Tag Archives: howard arthur turner

I think my great grandmother was a muse. 52 Ancestors: #3 Sarah Sudie Hamrick

When I first starting looking at what knew about my great grandmother Sudie Sarah Hamrick Turner, I thought I didn’t know much about her.  But once I started digging into her life and the life of her family I found something different.  She appears to have been part of a creative and ambitious group.

Sarah “Sudie” Hamrick was born September 9th, 1891 in North Carolina, daughter of James M Hamrick and Delia P Hopper.[1]  She died October 1st, 1978 at the age of 87 in North Carolina and is buried next to her husband James Austin Turner in Sharon Memorial Park in Charlotte, North Carolina.[2]

If her tombstone is right, she was 15 when she married James, age 21, July 5th, 1907 in Henrietta, Rutherford, North Carolina; the marriage register says she was 20.[3]  They were married for 52 years until James’ death on January 22nd, 1959.[4]  She never remarried.

Sudie, which is the name I most often see her called, and James moved around a lot. And James appeared to try his hand at many different businesses, all of them family owned.

  • They were married in Henrietta, North Carolina in 1907,[5]
  • By1910 they were living in Charlotte and James and his brother Ira who was living with the family were both mattress retail merchants working on their own accord, [6]
  • In 1918 we find James and Ira in Rutherford;[7] in 1920 James was working as a “G Merchant” possibly a grocery merchant, again, working on his own accord,[8]
  • Back in Charlotte by 1925 the City Directory leaves us with no clue as to what they were doing,[9]
  • Then on to Statesville by 1930 where he appears to have owned an undertaking parlor, [10]
  • James was a manager at Penders Store in Charlotte in 1933,[11] by 1941, still in Charlotte, James’ was a salesman for the Turner Trading Company and is brother Ira was a bookkeeper for Turner Trading Company as well.[12]
  •  The family was in Asheville in 1942 and James was working at Turner Body Works, which was owned by Lonnie W Turner, relationship unknown, and finally settled down in Charlotte. In 1943 still in Asheville, James owned a welding school, his son Howard was a manager there and his daughter-in-law Jennie worked in the office.  Howard was also a radio broadcaster at WISE,
  • James and Sudie were back in Charlotte by 1951.  James owned Turners and his brother Ira was working in real estate.[13]
  • When James died in 1959 his usual occupation was Real Estate.[14]

So how did Sudie keep up as her husband bounced from location to location, job to job?  I’m guessing she participated in these ventures while she was raising her six children.  And what an interesting group of children they were.

  • Ruth Louise (1908-1990) who changed her name to Gary Delisser and became an artist painting a portrait of Franklin Delano Roosevelt among others.  She married Donald Dick Delisser in New York on May 9th 1941 and they hobnobbed with Hollywood celebrities and lived quite an interesting life.
  •  James Austin (1910-1998) who married Annie Lineriux Boone on November 12th 1933.  He was successful business man and left behind a foundation.
  • Mary Sue (1912-1967) who worked as a copy editor before marrying William Franklin Gaines who was a newspaper editor in Greenville, South Carolina.
  • William (1917-1917) who was born in Henrietta, NC and died 6 days later.
  • Howard Arthur (1919-1992) who married multiple times and worked as radio broadcaster in the 1940’s and went on to be part owner in National Welders Supply Company.[15]
  • Michael Conrad (1926-1994) who served in World War II and who according to my uncle was an actor and was the “fun” uncle.[16]

So I wonder what kind of woman Sudie was.  Long suffering, putting up with constant moves and changes?  Or was she encouraging?  More of a muse to her families various activities as they pursued their dreams?  I think given the creativity and success of her children and her husband she was more of a muse.  And no doubt some of her accomplishments are still hidden in records I have not discovered.


