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Turner, Dr. William Mason.


Ick glow gewiss de hadd wat lihrt,
Hei sliht jo nu all ut as hadd hei utstudirt.
—FRITZ REUTER: Wo is uns' Oss

William Mason Turner, son of Joseph Turner, a lawyer and a member of the Virginia State Legislature, and his wife Mary Mason, was born December 15, 1835, in Petersburg, Virginia. He was educated at the preparatory Academy at Hicksford, Greenville County, Virginia, then entered Brown University in 1853, where he was a member of the Zeta Psi fraternity, and was graduated with the degree of PhB in 1855. He entered the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and received his M.D. in 1858. He then visited Europe where he studied medicine and walked the hospitals of Paris, and afterwards visited Syria and Egypt. He published a story of this trip under the title "El-Khudo the Holy; or, Glimpses in the Orient," in 1861.

On his return to America he practiced medicine in Petersburg, Virginia, and on June 29, 1859, was married to Hannah Adelia Ford, by whom he had ten children—Joseph Ford, Ella Mason, Hannah Adelia, Mary Amanda, Gertrude Peyton, Lillian Virginia, William Mason, and three more whose deaths antedated his.

During the Civil War he was a Confederate Navy surgeon. He was appointed April I, 1862, made Assistant Surgeon May I, 1863, and Assistant Surgeon Provisional Navy June 2, 1864. He served on the Richmond Station in 1862, on the C.S.S. "Chicora," at the Charleston Station in 1862-64, and at Drewrys Bluff, Virginia, in 1864. He was captured at Richmond April 3, 1865, and paroled April 18, 1865. After the war he practiced medicine in Philadelphia, where he died of apoplexy October 13, 1877.

Dr. Turner wrote numerous articles for the Philadelphia Medical Times and other medical journals, and many poems and novels for the Family Story Paper, New York Weekly, Saturday Night, Saturday Journal and other periodicals, and published a number of books. Beadle published a number of his novels under his own name and one under the pseudonym "Lennox Wylder."

REFERENCES: Historical Catalogue of Brown University, 1764—1934, Providence, R. I., 1936, 194; Register of Officers of the Confederate States Navy, 1861-1865, Washington, 1931, 198; Zeta Psi Fraternity of North America founded June 1, 1847, Semi-Centennial Biographical Catalogue with Data to December 31, 1899, New York, 1899, 292; Pennsylvania University, The Alumni Register, 1914, University of Pennsylvania Men who Served in the Civil War, Department of Medicine, 402; Saturday Journal, I, No. 31, October 15, 1870; VIII, No. 401, November 17, 1877; William M. Turner, El-Khudo, the Holy; or, Glimpses of the Orient, Philadelphia, 1861 (this is Dr. Turner's diary from February 14, 1859, to April 12, 1859); Philadelphia Directories, 1867-77; obituary notices in Philadelphia Ledger, October 14, 1877, and Philadelphia Inquirer, October 15, 1877.

There is supposed to be a biography of him in the Philadelphia Times, 1878 or 1879, but it was not found.

Dime Novels. Nos. 215, 399
Saturday Journal. Nos. 15, 25, 44, 73, 318, 338, 397
Banner Weekly. Nos. 398, 512, 556, 655, 674, 714
Fireside Library. Nos. 4 to 11 (installments), 62, 82
Dime Library. No. 927
Waverley Library (quarto). Nos. 2, 5, 53, 56, 168, 235
Waverley Library (octavo). Nos. 3, 40, 59, 64

Under the name "Lennox Wylder" was published:

Saturday Journal. No. 1


"Was it Love? or, Collegians and Sweethearts." Waverley Library (octavo), No. 3, pp. 13-14.

In a few moments, they were seated in the parlor, near the comfortable register, with its grateful heat welling up. Myra at once entered into a lively conversation. She was an adept in the art (or science?) of entertaining, and she soon succeeded in arresting the student's attention and holding it.

But, for a long time, not one word of reference was made to Madeleine Fleming.

It may as well be mentioned here that the young girls were now strangers to each other.

But, gradually, and very adroitly, Myra managed her conversation so as to bring in the name of Madeleine. The collegian started: but quickly recovering himself, replied by asking:

"How is it, Myra, that you and Miss Fleming are never seen together nowadays? You were intimate once, you know."

Fenton innocently thought his secret was not known to Myra.

"Why, Fenton," returned the girl promptly, "I cannot exactly tell. I was once fond of Madeleine Fleming, but then—then—"

"What then, Myra?" queried the young man, half impatiently.

