Memorial Record of Western Kentucky, Volume I and Volume II, Lewis Publishing Company, 1904, pp. 86-91. Carlisle Co. [Portrait, p. 87]
JOHN W. TURK
In reviewing the history of John W. Turk, one is reminded of the words of a great New York financier, who said: "If you are not a success don't blame the times you live in, don't blame the place you occupy, don't blame
the circumstances you are surrounded with, lay the blame where it belongs --to yourself. Not in time, place or circumstance, but in the man, lies success. If you want success you must pay the price." Realizing the truth of this, Mr. Turk has paid the price of concentrated effort, indefatigable energy, of perseverance and well applied business principles, and has won the victory which he determined to gain when he started out upon an independent business career. He is now one of the leading business men of Bardwell, where he is engaged in merchandising and in the banking business, being the president of Bardwell Deposit Bank. He also has extensive landed interests, and his possessions are the visible evidence of his life of
enterprise. Mr. Turk was born upon a farm in Henry county, Kentucky, near Campbellsburg, October 20, 1852, and is a son of Thomas Robert and Elizabeth (Christler) Turk, both of whom are natives of Kentucky, the former born in Henry county and the latter near Louisville. The paternal
grandfather of our subject was Robert Turk, a native of Virginia, who at an early day established his home in Henry county, Kentucky. Subsequently, however, he removed to Missouri, where his last days were spent. The mother of our subject also represented an old Virginia family, of German lineage. Thomas Robert Turk was born in 1818, and after arriving at years of maturity was married in Jefferson county to Miss Christler. He there lived until 1858, when he removed to Carlisle county, and here he spent the evening of his life, passing away on the 31st of August, 1870. A farmer by occupation, he always carried on that pursuit, and met with a fair measure of success in his undertakings. His wife survived him for a few years,
passing away in 1878, when fifty-six years of age. Both held membership in the Methodist church, and Mr. Turk gave his political support to the Democracy. Their children were as follows: Jesse C. and Thomas S., both deceased; William Robert, who is engaged in merchandising in Bardwell; Mrs. Sarah E. Anderson, now deceased; John W.,; Addie; and Nora C., who has passed away. Upon the home farm John W. Turk was reared, early becoming familiar with the labors of fields and meadow. He pursued his education in the country schools and at the age of nineteen left the home farm in order to enter upon his business career. For about two years he was engaged in clerking in Fort Jefferson, and in 1874 he joined his brother, W.R. Turk,
in the establishment of a general store in Bardwell. They had but a small capital, and had a little stock of goods at the beginning, but through honorable business methods and fair dealing won a liberal patronage. They prospered from year to year, and in 1879 Mr. Turk sold out to his brother.
Soon afterward he began business alone, and has met with a high degree of success as a general merchant of Bardwell. He has a fine brick store, two stories in height, and has a double room which is well filled with a carefully selected line of general merchandise. Mr. Turk is also one of
the original stockholders of the Bardwell Deposit Bank, and has served as one of its directors since its organization. On the 1st of January, 1902, he was chosen its president, and is now acting in that capacity. He has also judiciously invested in landed interests, and now has extensive and valuable property holdings. In 1876 Mr. Turk was united in marriage to Miss Alice Bodkin, a daughter of Daniel Bodkin, of Carlisle county. Their marriage was blessed with nine children, of whom two are now deceased. Mr. Turk has always given his political support to the Democracy, but has had neither time nor inclination to seek public office. Fraternally he is connected with the Odd Fellows and with the Masons, and has attained to the Knight Templar degree in the latter organization. His reputation in business circles is one of the highest, for he is not only energetic and enterprising, but also thoroughly reliable, and through his own efforts has steadily advanced to the plane of affluence. He represents the highest type of American enterprise and industry, and his rise to commercial prominence has been the result of his own efforts and ability. No business man in Carlisle county,
of to-day, has accomplished more, if as much, as has John W. Turk. Taking into consideration the fact that from a poor young man just off the farm, he has steadiy advanced in the commercial and business world, and to-day stands the peer, if not in the advance, of any other business man of
Carlisle county, and all accomplished by means of his own well directed and sagacious efforts, it is evident that Mr. Turk's business career has not only been active and successful, but also useful, entitling him to praise and the confidence of his fellow-citizens. Perhaps no other man has contributed as much to the upbuilding of Bardwell as has John W. Turk. He was [sic] given aid to every enterprise and effort that have been put forth to advance the public good of Bardwell and of Carlisle county. In deportment he is genial, considerate and generous. His friends and patrons are numerous, and by a wide circle of acquaintance he is held in highest esteem.