Sunday, March 31, 2013

Cyrus Turnbull & Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge

Spent a lovely Easter Sunday afternoon out at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge (a scant five miles south of Cheney). We saw lots of critters and creatures but what really caught my eye was a signboard for visitors explaining how Turnbull got its name.

Cyrus Turnbull was born in 1849 in Iowa and came to build a cabin at the north end of what was to become known as Turnbull Slough.  He married Mary Jane Williams in 1880 in Four Lakes. The couple lived in that cabin from 1880 to 1886 and while the 1885 Auditor's census of Spokane county lists him as a farmer, descendants report that he spent most of his efforts hunting, probably providing wild meat to the brand new and thriving nearby town of Cheney. The area was named after Turnbull by his contemporaries.

A quick bio on RootsWeb says that the Turnbull family moved to Idaho and Cyrus died in Sagle, Bonner County, in 1934. Wouldn't this make a great little Cold Case Research Project for some EWGS member? For our wonderful Digital Digest??  So many people in the area, including so many EWGS members, enjoy visits to Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge that it would be fun to learn "the rest of the story."

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