[1] 1900 U.S. Census, Rutherford county, North Carolina, population schedule, High Shoals, ED 139, sheet 14-B, dwelling 250, family 261, James Hamrick household; database and digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 8 Feb 2010); citing NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 1216.
[2] Find A Grave, database and images (http://findagrave.com : accessed 20 Dec 2013), memorial page for Sarah Susan Sudie Hamrick Turner,  Find A Grave Memorial no. 55355682, citing Sharon Memorial Park, Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.
[3] North Carolina, Marriages, 1759-1979, index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/F836-18M : accessed 22 June 2012), Jacob A. Turner, 1907.
[4] Find A Grave, database and images (http://findagrave.com : accessed 22 Jun 2012), memorial page for Jacob Austin Turner,  Find A Grave Memorial no. 55355632, citing Sharon Memorial Park, Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.
[5] North Carolina, Marriages, 1759-1979, index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/F836-18M : accessed 22 June 2012), Jacob A. Turner, 1907.
[6] 1910 U.S Census, Census, Mecklenburg county, North Carolina, population schedule, Charlotte Township, p. 210 (stamped), ED 101, sheet 12-A, dwelling 149, family 224, Austin Turner household; database and digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 Dec 2009); citing NARA microfilm publication T624, roll 1121.
[7] World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com accessed : 7 Nov 2009), card Jacob Austin Turner, serial no. 2721,  order no 620, DRAFT Rutherfordton, N.C.; citing NARA microfilm publication M1509, roll 1,765,939.
[8] 1920 U.S Census, Rutherford county, North Carolina, population schedule, CIVIL, p. 185 (stamped), ED 185, sheet 5-A, dwelling 75, family 81, Jacob A Turner household; database and digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 Dec 2009); citing NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 1321.
[9] U.S. City Directories (Beta), database and images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 Apr 2012), entry for J Austin and Sudie Turner, 1925, Charlotte, N.C.; Hill’s Charlotte (Mecklenburg County, N.C.) City Directory vol. 1925, (Richmond, VA: Hill Directory Co., Inc., 1925), 960.
[10] 1930 U.S. Census, Iredell county, North Carolina, population schedule, Statesville City, p. 131 (stamped), ED 49-30, sheet 18-A, dwelling 334, family 343, James Turner household; database and digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 12 Mar 2011); citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 1700.
[11] U.S. City Directories (Beta), database and images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 Apr 2012), entry for Jas A and Sudie S Turner and entry for J Austin Turner, 1933, Charlotte, N.C.; Hill’s Charlotte (Mecklenburg County, N.C.) City Directory vol. 1933, (Richmond, VA: Hill Directory Co., Inc., 1933), 504.
[12] U.S. City Directories (Beta), database and images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 Apr 2012), entry for J Austin and SarahTurner, 1941, Charlotte, N.C.; Hill’s Charlotte (Mecklenburg County, N.C.) City Directory vol. 1941 X, (Richmond, VA: Hill Directory Co., Inc., 1941), 722.
[13] U.S. City Directories (Beta), database and images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 Apr 2012), entry for J Austin and Sudie Turner, 1951, Charlotte, N.C.;Hill’s Charlotte (Mecklenburg County, N.C.) City Directory vol. 1951, (Richmond, VA: Hill Directory Co., Inc., 1951), 894.
[14] North Carolina Death Certificates, 1909-1975, digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com accessed : 28 Dec 2009), entry for Jacob Austin Turner, 22 Jan 1959, cert . no. 90-1829; North Carolina State Board of Health, Office of Vital Statistics, Raleigh, North Carolina.
[15] “Howard Arthur Turner,” The Charlotte (Mecklenburg, North Carolina) Observer, GenealogyBank.com (http://www.genealogybank.com : accessed 19 April 2012).
[16] Find A Grave, database and images (http://findagrave.com : accessed 22 Dec 2013), memorial page for Michael Conrad Turner,  Find A Grave Memorial no. 84007199, citing Sharon Memorial Park, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.

Details in City Directories: Howard’s Radio Career Uncovered

I was asked a couple of days ago, “Why are city directories interesting?”  It is a fair question.  You find them, you attach them to your online tree or software program, and then you have a list of them.  A list of them?  Dreadfully boring .

Listing of records for Howard Turner, 1919 – 1992

This is not interesting.  It doesn’t tell me anything about the man and his life.

It is all about pulling the story out of them.

In my previous post, Just Because It’s In Print, Doesn’t Make it True, I discussed the obituary I found of my grandfather and whether he was a radio announcer. City directories hold important clues to Howard Turner’s radio career.

In 1938 and 1939, Howard, 18, was living with his parents, James Austin TURNER and Sudie Sarah HAMRICK TURNER, at 316 E Morehead, Charlotte, NC.  Howard’s brother James Austin Jr., was living around the corner with his wife Annie Lineriux BOONE TURNER; both James Sr. and Jr. were salesman.  Ira and Pearl TURNER, Howard’s aunt and uncle lived not far from them at 1826 E 4th; Ira owns Turner Trading Company.

