Biography of Ira L. Turman
Posey County, Indiana Biographies

Ira L. Turman, a physician and surgeon of Cynthiana, Ind., belongs to an old established indiana family rich in historical lore. His greatgrandfather, Benjamin Turman, was of English descent and was born in Virginia, residing for a number of years in Bedford county, of that State, where all of his children were born. He removed to Champaign county, Ohio, remaining there four years, thence to Sullivan county, Indiana, in the year 1810. In the year 1806 Mr. Benjamin Turman had, with a small party, explored the country on the Wabash near the mouth of what afterwards was called Turmanís creek, but at that time a settlement seemed too hazardous an undertaking. Four years later, on returning to the Wabash valley, he left his family at Carlisle, where a settlement had been made, while he, with his sons and a few soldiers, built a fort on the prairie where he had decided to locate his home. From that time the prairie, the creek, which joins the Wabash at that point, and the township took his name. He brought with him from Ohio his farm implements, furniture and a considerable number of horses, cattle and hogs. These were the first hogs in this section of the country and they were capable of subsisting on the natural products of the soil. The Indians still frequented the locality and sometimes were cross and impudent. This did not deter Mr. Turman from the purchase of a large tract of land from the government in 1816. He had the first dairy and first fruit tree nursery in that part of the State, and some of the trees planted nearly 100 years ago are still standing, one apple tree measuring three feet and three inches in diameter. He lived to see peace restored between the United States and England and the Indians driven from the Wabash Valley. His death occurred in his spacious dwelling, built of hewed logs, in 1818. Thomas Turman, the grandfather of our subject, was born in Bedford county, Virginia, August 18, 1796, and his wife, Susannah Lavina (White) Turman, was born in Roane county, Tennessee, November 1, 1801. They were married January 27, 1818, her grandfather, the Rev. Hezekiah James Baich, performing the ceremony. Rev. Baich was appointed on May 20, 1775, on a committee of three to draft and revise what was known as the Mecklenberg Declaration, which was the first Declaration of Independence made in America, and which was sent to the President of Congress in Philadelphia by Capt. James Jack. The Turmans produced large quantities of corn, for which there was no market nearer than New Orleans, and it is said that they were the first to propose transportation to that point by means of flat boats of home construction. Thomas Turman was one of the first to make the perilous journey, and opened tip a trade that meant so much to the settlers all along the rivers and streams leading to the Mississippi from that time until the coming of railroads. The Wabash, Ohio and Mississippi rivers had many hidden rocks, dangerous sand bars and imbedded logs of immense size, which added greatly to the perils of the voyage, which often required months to make. However, Mr. Turman carried on a successful freighting business for many years, always accompanying his boats personally and superintending the sales of goods. In his absence his wife conducted the farming operations with such energy and good judgment that an ample crop was always awaiting transportation. On one of these trips he was gone so long that he was given up for lost, but returned just after the birth of a son, who was named Return Jonathan, and who was the father of Dr. Ira L. Turman, of this record. Thomas Turman died June 30, 1863, and his wife died March 28, 1875. Return Jonathan Turman was born July 6, 1837, attended the common schools and when old enough to do so he farmed and raised stock on Turman's prairie, where he still resides. He was married April 3, 1864, to Perlina A. Wible, and to them were born twelve children, our subject, Ira L., being the third. The family are distinguished for great natural musical ability. The wife and mother died February 2, 1890. Dr. Ira L. Turman was born at Graysville, Ind., February 13, 1869, and was raised a farmer boy. After finishing the common schools he attended the Union Christian College at Merom, Ind., after which he taught school for one year and then began the study of medicine under Dr. J. L. Durham, of Graysville. He entered the medical department of the University of Louisville, Ky., graduating with the degree of Doctor of Medicine in 1894. In May of that year he located for the practice of his profession at Cynthiana, where he has since remained and enjoys a lucrative practice. Dr. Turman belongs to the Posey County and Indiana State societies, and the American Medical Association. He was president for one year and secretary for two years, 1910-1911, of the Posey County Medical Society. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. The first marriage of Dr. Turman was on August 22, 1895, to Miss Agnes Bixier, daughter of Benedict R. and Martha (Boren) Bixier, natives of Vanderburg county, where they were engaged in farming and stock raising. Agnes Bixier was born and raised in Vanderburg county. She attended common and high schools and graduated from the normal school at Princeton, after which she taught several terms in the rural schools prior to her marriage. They had one child, Claud Kenneth, born December 14, 1896, a graduate of the Cynthiana High School, class of 1913, and now a teacher. The first wife died on October 26, 1904. On March 15, 1906, Dr. Turman married Grace Bixler (nee Emerson), daughter of John W. and Ellen (Yeager) Emerson, natives of Gibson county, where Grace Emerson was born and reared. She was a student of the Union Christian College at Merom, Ind. Mrs. Turman had one child by her first marriage, David Clair Bixier, born July i6, 1904. Dr. and Mrs. Turman have two children, Robert E., born February 2, 1908, and Agnes Lucile, born February 4, 1912. The Turman family are members of the Christian church.

History of Posey County, Indiana
John C. Leffel, Editor
Standard Publishing Company
Chicago 1913.


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