Weatherford News

Artifacts heading home after decades of absence

Donna King displays the artifacts before shipping them to family members in California.
Donna King displays the artifacts before shipping them to family members in California. Weatherford Star-Telegram

Author Thomas Wolfe once said, “You can never go home again.” But for some, including Donna King, that statement is far from the truth.

“They’re heading home.”

That’s what King said about artifacts she discovered more than four decades ago which date almost a century old.

In the early 1970’s Donna and her husband were living on his family farm near Dennis.

“I was digging a garden and there was a mound just above where I was working,” she said. “Every time it rained water would wash away dirt from the mound revealing broken glass and various other items.”

One day she discovered a ladies pin and a man’s medallion.

“The ladies pin cleaned up beautifully, it was made of brass and looks almost homemade to me; the medallion looked a little rough.”

On one side of the medallion was the name Reid Turner - Granger, Texas and on the other side was what looked like Gaelic symbols.

After she cleaned her finds the pieces went into a jewelry box where they stayed for about 42 years.

“As time went by I would pull the pieces out and look at them and wonder their history,” she said. “How they came to Parker County.”

A fan of Facebook, she had seen posts about people being reunited with items such as high school rings and medals.

“I thought this was a long shot...it’ll never happen, so I posted the items on Facebook,” Donna said. “It was there that a friend of mine, Cathy Martinez saw the post and went to work.”

With the help of Ancestry.com, Cathy was able to track down a distant relative, a great-grandson of Reid Turner.

Cathy had found an old newspaper from Granger printed in 1925. It revealed [Reid] was at a meeting with other farmers at a new school building they’d built.

“When I saw Donna's Facebook post with the photo of the medallion I was anxious to help find his family,” Cathy said. “Genealogy is my hobby and passion, so I have a subscription with Ancestry.com. I logged into the Public Member Tree and entered the name ‘Reid Turner, Texas’ and guessed at a date.”

She said there were quite a few “ancestry trees” built with his name and showed his full name - Abraham Reid Turner. Emails were attached to the trees, so she emailed six of them and got a reply from Paul Trotten who was Reid Turner's great-grandson.

“A few days later I got an email from Paul with his phone number and an invitation to call,” Cathy said. “I passed along the phone number to Donna and thankfully she was able have a conversation with Paul and make arrangements to send these wonderful family treasure home.”

Turner had been a sorghum farmer but no one knows what he was doing in Parker County.

“Maybe he was here during the Great Depression and traveled around working on farms,” Donna suggested. “He was just trying to make a living.”

Turner had two daughter’s, both still living and in their 90’s. One daughter resides in College Station, the other Petaluma, Calif. Donna’s discoveries will be heading to Petaluma and given to the great-grandson.

“They’re finally going home,” Donna said.

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