Marion, Ohio family
Susie and Clark Turney were
married in 1867, three years after he got out of the
Union army where he served as a private in
company B of the 136th Ohio National Guard
That same year he opened a jewelry shop in Marion,
north central Ohio. Over the next twenty two
years they had six children. In 1896, after
Clark's death, Susie and her three surviving
daughters,† Katherine, Ada and Carrie, moved to
Chicago to join Leo, the only Turney son, who had
settled in Chicago around 1892. Katherine
married in 1901 and Carrie relocated to Canton,
Illinois, then a city with a population of around
7,000, to open a millinery shop.
December 30, 1903
Thirty-five year old Carrie took time
away from her millinery business to spend the
Christmas holiday with her family in Chicago. Susie,
age fifty-five then, along with twenty-year-old Ada
and thirty-two-year-old Leo lived at 534 E.
50th Street in Chicago. Susie kept
house while Leo, having followed in his late father
into the jewelry trade, worked as a salesman for a
Closed Casket double funeral
At the Mr. Bluebeard
performance at the Iroquois Theater,
Susie and Carrie were seated in one of the front
rows of the second floor balcony.
Their bodies were found and
by Leo Turney and Carroll H. Bennett,
the husband of Susie's daughter, Katherine Turney
Susie was found first and Carrie's the next day.
Reportedly the women were
not severely burned but since the family chose a
closed-casket funeral they may have been trampled or
discolored from suffocation. The obituary
passed along a tidbit of speculation from the family
that since Susie was "of a rather
hysterical nature" she may have fainted at the
start of the fire and never regained consciousness.
It was probably born of a prayer that she didn't
suffer but I rather hope Susie's ghost gave them a
knock on the head for their blame-the-victim myopia.
Carrie and Susie's bodies
were sent by rail to Marion, OH accompanied by
Katherine and her husband, Ada and Leo. The
funeral was held at the home of Elizabeth Corn
Dumble, Susie's sister, with services conducted by
Dr. Albert E. Smith, pastor of the
Epworth Methodist church in Marion. Two
black coaches led the procession to the Marion
Cemetery where Carrie and Susie were laid to rest
beside their father and husband, Clark Turney.
An industrious retailer in Marion, offering an
interesting variety of products, Turney
advertised heavily in the Marion Star newspaper.
Jewelry and watches were his primary business but he
also sold brooms, tableware, spectacles,
toys, opera glasses, sewing machines and musical instruments.
a small market, about ten percent of today's
population of 36,000, so a store would have
struggled to survive on jewelry alone. Clark's
son Leo operated the store for four years after his
father's death. In 1892 he sold out to Beilenson Brothers and moved to Chicago soon
Iroquois fatality Susanna
"Susie" Corn Turney (1848-1903), daughter of Solomon and Catherine
Corn, with two brothers and a half brother.
Iroquois fatality Carrie
Turney (1868-1903) Susie's oldest daughter.
Nothing is known of Carrie's shop in Canton.
She learned the millinery trade from Edith Green
Torrance, a neighbor of the Turneys on Windsor
Street in Marion. Edith's millinery
business was on the second floor above the
Warner & Edwards dry goods store. As
her brother Leo followed his father into the
jewelry trade, Carrie seemed to share Clark's
appreciation for newspapers. She kept the
Marion Star newspaper regularly apprised
of her activities in high school and until her
death. Some highlights:
In 1890, for the Longfellow Society at her high
school, Carrie recited Frank Gassaway's "Pride
of Battery B" about an orphaned child
traveling with the Confederacy, asking Union
soldiers for a loan of tobacco to cheer up rebel
In 1893 Carrie went to the Columbian Exposition
Worlds fair in Chicago with her aunt and uncle Dumble.
In 1894 and 1895 she worked sometimes as a sales
clerk for the Nelson's Jewelry store in Marion.
In 1898 Carrie was stricken with an unnamed
condition that involved hemorrhaging of the
lungs. Whatever the illness, her
respiratory system may have had a doubly
difficult time with the smoke.
Clark Turney (1842-1889)
Susie's husband, son of John and Harriet Turney.
Leo Turney (1870-1942)
Susie's son. Remained in Chicago and
opened his own diamond brokerage. In 1911
he married Evelyn Harris from back home in
Marion, purchased a home in Chicago's New Trier
area and they had five children, four boys and
one daughter he named after Susie.
Katherine "Kitty" Turney
Bennett (1875-___) Susie's daughter.
Married Winslow Abbey. They had no
children and moved often, to Seattle,
California and Texas.
Carroll Bennett (1875-1937)
Ada Belle Turney
(1883-1965) Susie's daughter.
Elizabeth "Lizzie" Corn
Dumble (1841-___) Susie's sister
Discrepancies and addendum
book miss spelled
Carrie's last name as Tarney.
In the 1900 Census the
address on 50th street was 570 rather than 534.
Chicago instituted a major address renumbering
system but not until 1909
so they moved. It was not uncommon in the
late 1890s and early 1900s for Chicagoans to
move every year or two.
* Clark Turney
was one of 35,000 in the
136th, made up entirely of Marion County, Ohio
men. The regiment existed for 100 days
beginning May 13, 1864. It was assembled to perform
garrison duty in Washington and was mustered out in
August, 1864 but
† Susie's daughter Florence Turney (1874-1895) died
at age twenty two of diphtheria, the year before the
family moved to Chicago. A sixth child died
sometime prior to 1900.