"Why, people change, Fenton, and I have reasons for changing—reasons for not liking the young lady," returned Myra, quietly, a red flush passing over her pale face.

"You have nothing against Made—Miss Fleming—I hope, Myra? No, you can have nothing! She is so pure—so heavenly—so—"

"You are warm in her praises, Fenton," interrupted Myra, a bitterness evident in her tones.

"I am truthful, Myra; that is all," replied the student, calmly, though a blush mantled his cheeks and forehead.

"Ah! indeed!" and now downright sarcasm spiced out in Myra's tones.

"Yes, I have known Miss Fleming for nearly twelve months, and I say but the truth, when I repeat that she is amiable, sweet, loving—"

"Granted! all granted!" interrupted the girl, hastily and nervously. "But you have known me for a longer time, and Fenton, dear Fenton, can you not allow me the same good characteristics?"

As she spoke, Myra Hoxley leaned over, and placed her white, trembling hand on the collegian's shoulder.

Fenton Thorne started, and blushed like a woman. There was no mistaking those words—no misunderstanding that soft, insinuating tone, and what it all meant. The young man's face burned like a coal; but he managed to stammer out:

"Of course, of course, Myra, I think you are the same; but—"

"But, you do not like me as well as you do Madeleine Fleming! You do not love me?" and she gazed him in the face.

At that moment Fenton Thorne would have blessed the power which would have borne him to some lonely island of the seas. But he felt his position, and he appreciated it. He was under the eye of a curious and a jealous woman.

He rallied at length, and with a ghastly attempt at a smile, asked, falteringly:

"And who says this of me, Myra? Who says that I love Madeleine Fleming?"

"That question could be readily answered, by any one" and she gazed pertinaciously, yet softly, at him as she spoke.

"Nay, nay, Myra," responded the young man, half-banteringly, "you have not answered the question: Who says I love Madeleine Fleming?"

"I do, Fenton Thorne! And I speak the truth! Besides that, I say you are a silly boy, to pay court to such a girl."

Myra Hoxley's eyes flashed fire as she spoke, and those eyes were still fastened on the face of her guest.

"What mean you, Myra? What mean you? Speak, I say!" exclaimed the student, impulsively.

"I mean what I say; I will explain by saying—Madeleine Fleming falls in love with every new face; that her heart is changeable and callous; that her likes and dislikes vary as the wind shifts; that she has trifled already with a half-dozen others, even as she is trifling with you now!" and the girl still kept her eyes bent on the face of the student.

Fenton Thorne felt a rushing torrent dash into his face; his hands clutched nervously at his swaying watch-chain. But the youth controlled himself, and did not speak.

"Now, Fenton, dear Fenton!" and the beautiful girl drew still nearer to him; "since I have opened your eyes to facts—for, I reiterate, Madeleine cannot be trusted! —can you not put confidence in me? Nay, Fenton, do not interrupt me, for I have long sought this opportunity, and must speak. Do you know, Fenton, what the love of a true woman is?—do you know what it means?—the warm beating of a woman's bosom against your own! Oh! Fenton, trust me, when I tell you that such a woman is not Madeleine Fleming! But such a woman is—ah, Fenton, forgive me—is—is—MYRA HOXLEY!"

As she spoke, she sprung to her feet, and flung her arms impassionedly around the young man's neck.

Stunned, shocked, overwhelmed, and burning with shame—his emotions of indignation, of loathing and disgust, choking him and denying him utterance—Fenton Thorne—despite the fact that Myra Hoxley's arms were around his neck—staggered to his feet. With an impatient, violent gesture, the high-minded fellow flung the maiden from him.

"Shame on you, Myra Hoxley! Shame on you!" he exclaimed, in a deep, angry voice. "Yes, hang your head and weep! Shame on you! You cannot deceive me; I know you and your wiles! You wish my father's gold; but you will never touch it, Myra Hoxley! We are parted now, and forever! Thank Heaven for it! As for your words concerning Madeleine Fleming, I heed them not. I fling them back at you, and brand them as false-false as the wicked woman who spoke them!"

Turning at once, he snatched his hat and cape, and left the house.

"But you shall feel my power yet, proud boy; I swear it! I'll fight yet for that yellow gold, and—and—I HATE you!"

Myra Hoxley fairly hissed these words, as she reared her splendidly-attired figure, and shook her clenched hand after the retreating form of the collegian.

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