In 1938, Howard is a student and in 1939 we see that Howard begins his career as a Radio Announcer.1

On May 25, 1940 Howard marries Jennie Elizabeth PAYNE in Kings Mountain, North Carolina.2

He disappears from the City Directories in until 1943, where he is living with Jennie in Asheville, North Carolina.  Howard is a Radio Announcer for WISE Broadcasting as well as the manager of a Welding Engineering School where both his father, James, and his wife, Jennie, are working. 3 Their first child, a daughter is born in 1943.4

From 1944 to 1950, Howard and Jennie are back in Charlotte, and Howard is working for WBT, a major radio station in Charlotte, North Carolina.  They are living at 522 Hawthorne Lane in an apartment.  Their second child, a son is born in 1944.5

In 1951, it appears the couple has separated.  Howard is living with Lois Turner at 323 E Blvd in Charlotte and is now working for Turner’s.  Jennie is living at 523 Hawthorne Lane and is working as a nurse at the Presbyterian Hospital.6

Except for the marriage and births, all the detail comes from the City Directories.  It’s all about the details and making stories a little less forgotten.

Footnotes
1. Hill’s Charlotte (Mecklenburg County, N. C. ) City Directory(Richmond, VA, Hill Directory CO., Inc., 1938), 661 ; also subsequent year by the same title: 1939 (666); digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 22 Jun 2012), Howard Turner.
2. “North Carolina, Marriages, 1759-1979,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/F884-NJG : accessed 22 June 2012), Howard Arthur Turner, 1940.
3.Hill’s Asheville (Buncombe County, N. C. ) City Directory (1943), 495.
4. Buncombe County, North Carolina, General Index to Births, North Carolina Birth Indexes, vol 31, Raleigh, North Carolina State Archives, microfilm NCVR_B_C013_66003, page 253, Katharine Ann Turner; digital images, “North Carolina, Birth and Death Indexes, 1800-2000, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com :accessed 22 Jun 2012).
5. Mecklenberg County, North Carolina, North Carolina Birth Indexes, vol 102, , microfilm NCVR_B_C065_66004, page 164, Thomas Richard Turner.
6. Hill’s Charlotte (Mecklenburg County, N. C. ) City Directory (1944) 754, (1945) 603,(1947) 723, (1948) 732, .

Just Because It’s In Print Doesn’t Make It True

I never knew my maternal grandfather, Howard Arthur Turner, as I lost contact with my mother and her side of the family when I was very young.  One day I discovered his obituary on GenealogyBank.com and became intrigued with knowing more about him.

From his obituary I learned he died on June 26, 1992 and that he was survived by his wife Carol; son Tom Turner; daughter, Mrs. Kathy Currier; brothers, James Turner Jr., Michael Turner; two stepdaughters; two grandchildren; nephews and nieces. 1

That would be the first piece of information that is wrong.  He was survived by at least 4 grandchildren.  My sister and I are the daughters of Kathy Currier by a previous marriage.

When reading obituaries, family histories, newspapers, wills and other documents we use to understand genealogy it is important to remember details are often presented to fit current realities.  Given that my sister and I had not had contact with the man since we were very young and that we haven’t had any contact with the family for well over 30 years, it is understandable.  And a different story for a different day.

The paragraphs that I find the most intriguing from the obituary are:

A radio newscaster at WBT (1110 AM) in the early 1940s, Mr. Turner also taught David Brinkley, now host of the Sunday news Program “This Week With David Brinkley,” who was a UPI news reporter at the Charlotte Station, how to announce on the radio – or so the story goes, says Mr. Turner’s son, Tom.

“My dad would like to tell us about how he taught David Brinkley how to announce on the radio. I don’t know if it’s absolutely true, but he sure liked to tell the story,” said Tom Turner, now president of his father’s supply company. From 1941 to 1946, Mr. Turner paired with Grady Cole, for whom the Grady Cole Center on Kings Drive is named, to produce morning news reports on WBT.” 2

There is a story there.  How much of it is true? I know there are already missing pieces in this brief summary of his life. One thing I do know, the story is probably interesting. Tomorrow I’ll start trying to unravel it.

1. “Howard Arthur Turner,” obituary, The Charlotte (North Carolina) Observer, June 28, 1992; digital images, Genealogybank.com, (http://www.genealogybank.com : accessed 5 April 2009), Newspaper Obituaries Collection.
2. “Howard Arthur Turner,” obituary, The Charlotte Observer, June 28, 1992.