Hon. Fredrick Hugh Turner, merchant, Idaho Falls, and grand master of the grand lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows of Idaho, has represented his district ably in the state senate, and is in all respects one of the leading business men and most distinguished citizens of southeastern Idaho.
Mr. Turner was born at Janesville, Wisconsin, October 31, 1858, a son of John and Margaret (Jehn) Turner. His father was an English barrister, born in London, who came to the United States in 1838, and located as a pioneer in Rock County, Wisconsin, where he became a prominent farmer and landowner and there died in 1885, aged eighty-four years. He was an influential Republican and was one of the county commissioners of Rock county, Wisconsin, and held other important local offices. Fredrick Hugh Turner’s mother, Margaret Jehn, was a native of Wales. She died in Rock County, Wisconsin, in 1891, at the age of sixty-three years. Mr. and Mrs. Turner were members of the Episcopal Church and were of the most exalted personal character. They had eight children, of whom Fredrick Hugh Turner was the fifth in the order of birth. He was educated at Milton Academy, Wisconsin, and at the Wisconsin State Normal School, at Whitewater, and for ten years devoted himself to the work of a teacher. He taught two years in Wisconsin and eight years afterward in Idaho, where he was for some year’s principal of the schools at Soda Springs. In 1890 he opened a large general store at Idaho Falls and has had great success as a merchant, drawing the trade from all the country round about and from many distant points.
He is widely known as a stanch and active Republican and on the ticket of his party was elected a member of the Idaho state senate in 1896. He gained much influence on the floor of the senate and did effective work on a number of important senatorial committees, in all ways acquitting himself so admirably as a representative of the people that his service was highly appreciated by the best citizens, without regard to party affiliations.
The high honor to which Mr. Turner has risen in Odd Fellowship he has attained because of his complete knowledge of the work of the order and his great proficiency in it and because of his ardent devotion to the order in all interests. He has filled all the chairs in both branches of the order, is past deputy grand master of the grand lodge of the state, and in 1899 was chosen grand master of the grand lodge. He was influential in holding the location of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows’ Orphans’ Home at Idaho Falls, and he was active in the supervision of its construction from the moving of the first shovel of earth until the building stood complete, a fine three-story and basement brown sandstone structure, forty by fifty feet, and he is one of the board of trustees which has its interests in charge. The object which Mr. Turner and his associates had in view in erecting the Odd Fellows’ Orphans’ Home was to provide a comfortable home for orphan children of worthy Odd Fellows who might leave them unprovided for financially, and this object is being carried out in a way that reflects credit on all connected.
October 31, 1881, Mr. Turner married Miss Harriet Elizabeth Sanderson, daughter of John Sanderson, a native of New York, she herself being a native of Kansas. They have four children, named Dotta, Fredrick G., Walter H. and Adelbert C.