LUTHER M. TURTON.
The late Luther M. Turton enjoyed distinctive prestige among the leading men of Napa county, having fought his
way up to a prominent position in the circles in which he moved. He was always interested in any enterprise for
the welfare of the community and liberally supported every movement for the benefit of his fellowmen, while in
every relation of life his voice and influence were on the side of right, as he saw and understood it, and although
he has been called to a higher sphere of action, his influence is still felt in the community. His death, which
occurred April 27, 1925, has left a void which it seems impossible to fill.
Mr. Turton was born in North Bend, Nebraska, on the 22d of May, 1862, and he was a son of George J. and Harriet
Turton. He attended the schools of his home neighborhood, and in 1876, when he was fourteen years of age, he was
brought to Napa county, California, by his parents, who settled in Brown's valley, where he continued to attend
school. Later he attended the Napa Collegiate Institute, and he then studied architecture in the offices of the
McDougall Company, in San Francisco. On the completion of his studies he returned to Napa and began the practice
of his profession. He had a natural aptitude for this line of work and the quality of his drawings soon attracted
favorable attention. The first plan which he drew after coming to Napa was for a women's dormitory for the Collegiate
Institute, and from that time on, as long as he remained actively engaged in this work, he was connected with the
building of most of the important structures in this locality. He was architect for the Winship building, the Semorille
building, the H. Schulz block, the Behlow block and the Miglavacca block, as well as many fine residences here.
He also was the architect on a business block erected in San Francisco by Henry Brown, of Napa, and drew plans
for buildings in Coluso, Yolo and Solano counties, as well as for two bank buildings in Vallejo and the St. Helena
union high school. He was superintendent of construction on the Bank of Napa building, the First National Bank
building, Napa, and of the two grammar school buildings recently erected in Napa. Mr. Turton thus became very well
known throughout this section of the state and his reputation as a successful architect was widespread. He prospered
in his business affairs and wisely invested his surplus in land, becoming the owner of a fine thirty acre fruit
ranch in Napa valley, the land being planted mainly to prunes and pears.
Mr. Turton was married to Miss Lillie Bell, a native of Ontario, Canada, who came to Santa Rosa, California, with
her parents in 1877. The latter, R. W. and Mariah Bell, were both natives of Canada, the father being a piano tuner
by profession. He followed this vocation over a wide extent of country and was well known to the people of Sonoma,
Napa and Solano counties. To Mr. and Mrs. Turton was born a daughter, Lois B., who is living in Yountville, this
county. Mr. Turton was a charter member of the Knights of the Maccabees and also belonged to the Napa Grange. He
was an active member and a generous supporter of the Methodist Episcopal church, and he belonged to that type of
men who believe in practicing the Golden Rule in their every day affairs. Quiet and unostentatious in manner, he
nevertheless left a strong impress of his individuality upon all with whom he associated. He possessed the happy
faculty of seeing the beautiful things of the world, and he enjoyed nature, loved flowers, appreciated noble traits
in mankind and had an optimistic outlook on life, so that to know him was to admire him.
History of Solano County, California
BY: Marguerite Hune
Napa County, California
BY: Harry Lawrence Gunn
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Napa County, CA
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