Scott Turner Heir of City Pioneers Dies

Scott Turner Heir of City Pioneers Dies in East at 92

by Birt Darling, State Journal Historian

Services will be held Wednesday in Greenwich, Conn., for Scott Turner, 92, son of Lansing pioneer businessmen and director of the U.S. Bureau of Mines under President Herbert Hoover.

Mr. Turner died in Greenwich Sunday, and rites will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday in his home at 44 Patterson there.

He operated his own engineering firm in New York City until recently, and had conducted surveys all over the world during his long and varied career.

En route to one of these surveys he was aboard the Cunard liner Lusitania when it was torpedoed off the Old Head of Kinsale, Ireland, as it neared England in 1915. Mr. Turner was injured but managed to swim to some wreckage. At the time he was en route eventually to the Island of Spitzbergen to assess the potential of coal which had been discovered there.

Mr. Turner was the son of James M. Turner, who owned the 1,200-acre Springdale Farm along E Mr. Hope. Arboretum Park subsequently was developed from a part of this tract in the 1950s following a decision by Scott Turner to sell it to the City of Lansing.

Springdale Farm was famous in his father's day for its development of prize beef.

His mother owned the Mr. Vernon-type mansion on N Washington which became the State Historical Museum following her death, and his grandfather, James Turner, built the original nucleus of what later became the Dodge Mansion on E North in 1851.

His grandfather, who was one of Lansing's first settlers after the location of the state capital here in 1847, developed the Detroit, Howell and Lansing Plank Road for stage coach travel, and later became involved in railroad development all over lower Michigan. His father carried on the railroad tradition.

Mr. Turner was the husband of the late Amy Prudden Turner, who also was of pioneer stock.

Mr. Turner will be buried in the family plot in Mr. Hope Cemetery - a plot which he often gazed at from his Springdale Farm across Aurelius Road.

The family asked that contributions be made to the Greenwich hospital.

Note: In a March 23, 2000 interview with Patricia Dodge McLean, she said Scott Turner lost a leg in the Lusitania sinking. She also said her grandmother was not close to Scott's wife Sophie, but that her brother, Frank "Kiki" McLean, often visited and talked with Mrs. Turner at her (Mount Vernon style) home (now in the center of the Lansing Community College campus).