Maassen recalls dad’s life as a miner

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My dad, Homer Edward Turner, led a very interesting life. He graduated from Linn High School, then joined the Navy. He served on the USS Birmingham with escorted ships around the Mediterranean. After the war, he followed the wheat harvest across Kansas and finally wound up in California. While there, he worked as a lumberjack and somehow ended up with part interest in a gold mine. When he returned, he met and married my mom, Merle Ferrier. My mom’s sister was married to Paul Jones who was dabbling in the clay business that was starting to take hold in Osage, Gasconade, and surrounding counties in mid-Missouri. Hence, Jones & Turner was born. Diaspore was the Cadillac of clays from which a high grade of fire brick was created at A.P. Green in Mexico, Mo.As a child, I loved to go to the pit with Mama and Daddy and watch the trucks haul the clay out of the deep pits. It was quite a booming business. One of the funny stories he told was the time some tools were stolen from the tool shack. He must have suspected who it was, because he left a note (which was probably full of expletives that he was noted for) stating that the tools had to be returned. A few days later the tools did return along with a note that said, ‘I is yor man. Sory [sic].’ Daddy never said who it was that took them because it was just a kid. Years later I found out who it was, but it shall always remain in my memory only. If Daddy would have turned him in, he could have ruined the kid’s life forever. He always did have a soft spot for the underdog.When Daddy got sick, my brother returned from Mexico City and took over the business and ran it superbly until the day he retired. I know Daddy would have been very proud of what Jimmie accomplished for Jones & Turner


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