W. FRED TURNER, member of the firm of S. Turner & Son, merchants, at Freeport, Armstrong county, Pa., was born April 28, 1864, at that borough, son of Samuel and Margaret Jane (Clark) Turner, a grandson of Samuel Turner. Samuel Turner came to Armstrong county in 1836 and located at Leechburg, where he followed his trade of saddler and harnessmaker until his death, in 1856. His widow survived until 1872. They were members of the Lutheran Church and worthy and estimable people in every relation of life. They had four children. Samuel Turner (2), son of Samuel Turner, was born in Washington county, Pa., July 8, 1828. His educational opportunities were somewhat meager, for at that day school facilities were not afforded as at present, and he had not reached manhood when he had completed an apprenticeship of four years at the cabinetmaker's trade. For some years he worked for others in the same business and then started for himself, beginning in a small way in the line of furniture and undertaking, at Freeport, Pa. Although he many times enlarged the scope of his business and increased his facilities, he continued at the same location in which he started. In 1885 he admitted his son, W. Fred Turner, to partnership, and the business was so continued until his death, Jan, 1913, under the firm style of S. Turner & Son. This is the only store at Freport that carries a complete line of furniture, and a large amount of business is done. Mr. Turner was a busy man all his life. In politics he was a Republican, and formerly served in local offices at times, was overseer of the poor, and was elected burgess of Freeport, at one time against his wishes, and refused to serve. He was a charter member of Lodge No. 237, Royal Arcanum, at Freeport. He married Margaret Jane Clark, who died Dec. 29, 1883. W. Fred Turner attended the public schools at Freeport until he was sixteen years of age and in 1884 was graduated from the Actual Business College, Pittsburgh, Pa. At that time his father offered him the means with which to equip himself for a profession, or a half interest in his own business, and the son chose the latter, becoming his father's partner in 1885. He now has full charge of the business and never has regretted the choice he made. For some years he has been very active in Republican politics, having cast his first presidential vote for Hon. Benjamin Harrison, and for years was a member of the Armstrong County Republican committee and frequently a delegate to county and State conventions. He was elected burgess of Freeport when twenty-two years of age, and served in the Pennsylvania State Legislature in the sessions of 1907 and 1909, during this time being a member of the investigating committee concerning the destruction by fire of the old State House and otherwise proving his efficiency as a public official. On Jan. 20, 1887, Mr. Turner was married, at Freeport, Pa., to Lida Bricker, and they have two daughters, Margaret and Dorothy. Mr. Turner has filled all the chairs in the Blue Lodge, F. & A. M., of which he is a member at Freeport, belongs to the Consistory and Commandery at Pittsburgh, and is a Shriner. He is identified also with the Odd Fellows, American Mechanics, Elks, Eagles and the Loyal Order of Moose.
History of Armstrong Co. Pa.; Chicago: J.H. Beers & Co, 1914