WILLIAM STOKER TURNEY, one of the prosperous, active business factors of Greensburg, engaged in the commission and storage business, was born in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, July 7, 1857, the son of Robert Williams and Elizabeth (Cook) Turney.
(I) the great-great-grandfather was a native of Germany, emigrated to America and settled in eastern Pennsylvania, probably before the middle of the eighteenth century. His name was Dorney, but like many other names in this country, it has undergone a change, being now spelled Turney.
(II) Daniel Turney, the great-grandfather, was born in the province of Pennsylvania, eastern part, whence several of his brothers departed for new homes. One settled in Ohio, another in Tennessee, one located in North Carolina, and Daniel Turney crossed the Allegheny mountains to Westmoreland county, settling near the site of "ye ancient" Hannahstown, which was Greensburg's predecessor as the countyseat. he was a farmer. Amount his eight children was one called Jacob, Sr., the third child.
(III) Jacob Turney, Sr., son of Daniel Turney (II), was born in 1788, early in life located at Greensburg, and afterwards held the office of county commissioner, county treasurer, etc. He was an active Democrat, and on his return from a state convention at Harrisburg, to which he had been sent as a delegate, he contracted a cold while crossing the mountains, from the effects of which he died some years later, January 4m 1827. his wife, to whom has was married January 23, 1810, was Margaret Singer, of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, born may 11, 1792, who bore him seven children: Daniel, Nancy Williams (deceased), Samuel Singer (deceased), formerly editor of the Argus, and later postmaster at Greensburg for twelve years. Lucian B. (deceased), Lucinda, married Richard B. Kenly: Robert Williams, and Jacob, Jr., all of whom are now deceased.
(IV) Robert Williams Turney, son of Jacob Turney, Sr., and Margaret (Singer) Turney, was born in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, January 17, 1822, died July 28, 1893. He learned the trade of cabinetmaker. Later he was engaged by the Pennsylvania company to survey its original line, and when completed he was appointed as the first passenger conductor on the system. Subsequently he was made ticket and freight agent at Greensburg borough, which office he held at the date of his death. He married Elizabeth Cook, born September 21, 1820, and still surviving. She is the daughter of David and Mary Cook. David Cook descended from Captain James Cook of England, and was a son of John Cook, of the same country, who settled in Hagerstown, Maryland. David Cook was born in Hagerstown, Maryland, in 1793, and died in 1865. He came to Greensburg, Pennsylvania, and clerked in a store. He was also county commissioner several terms, as well as register of will and recorder, besides serving two terms as associate judge of Westmoreland county. He was an own cousin of Governor George Geary, of Pennsylvania. He married Mary McKinney, who came from Glasgow, Scotland, when but fifteen years of age. She was the daughter of Alexander McKinney, who came from Scotland and settled at Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, but later removed to Greensburg. The children of David Cook and wife were: William A., Mary, Margaretta, Jane Ann, Theressa, and Charles. The children of Robert W. and Elizabeth (Cook) Turney were: Anzonnetta, David C., Jacob, Anna Belle, Robert W., Jr., Marcellus R., William Stokes, Mary Elizabeth, and Margaret.
(V) William Stokes Turney, the seventh child of Robert W. and Elizabeth (Cook) Turney, born July 7, 1857, at Greensburg Pennsylvania, received a good common school education and was made assistant freight agent as Greensburg. Later he enbarked in the produce and commission business at Greensburg, which line he is still operating in. He votes the Democratic ticket. he has been a school directory in his borough for seventeen years. He has served as deacon and elder in the First Reformed church of Greensburg, of which he has long been a member. Mr. Turney has been twice married (first) March 26, 1877, to Mattie R. Fry, born February 12, 1858, died August 25, 1891. Their children were: Harry L., born November 5, 1878, died August 18, 1897; Edward K., born August 24, 1880; E. McC., born August 23, 1882. For his second wife, Mr. Turney married, December 29, 1892, Priscilla Etta Fry. She was born May 18, 1871. By this marriage, one daughter, Elizabeth Cook, was born November 6, 1893. Both of Mr. Turney's wives were the daughters of Isaac and Margaret Fry, of Youngstown, Pennsylvania.
Source Pages 38 & 39 History of Westmoreland County, Volume II, Pennsylvania by John N. Boucher. New York, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1906
Transcribed June 8, 1999 by Marilynn Wienke for the Westmoreland county History Project
Contributed for use by the Westmoreland County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/westmoreland/)
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