|Biography*|| ||From John C. Griffin, 9 May 2004:|
I'll look for Bill's obit. Daphene sent it to me, but I don't recall offhand what I did with it. I know it didn't say much beyond what he had done in the Keys, like being in the Coast Guard Auxiliary. Daphene knew him growing up, so she can give you all his family background. He never talked about his mother, so I think she left when he was young, which is why I suspect he didn't marry until later in life. His sister, Dorothea, was married to Irwin Trowbridge, who led a very colorful life and remembered all of it. Irwin had been a lieutenant in the first world war and could tell you all about trench warfare and "going over the top." He had been a colonel in the second world war stationed at Andrews Air Force Base and had met all of the world dignitaries when they came for visits. He really liked Churchill, but thought Stalin was a jerk. Dorothea, who was much older than Bill, was a pain in the ass her whole life and we never understood what Irwin saw in her.
Bill was a Master Sergeant in the army during the second world war, which, as you know, is the highest rank an enlisted man can obtain. He told me he was stationed just behind the front lines in the South Pacific theatre and was in charge of supply. I know nothing between then and when Mom met him. You are correct that he never went to college. He was basically a self-trained engineer. He came to Anderson Electric when they bought the company in Chicago he was working for, Bodendieck (sp?). He designed the tools, hot sticks and such, that power company employees use to work on high voltage lines. After Anderson was itself acquired by Square D, he became disillusioned and joined Salisbury & Co., back in the Chicago suburbs, Skokie. Mom refused to join him there unless he married her and the rest is history. His own company was called Market Street Engineering. He used it to dabble a bit after he retired from Salisbury, but I don't think he ever tried to make it amount to much.
From Daphene Turner:
May 19, 2004
I will update you on what I remember of Bill's background. He was born in Arthur, Illinois, on January 11, 1918, where his father had a medical practice. It was an Amish area and you would see the horse pulling the buggy. The food in the restaurants was Amish and very good. My sister-in-law, Elaine Pulley, Bill, and I spent a day there one time when Bill and I were back in Taylorville. When Bill was 12 years old, he, his father, and mother moved to Taylorville where some of Bill's mother's family lived close by in a town called Shelbyville, Illinois. In due time, Bill's mother left his father and he and Bill lived together on (not exactly a farm) but acreage east of Taylorville. Bill's sister, Dorothea, was on her own and living in Chicago. I remember the house as Bill's sister had a group of us for fried chicken dinner one time when she was home.
We both finally got into high school and went our separate ways. Bill ended up with a group that included Helen Douglas (she had the car!!!) and I started dating a fellow older than I was and out of school. Bill did have a hay ride one time for all of us. Another thing we did for excitement was hike to the train trestle and we would target practice with an air rifle. [Bill had several trophies for expert marksmanship -- and I think John has them.]
Bill spent a year working for Emerson Electric Co. in Centralia, Missouri. He was young and just out of high school. I might add that his pay was $10.00 a week when he worked for Bodendieck Tool Co. (the same as mine when I worked for Montgomery Ward). Somewhere along this time Bill started dating my friend, Imogene Tarlton (Bond), but when she became too possessive, he broke up with her. Bill also started going with Charlotte Daykin, a lady older than he was. They dated for many years until he met and fell in love with your mother.
Bill's number was the first drawn for the draft and he was sent to San Francisco. He was coming out of the service on the point system in 1945 and the A Bomb was dropped. Bill said he and all of the other soldiers couldn't believe in the A Bomb. He came back to Taylorville and worked for Tipsword Tool Co. (Tips Tool). He joined the Taylorville Dive Team and they would come to the Keys. Bill
transferred to Birmingham with Anderson Electric and then on to Chicago to Salisbury Electric. When he and your mother retired, they moved here to the Keys.
I moved to St. Louis in the spring of 1943 and my mother and I worked for Emerson Electric on the night shift (8:30 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.) My mother stayed there until she retired. I was married to William Hughey Euston for 23 years, widowed 13 years, and married to Bill Turner for 13 years. You know the rest.
I met Bill at our class reunion in September 1986 and we married in April 1987. The reunion was in Taylorville, Illinois. At the time of the reunion, I had not had any contact with Bill since he joined the army.
Bill died on May 8, 2000. Some time after Bill came home from the service, he and his father bought a home on Market Street in Taylorville. This is how Market Street Engineering came into existence. It seems that Bill needed a company of his own in order to get credit for his tools that he had patented. My attorney wouldn't let go of the file on Market Street Engr., but finally after 3 years she turned them over to Michael DeRoche and he knew who to get in touch with to get my name on the certificates. In addition to Market Street Engr., my broker got my name substituted for Bill's on his General Motors stock, Delphi (a few shares), and Raytheon (a few shares). These last 2 were spin offs of General Motors.
Bill's father died in 1947 or 1949 while living on Market Street in Taylorville. Bill had won a lot on the Taylorville Lake and he built a home on it suitable for a bachelor! He lived there about a year and then was transferred to Birmingham. He sold the house on the lake.
I really can't think of anything else. I hope I have updated you on some things, but let me know if I can be of any more help. Good to hear from you. Call me if you need to.
P.S. Bill's sister, Dorothea, died in September 1997. Bill and I were with her and she died at home. David Trowbridge and his wife came to the funeral from San Francisco. He was Dorothea's step-grandson. We (Bill and I) didn't like him. Dorothea's husband, Irvin Trowbridge, did not have a will and I had to divide the sale of the house (a pile of junk!) with him.
May 28, 2004
I'm sorry I didn't mention Bill's mother too much in my previous letter. He never talked about her too much, but he did "open up" one time when we were at Kenara, Ontario (Canada). He never called her mother. It was always Trenna. She was a very mean woman and hateful to the family. I don't know where Bill's mother lived before she moved in with him. She lived with Bill after his father died and stayed several months. They lived on Market Street in Taylorville, Illinois. She was the one who suggested going to the Rebecca home somewhere in Illinois. She died there and Bill brought her back to Shelbyville, Illinois, and buried her in the family plot there.
Dorothea Trowbridge, Bill's sister, inherited her mother's disposition and she was also a mean woman -- very hateful to your mother, me, and also Bill. She was also hateful to the neighbors, but they put up with her and were good to her. Bill had Dorothea's ashes put on Irvin's grave at the Veteran's Cemetery in St. Louis (I think I'm right on this).
I can't think of anything else. Call me if you have any questions.