Turner, Charles William:
Turner, Emma (Armstrong):

Charles W. Turner was born September 11, 1846 at Middletown, Frederick County, Virginia, the first born of eight children of Augustus John and Catherine M. (Abbey) Turner. Augustus Turner was a musician and taught music for a number of years. On 1870 and 1880 Federal censuses, he is listed as a professor of music. When the Civil War broke out, Charles was a student in the Virginia Military Academy, and volunteered his services, was commissioned a lieutenant, the rank he maintained until the end of hostilities. At the conclusion of that war, he began the study of law and in 1870 was admitted to the bar. While practicing there, he became very interested in the fever that the gold fields in the west was causing and decided to give it a closer look. He first tried his hand in the mining industry in the Bannack, Montana Territory area, where he experienced a set back equal to about two years salary, due to a major washout of his flume. This disappointment caused him to re-appraise his career path and he returned to the practice of law. The flurry of mining activity in the late 1870’s caught his interest and he located at Glendale, Montana Territory in its very formative years, forming an acquaintance and business association with Noah Armstrong of the HCMC. That relationship continued for the rest of their lives. For it was Noah’s daughter, Emma that became Mrs. C.W. Turner on September 11, 1879, in a ceremony conducted by Bishop Tuttle at the residence of the brides parents.

While at Glendale their first son, Armstrong M. Turner was born in July of 1880. By about 1886 Charles and Emma chose to re-locate to Helena, Montana where Charles became a partner with Andrew Burleigh. In April of 1889, their second son arrived and was named Charles William, Jr. In about 1890 the family moved to Seattle, Washington where Charles continued in the practice of law. His practice was set up in the prestigious Pioneer Building in downtown Seattle. Reported to have reached significant prominence in the legal community, Charles W. Turner died tragically following a dispute involving a client and another in the Russell’s Bar on 1st Street in downtown Seattle. (Details of this incident are chronicled in several issues of newspapers printed in Seattle at the time. These can be found online or by contacting the IOGR.)

Often referred to as the “General” reflecting on his service to the Territory of Montana as Adjutant General for a time. Also called “Judge” from his judiciary background. Charles was a member of the Knights Templar, having been eminent commander of the Helena, Montana command. He is buried in Lake View cemetery, Seattle, Washington.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Tuesday, January 8, 1907, page 1, column A; page 10, columns B-E


Gen. C. W. Turner, Well Known Lawyer, Victim of Bullets Intended for Andy T. Russell


T. W. Emmons, Proprietor of Cigar Stand, Commits Murder and Then Attempts Suicide


Explaining Motive for Crime Gen. C. W. Turner, one of the best known and highly esteemed members of the Seattle bar, was shot and killed by T. H. [sic] Emmons, in the saloon of Russell & Mix, at 1206 First avenue, last night, shortly after 10 o'clock. Andy T. Russell, one of the proprietors of the saloon, was shot in the left shoulder by the same assassin, and as a climax to the tragedy, enacted in a few brief moments, Emmons faced his reflected image in the large mirror that decorates the room and deliberately shot himself, falling to the floor, mortally wounded. He was removed to the Wayside hospital. Assassin Leaves Letter Addressed to Coroner

In a lengthy communication addressed to the coroner, Emmons recited the feud that prompted him to commit the terrible act, and in the same letter gave instructions for the disposition of his body.

Business dealings between Emmons and Russell appear to be the motive behind the crime. Emmons came to Seattle from North Dakota, where he is, or was, proprietor of the O. K. ranch at Glen Ellum. He states in his letter to the coroner that he had about $700 to invest when he arrived here, and that he invested the sum in the little cigar business in front of the saloon. He had received notice to vacate the street, and was to have left today. His letter recites many imaginary wrongs, and allows that he had deliberately planned to kill Russell. No mention of Gen. Turner by name is contained in the letter, but there is some reference to "Russell's pussy-cat lawyer." Gen. Turner was Mr. Russell's legal adviser.

One bullet that killed Gen. Turner took a straight course to the liver, and the other lodged in the spine, penetrating the vitals to the left of the liver. After being struck, Gen. Turner ran in the direction of the front of the saloon, and had proceeded almost to the front door where he fell, face downward, expiring immediately. [to page 10]

Mr. Russell also ran from the saloon, and reached the Savoy Hotel before he realized he had been shot. Later he was removed to a hospital, declining to make a statement on the subject other than to say that Gen. Turner was not at the saloon by appointment. His injuries are not considered serious.

The bullet that laid Emmons low entered the right temple, took an upward course, toward the forehead and found lodgment above the left eye. It is not believed that he will recover. Emmons occupied a room in a lodging house at First avenue south. His trunk was packed as if ready for a journey. Another trunk was located at the office of a local transfer company.

The cause of the trouble was not clearly known until Emmons' letter was found last night. Russell's physician would not allow him to make a statement. Emmons was barely conscious when he was moved to the Wayside hospital, and consequently no statement could be gotten from him. The only other person who was thourghly conversant with the differences which provoked the tragedy was Gen. Turner, whose life was snuffed out with the flash of two pistol shots.

The tragedy caused a profound sensation and a throng gathered in front of the saloon. One of the officers who arrived on the scene early notified police headquarters and in a few minutes a sufficient number of officers were on hand to control the crowd. Deputy Coroner A. G. Austin took charge of Gen. Turner's effects, turned the body over to the Bonney-Watson Company, and secured the pistol which Emmons had used with such deadly aim.

The witnesses to the shooting were Mike Collins and Fred Kirschhoff, bartenders in Russell's saloon. They tell the same story of the shooting. General Turner entered, passing Emmons at the cigar stand. Russell was inside of the saloon. Pretty soon the three men met inside and took a drink at the bar. Collins served them. No angry words were passed; very few were spoken, in fact, as Collins remembers, the trio standing at the bar drinking.... After the three men had taken the drink at the bar they retired to a table at the end of the bar and sat down. At the time of the shooting there was no one in the house except the trio and the bartenders.

Neither Collins nor Kirschhoff heard any words. They paid very little attention to the men. The first shot was heard and when they look in the direction of the table where the men had been seated they saw Gen. Turner and Russell running toward the door. Three shots were fired in rapid succession. Gen. Turner fell near the front door while Russell dash thru and escaped to the streets. The two bartenders made a rush for the little office at the front and sought safety there. They peeped out to see what Emmons was doing and saw him when he walked to the bar, standing in front of the mirror. He then deliberately shot himself. He fell heavily and then they emerged from the office and quickly closed the doors to all except the officers.

Only four shots were fired and every one had found a human target....


Funeral services for the late Gen. C. W. Turner, who was shot and killed by E. W. Emmons last Monday night, were held yesterday afternoon at 2 o'clock from the Trinity Parish church. The services were under the auspices of Seattle Commandery No. 2, Knights Templars, of which the deceased was a member. The funeral was largely attended and the casket containing the remains was banked with floral offerings.

The following sir knights acted as pallbearers: J. M. Palmer, J. C. Peterson, E. W. Craven, W. V. Rinehart, R. C. Hassen and H. A. Raser.

The honorary pallbearers were: J. T. Ronald, J. B. Jurey, Andrew Hemrich, J. F. Hale, S. S. Carlisle, P. P. Carroll, ex-Judge Alfred.

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