On December 3rd1872 Mr. And Mrs. John Q. Turnbull were married in Cottage Grove, with the whole countryside present. On Dec 3, 1935 they celebrated their 63rd year of, married life with a small dinner party at their home on West Third street attended by their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Mr. And Mrs. Turnbull have spent many years of their lives here in this vicinity. Mrs. Turnbull (Alexoa L. Shatio) was born on March 2, 1853 in Ohio, but at the age of two years she moved with her parents to Cottage Grove, where she lived until she became the wife of Mr. Turnbull and took up her residence in this city. Her parents were both of French descent and although she is unable to remember any details of the first of her family to come to America she is sure it must have been at least three generations before hers.
John Turnbull who was born John Quincy Adams Turnbull, first saw day in Ellicott, Maryland. He is the son of Scotch immigrants who came to this country immediately after their early marriage at the age of 19, expecting to be scalped by Indians if they were not drowned. Mr. Turnbull’s father was one of the first railroad engineers in the country and he was employed by the Baltimore and Hartland Railroad for some time. Mr. Turnbull tells proudly of his Uncle Thomas who as an elocution teacher in London and a close friend of Bobby Burns
The Turnbull family moved to Galena. Illinois, the home of General U. S. Grant, when John was a small boy and it was there that he was reared to young manhood. It was in Galena that Mr. Turnbull went to school with Fred Grant, the General’s oldest son, went swimming at night in the Mississippi river, toppled a wood pile upon his head and risked his life in a thousand ways now recalled with pleasure. According to Mr. Turnbull, “The bump of fear was left completely out of his make-up”.
His father and two brothers fought in the Civil war and returned home to find that young John had been bound out as a doctor’s apprentice by his mother. After two years of studying medicine and surgery, with most of the patients being those wounded in the war, doctors believed John to be in danger of tuberculosis or consumption as they called it, and advised a change of climate. John met a Captain Burns of the boat Itasca and took passage for Hastings, Minnesota intending to live with an uncle located in Northfield.
Mr. Turnbull’s stories of his river trip, the booming city he found here upon his arrival, his wild ride with the sheriff to Northfield and his life there are most exciting. His letters to his parents were so convincing of the plenty of this part of the country that several months later his parents, brothers and sisters moved to Hastings and took up residence here.
In 1866, one year after coming to Minnesota, Mr. Turnbull entered the fanning mill shop of A. B. Terril where he was employed until a year before his marriage. He purchased a wheat farm which he ran while he lived in town two years before he and his wife built a house there and moved to the country. The farm was situated three miles southwest of the city in the township of Nininger.
Mr. & Mrs. Turnbull were married at Cottage Grove by the Rev. E. A. Hart, a retired minister. Mrs. Turnbull’s brother was sent in a small two-seater sleigh to bring the minister but the drifted snow made him hours late.