as a small boy, living with his mother Louisa in Camden's South Ward. His father was not with the family at the time of the 1850 Census. Frank Turner married Elizabeth Park Dermitt in 1864. Elizabeth was from Greenwich Township in Gloucester County where her father was a waterman, and after he died their mother moved the family to Camden where she supported the family as a seamstress.

At the time of the 1870 Census the Turners were living in Camden's South Ward. Two sons had been born, Charles F. and George D. Turner. Frank Turner was then working as a glass blower. He was working as an iron moulder when appointed to the Fire Department in 1874. Fire Department records from 1875 give an address of 224 Line Street for the Turner family. The Turners had moved around the corner to 215 Pine Street when the 1878 City Directory was being compiled. By the following year they were living at 212 Senate Street. Through the 1870s three more children were born into the Turner family, Mattie, Francis Jr. and Florence. 

When the Census was taken in June of 1880 the Francis Turner family had relocated to 208 Washington Street. Frank Turner was working as a stone cutter. Oldest sun Charles Francis Turner was working in a shoe factory. He would go on and make a career in shoe making, as did younger brothers George D. Turner and Francis S. Turner Jr. The Turners were still at 208 Washington Street as late as 1883. City Directories for 1884-1885 and 1885-1886 have the Turners at 320 South 2nd Street. Another move had taken the family to 139 South 4th Street. The Turners had moved to 211 Benson Street when the 1888-1889 Directory was being put together.

On June 1, 1890 Frank Turner was promoted to Engineer and transferred to Engine Company 4 as it first went into service at 320 Vine Street in North Camden. The foreman was Amedee Middleton, the driver, Edward Hartman. Barney Harvey was the stoker and the hosemen were Walter Browning and Charles Berry.

City Directories show that during the next ten years the Turners remained in the 200 Block of Benson Street. They had moved to 219 Benson Street by 1891 and stayed at that address as late as 1894. By 1896 the family was at 221 Benson Street. The 1898 City Directory and the 1900 Census both list the family at 223 Benson Street. The Directory for 1906 has Frank Turner at 618 South 3rd Street. When the Census was taken in 1910 Frank Turner was still working for the Fire Department and was living at 424 South 3rd Street.

By 1913, Frank and Elizabeth Turner had moved to Atlantic City to live with their daughter Florence and her husband Alvin Schultz, who was a machinist for the railroad and later worked for the local electric utility. The 1913 Atlantic City Directory shows him living at 2405 Arctic Avenue, occupation, detective. By 1915 the Turners had moved to 21 North Georgia Avenue. His occupation was given for a couple of years as superintendent, i.e., one in charge of an apartment building's maintenance. Directories through 1930 give his occupation as doorman. Frank Turner is listed in the 1920 census as working for wages as a detective. He may well have functioned as a hotel house detective as part of his duties as a doorman. By April of 1930, when the next Census was taken, he was completely retired. 

Frank and Elizabeth Turner are listed in the 1935 Atlantic City Directory, still living with the  Schultzes. Only Elizabeth appears on the 1940 census. Frank was 89 or older when he
passed away.

Frank Turner's granddaughter, Mrs. Evelyn M. Turner Stewart, taught at the Broadway Elementary School at Broadway and Clinton Streets in Camden for 37 years, retiring in June of 1956. Another granddaughter, Louise C. Turner, served in the United States NAvy during and immediately after World War I.


Francis S.
&
Elizabeth Turner
at
Atlantic City

Late 1860s

 


Frank Turne
 wearing a top hat.

Photograph dates from the 1870s, around the time he was a fireman. The other gent in the photo is possibly a fellow fireman.

 


Philadelphia Inquirer - December 24, 1873

George A. Tenner - James S. Foy - James H. Carey  
Frank S. Turner


Philadelphia Inquirer * March 26, 1877


Philadelphia Inquirer - August 26, 1884
Thomas DudleyFrank Turner - William Parker - Charles Wolverton
J. Willard Morgan - Frederick A. Rex - Daniel Johntra - Richard H. Lee
George Doughten  -
Charles Henry Peters - Joseph B. Green
Amos Richard Dease - Robert Gilmore - Jesse Pratt

Philadelphia Inquirer - September 8, 1885

Frank Turner Amadee Middleton - John Gray  
William McKinley - Engine Company 2

Philadelphia Inquirer - February 13, 1890
Click on Image for Complete Article

Frank Turner - Jacob Kellum - Frederick Voight - Henry Grosscup 
Ladder Company 1 - Engine Company 2 - North 4th Street - Cooper Street
Front Street -
Erie Street

Charles Turner

Frank Turner's son Charles, who with all his brothers worked in a shoe factories in Camden. Which one or ones has not been  determined to date, as there were several.

 


Yeoman First Class
Louisa C. Turner

1918

The daughter of Charles F. Turner and granddaughter of Frank and Elizabeth Turner, She served at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Prior to he discharge in 1919,Louisa C. Turner had been promoted to the rank of Chief Yeoman. Sadly, she fell victim to the Spanish Influenza pandemic. She died in 1920.

 


Elizabeth Dermitt Turner - 1930s



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