George Albert Turley b. 28 November 1878, died at age 29, 26 February 1908, Colonia Garcia, Mexico


Turley, George Albert

George Albert Turley

The Theodore Turley Family Book, pp. 257-259
The following was written by Isaac Turley, Jr. (1888-1977) half brother to George:

George Albert Turley was born November 29, 1878 in Snowflake, Arizona. He was the ninth child of his parents, Isaac and Sarah Greenwood Turley. The event of his birth occurred at the close of the United Order, in which his parents had been living since their arrival from Beaver, Utah in 1876. The United Order, which they were called to observe, was a trial for the Saints to obey.

In 1885, when George was age seven, his parents were called, along with many others, to move to Old Mexico, District of Galeana, in the Casas Grandes Valley. They first settled in Camp Turley on the west side of the Casas Grandes River across from Colonia Dublan. Then, one year later, they settled about three and one-half miles south of the location which now is Colonia Juarez, north on the Rio Verde. They and the other settlers built homes of mud and rock, and some of adobe.

Mexico Colonies map

After getting settled, Isaac took the older boys with him back to Northern Arizona to move his second wife, Clara Ann Tolton, and children and his cattle, brood mares and horses and other belongings down to Mexico. As they were making their way back, Isaac felt very uneasy about his wife Sarah who had not been feeling very well for some time, so he traveled on ahead as fast as he could. He arrived back at the Camp in time to, meet the people just returning from burying his dear wife on a northwest hill slope, adjoining where now is Colonia Juarez. She was the first person to be buried in that Juarez Cemetery.

Clara Ann then took care of both families. Sarah’s two eldest sons, Theodore and Alma, were married and living in Snowflake at the time their parents went to settle in Mexico and they didn’t ever live down there. William, Joseph, Hyrum, George Albert, Charles, and John were cared for by Clara Ann. John, the youngest child, later returned to Snowflake to live with Theodore. The younger boys were a great help to Isaac and Clara Ann.

The settlers were soon notified from Chihuahua City that they were occupying was actually located on Don Luis Terraza’s Ranch, so they moved up the river about three miles, in a narrower part of the valley, and there they built a town site which was named Colonia Juarez for Mexico’s great president, Benito Juarez. There, on April 11, 1888 I, Isaac, Jr., was born. I was the tenth child of my parents, Isaac, Sr. and Clara Ann.

I remember when the streets of the colony were only staked off. No permanent homes were yet built, only lean-to’s and mud huts. We could walk cross-wise from one hut to another. There were no gates, fences, or ditches. The women had to wash clothes on rocks on the river bank, with water from only a trickling, small stream coursing here and there in the river bed. All water for use in the homes had to be carried from the river in buckets and other containers. Finally, some of the water from the small river stream was directed from above town by the men into a small ditch, which had to supply the families for their needs.

Later, Apostle Erastus Snow, while visiting the colony, saw their great need for water and promised the people that if they would be faithful in the payment of their tithing and offerings and live the Gospel of the Lord, Jesus Christ, and love one another, the Lord would bless them with sufficient water to serve their needs. Soon after this promise was made to them, and they were doing their best to keep the commandments, there occurred a great earthquake high up in the Sierra Madre Mountains. Fires were seen in the mountains which were a result of the quake. Ledges and mountain tops in various canyons cracked and crumbled, and water gushed forth from those ledges, and a good supply of water has been flowing from those mountain sources since that day for the use of the people there.

The little settlement began to prosper, with beautiful gardens. Isaac, Sr. went to San Bernardino, California with his teams and large wagon and brought fruit trees of many kinds and planted them and shared them with other people who wished to plant trees, which was the introduction of the fruit industry there, in the colonies. As the town and its people began to expand, some of the people left Colonia Juarez and moved to Colonia Dublan, sixteen miles east of Colonia Juarez. Some moved up into the mountains and established homes in Colonia Garcia, Colonia Pacheco, Corrales, and Hop Valley; and some even went further beyond Colonia Garcia and ventured out to Round Valley, Meadow Valley, Juan de Dios, and on up to Chuichupa, ninety miles from Colonia Juarez. Some of those who settled in those areas were the Whettens, Farnsworths, Binghams, Cluffs, and others.

Turley, Ida Belle Farnsworth b. 1880 young

Ida Belle Farnsworth Turley

My brother Joseph moved to Garcia and married Nina Cluff. George Albert became acquainted with Ida Belle Farnsworth and they were married in Colonia Garcia on February 16, 1899. Ida Mae was born to them on February 18, 1900 in Garcia. George was a hard worker in growing crops and was skillful in running machinery. He was a good, kind, conscientious person, and was very dependable and agreeable to work with. He was always ready to do his part of the work.

My memories of him are only with the love and closeness that I felt toward him as my very dear brother. George and Charles were nearer my age than any of my brothers, so we were together more and I grew to love them very much as we did the chores and other work together.

George was very dependable, both in his work in the ward and in his work on the sawmill. He was diligent in doing his ward teaching and other Church work. He always honored his priesthood and responded to every call that came to him.

On the morning of February 26, 1908, as George was leaving his little family to go to work at the sawmill on the southeast side of Garcia, he kissed Ida Bell and little Ida Mae goodbye as he always did when he left for work, but that morning he went as far as the front gate and then went back and embraced his wife and child again and kissed them goodbye. He must have realized something of what that day held for him and for them. The man whose job it was to tend the boiler did not go to work that day, so George was given the extra responsibility of watching the boiler besides his own usual work on the edger which cut the bark from the edges of the lumber. The boiler became over-heated and when water was turned into it, a great explosion occurred and George was flung about one hundred feet, his body badly mangled. [He was 29 years old.]

What a great and terrible shock George’s sudden death was to all of us! He was buried there in Colonia Garcia the next day, February 27. Three months after that fateful day, their little Thelma Edna was born on May 26, 1908.

Turley, Ida Belle Farnsworth b. 1880

Ida Belle Farnsworth

(From another source:
Ida was pregnant with their second child. The trauma was so severe that Ida was confined to bed. She desired to die and be with her beloved George. She didn’t leave her bed for about three months, just before the birth of a second daughter, Thelma. When Ida looked in a mirror to comb her hair, she found that her hair had turned completely white. Her hair stayed white until she aged and it turned gray.)

Ida Belle bravely carried on, and raised their two little daughters. She, during the years ahead, served a great mission in assisting the people for many miles around in delivering their babies and nursing them through many illnesses and Injuries. I, Isaac, Jr., was called to help her on various occasions. Both George Albert and Ida Bell have been examples for us all to strive to emulate.

Children of George Albert and Ida Belle Turley:
Ida Mae Turley Peterson
Thelma Edna Turley Hassell

After George Albert’s death, Ida Bell Farnsworth Turley, George’s wife, married John Howard Kartchner, son of John Kartchner. Ida Belle was born Sept. 25, 1880 in Tuba City, Ariz., daughter of Alonzo L, and Ida Tietjan Farnsworth.

Children of John Howard and Ida Bell Turley Kartchner:
George Turley Kartchner, b. Aug. 2, 1911 in Colonia Garcia, Mexico
Milo T. Kartchner. b. Sept. 27, 1913 in Blanding, Utah
Leith T. KartcHner, b.Feb. 25, 1917 in Blanding, Utah
Howard T. Kartchner, b. Sept. 2, 1920 in Pacheco, Mexico


About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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