I was down at Turkey Bend one time visiting all the old Hall women as they were referred to. This consisted of sisters, Mabel Hall Wilson, Earlie Hall Croft, Mamie Hall Franck, and their sister in law Libby Hall. They all lived there in one little wad, so when you went to visit one, you just about needed to make an afternoon of it, but it was always a pleasure to do so.
I always called them Aunt, not because they were my aunts, but out of respect. I’m not sure why that was respectful, but it was.
I know this was prior to Dec. 1976, because that’s when Aunt Mamie died.
Visiting Aunt Mamie was different than visiting the others. She had a certain air of sophistication (or heir of sophistication – that one always gets me) about her. She seemed so worldly, compared to any other Smithwick ladies. Not that there was anything wrong with not having it was a bad thing. I always enjoyed talking to her on a different level.
When I explained what I was doing with my life, I told her I had been in Houston doing projects that entailed digging ditches and installing water and wastewater lines. She followed every word of what I was saying about how everything worked.
Then she said “you must stop into to see one of our cousins that is in a similar business and it is headquartered in Houston”. She went on to give me this fellows name. Gilbert Turner and his company was The Boring and Tunneling Corporation of America. I was very familiar with the company as they were a leader in the tunneling business and were at the cutting edge of the industry.
She said that he had been there and visited just a few weeks before and what a delightful person he was and how he hadn’t let the success of business go to his head. And she added that she hoped the same for me. I assured her that I never expected to accomplish what BoreTunCo had, but I would strive to keep it all in check.
Some time later, after she had passed on I was in Houston one day and decided to call this man, maybe my long lost cousin just to introduce myself. The receptionist sent my call right on through to him. I told him who I was and I related the story to him about the conversation I had that Sunday afternoon with Mamie Franck.
He didn’t say much so I kept talking. Finally he said, I don’t know Mamie Franck, nor where Turkey Bend is or anything you are talking about. I think he hung up a few seconds later. I was so thrown off track, that I’m not sure what happened.
I couldn’t figure out if he didn’t want some Smithwickian coming along trying to sponge off of him or if he really didn’t know what I was talking about.
I went back to the 3000 family history book and there is no mention of Gilbert Turner in it.
I always wondered if someone claiming to be the real Gilbert Turner came along and tried to scam her. She had even shown me his business card.
This has truly been a mystery to me for almost 45 years. Gilbert Turner was the name of the person that founded that company. We have even done several projects with them during the years but it was after Gilbert Turner has retired and left the business. I didn’t have enough information nor the nerve to ever approach the subject again.
Along came The Angora Chronicles and I think I may have this all somewhat sorted out. I went back and tried to find where we were talking about it, but haven’t found it. But here’s what I remember; There were two different bunches of Turner’s. The Cow Creek Turner’s that are all connected to many of us. Then there were the Turner’s that settled up Post Oak Creek. That’s the next creek east of Cow Creek as you go toward Jonestown. I don’t know that there are any of that bunch left up in this part of the country.
Gilbert Turner came out of the Post Oak Creek clan. If memory serves me correctly, some of them somehow married into the Hall Family and that is how Aunt Mamie Franck claimed kin. Of course the Cow Creek Turners also connect up with the Turkey Bend folks, probably in more ways than I can count.
I still don’t know why Gilbert had no idea what, who or where I was talking about. It couldn’t have been that long since he had stopped by to visit Aunt Mamie. But it’s possible he left there that day in a complete state of confusion, if he didn’t realize there were two completely different bunches of Turners.