Turley Family Photo Album
My maternal lineage is through Amish Mennonites, including 6x-great-grandmother Catherina (Hoffman) Loudermilk who died in 1775. Our DNA can be traced through Germany to prehistoric India/Pakistan about 17,000 years ago, which followed the Out of Africa migration about 100,000 years before that.
Preston Turley Hanging for Murder
Murder and Charleston Public Hanging–Great-great-great uncle and Baptist preacher, Preston Turley, murdered his wife and was hung in 1858 near where Oakwood Road now meets MacCorkle Avenue across from downtown Charleston, W.Va. Turley’s the “witness” section of his death certificate states, “Too many to name.”
26 Jan 1858 Kanawha Valley Star — Supposed Murder
On Wednesday night of last week, Mrs. Susan Turley, wife of P.S. Turley, living near the Forks of Coal river, was missed, and it was supposed she had thrown herself into the river, on account of family difficulties. Just as we are going to press, we learn that the body was found some 300 yards above the house, at the foot of the dam, with a rope about it, to which was attached a stone.
2 February 1858 Kanawha Valley Star — Horrid Affair
In our paper of last week, we briefly alluded to the supposed murder of Mrs. Mary Susan Turley, wife of Preston S. Turley, residing near the forks of Coal fiver, in this county. since then, circumstances have been divulged, which render it almost certain that se was murdered, and that the murderer was her own husband, who is now in jail in this place. She was first missed on Thursday morning and currency was given to a report that she had drowned herself; this was the more readily believed by many, as it was well know by all acquainted with the parties, that they had for years lived unhappily together, in consequence of Turley’s cohabiting with a notorious female in that neighborhood; thus it was naturally supposed that she might have made way with herself; and Turley tod such a plausible chain of circumstances, that at first, suspicion of foul play rested in the breasts of but few. The river was dragged for a long distance below the house (the house is situated almost directly on the bank of the river) for several days; then several circumstances led the people to think that she had been murdered – the excitement increased rapidly – people living 30 and 40 miles distant assembled and joined in the search, and at about 12 o’clock on Monday night following, the body was found about 300 yards above the house at the foot of Lock No. 4, with a rope tied around the waist, to which a stone, weighing 69 pounds was attached. Immediately on finding the body, Turley was arrested; he was in bed at his father’s, about a mile from the river; it is said that when it was decided to search up the river, in the neighborhood of the Lock, he left, but was closely watched. A sort of inquest was held before two magistrates, but we learn no physician was in attendance; there was a severe wound over one of her eyes and on the cheek of the same side, appearing as if if the frontal portion of the skull had been broken; there was also a severe contusion on the shoulder of the same side, around which the blood had settled, and the neck was supple, as if it had been broken. Under these circumstances, Turley was committed. The next day, we learn, a second inquest was held at which a physician was in attendance, who decided that her neck was broken, but what opinion he gave in regard to the other wounds we have not heard. This may be of some importance, as the prisoner now contends that she hung herself, but that he threw her into the river, fearing his neighbors would charge him with having hung her! The fact of the blood settling about the sounds, will, however, do away with the theory of her having hung herself. His first story was that he knew nothing about the matter – that he did not sleep in the house, and that when he went to call her in the morning, her bed was empty; he also showed tracks on the river shore, which he said were the prints of her shoes and which he intended should lead to the impression that she had jumped into the river below the house. There are many other circumstances and rumors of partial confessions he is said to have made, which it would not be proper for us to publish at this time. The people in the neighborhood were very much excited, and it was thought at one time, that Judge Lunch would be called into requisition, but we presume regard for his relations, who are worthy and respectable citizens, and who have taken no steps to secure him from justice, prevailed over their just indignation – Turley, some years since, was a ranting Baptist preacher, but of late has given himself up to dissolute habits. When a man gives up the reins and lets the Devil drive, it may be truly said “descensus avernis fucile”….
Salem Witch Mary Perkins Bradbury
Original Witchcraft Indictment of 10x-great-grandmother, Mary Bradbury. Her appeals saved her from hanging.
William Morris, other military