People of Turner County

Dublin Core


People of Turner County


Portraits and interviews collected of the People of Turner County from past and present.


Turner County Project


2021 - present

Collection Items

Cheryle Bryan
Although she was not born in Turner County, Cheryle Bryan without a doubt is full of pride for our little community. Her arrival to Ashburn on Election Day 1972 is one she will always remember as a new beginning and a chance for her to become an…

Joyce Reed
The Turner County Project had the privilege of interviewing Mrs. Joyce McHugh Reed with the help of her son Wayne Reed on Saturday, July 3, 2021 over a glass of homemade sweet tea. This 102-year-old resident of Turner County shared some stories about…

Linda Wiggins Williford
On March 24, 2021, Linda Wiggins Williford, daughter of Henry Richard “H.R.” Wiggins (May 10, 1924 – October 14, 2010) and Frankie Ireland Wiggins (November 7, 1923 – September 5, 2018), sat down for an hour-long interview with the Turner County…

Mike Mastrario
On Sunday, July 4, 2021, the Turner County Project sat down with Mike Mastrario to talk about him and his wife Sue moving their whole family from South New Jersey all the way to small town Ashburn in the early 1990s. Getting this Yankee’s first…

Dot Ireland Coker swearing in as Probate Judge (~1980s)
Dot Ireland Coker, first woman county officer (~1980s)

Pictured L to R is Dot, her husband Bussey, and her two sons Randy and Mike.

Pioneers Sheep Bennett Pate and Daniel H. Davis, early ~1900s
Pioneers Sheep Bennett Pate and Daniel H. Davis, early ~1900s

Linda Wiggins Williford - Wiregrass Farmer History
To read more of Linda Wiggins Williford's interview, click here:

Joyce McHugh Reed (102-year-old TC citizen) biographical intro
This is a quick introductory clip to Joyce McHugh Reed, 102-year-old Turner County citizen. She was a daughter and wife of a sharecropper. To read the rest of the interview, click here:

Mike Mastrario on how he found Turner County while living in New Jersey
To read the full interview, check out this link:

J. H. Gilmore
"Mr. Gilmore is a prosperous farmer of the Rebecca district and is highly esteemed by those who know him. He has good business qualifications and the interest of the county at heart."

Virginia Smith
Born in 1953, Virginia Smith arrived into this world in Sycamore, Georgia delivered at home by a midwife. Due to the time period’s racist social policies, the hospital was a “whites only” establishment. But this was just her first introduction to…

Nina Cox - To The Bat for Turner County
A Wiregrass Farmer and Stockman clipping showing Nina Cox holding a bat that says "I will bat for Turner Co."

Nina Cox, an Ashburn High School teacher, resigned from her position in 1924 and entered the race for the Turner County School…

4 generations of Shinglers
"The above picture was taken after the christening at the Ashburn Methodist church of Herbert Ives Shingler III, son of Lt. Col. and Mrs. H.I. Shingler Jr. In the picture are four generations, all named Shingler, including H.I. Shingler Sr., Mrs.…

Scout Leaders
"Dr. G.C. McKenzie of Ashburn, president of the Chehaw Council of the Boy Scouts of America, is pictured above congratulating J.R. Stott, newly appointed field executive for the council. Congratulations took place following a meeting of the various…

Dr. G. C. McKenzie
Dr. Gordon C. McKenzie
Chairman of the Board of Education

Jack Albritton
James Riley “Jack” Albritton, who turns 95 in 2022, has lived a life worth talking about. He served in the Air Corps at age 17 (yes, underage) to help clean up Pearl Harbor. He created a thriving mechanic business in the sleepy town of Sycamore. He…

Portrait of John West Evans

(September 27, 1844 – January 16, 1904)

Born in Hancock County to Sterling G. and Mary West Evans, John and his wife Ella, followed his business partner/brother-in-law John Samuel “J.S.” Betts (July 29, 1848 – April 25, 1918)…

Portrait of John Samuel "J.S." Betts
J.S. Betts was one of Ashburn’s founding fathers, long-time Mayor of Ashburn, and owner of the Betts Lumber Company. It was said that his wife Elmira Josephine Bohannon Betts (May 2, 1858 – September 27, 1907) used to “signal” her sister Ella…

Painting of Victoria Evans with reference photo
Photograph of Victoria Evans, date unknown, by T.B. Blackshear, photographer in Macon, GA.

Painting was created by Minnie G. Brown of Ashburn, GA based on the photograph of Victoria Evans.

Plaque next to the painting says:

Mrs. Turner Wins Special Election
by Austin Saxon

"Mrs. Shirley Turner became the first woman ever to earn a place on the Ashburn City Council Thursday as she narrowly defeated William I. (Bill) Posey in a special election to fill a vacancy in Post No. 4."
Mrs. Turner who is…

John Dye
John Dye, who turned 95 in 2022, is perhaps one of the most well-respected citizens in Turner County. He is beloved by many not only because he invested so much of his time and love into his students throughout his almost 50 years in education but…

Portrait of Jack Marrell and wife
Photo taken at the Southwest corner of the Turner County Courthouse of Jack Marrell and his wife.
The wagon is selling Rawleigh Products: Medicines, Extracts, Spices, Soaps, Perfumes, Toilet Articles.

Ashburn First Baptist Church can be see in…

Charles V. Perry and wife, Emily B. Perry
Taken within Perry Funeral Chapel Offices

Ashburn school teachers
estimated around early 1960s

The W.C. Garrett Family

Outside their home in Sycamore, GA.
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