Born: 1781-1790 Tennessee
Flourished: Greene County, Illinois
In 1819, Turney moved from Tennessee to Illinois. He settled first in Washington County, where he practiced law and began a long career in state politics. He served as the secretary of the Illinois Senate from 1820 to 1822. He represented Washington County in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1822 to 1823, when he resigned to serve as Illinois' Attorney General, a position he held until 1828. In 1828, Turney moved to Greene County, where he settled in Carrollton. During the Black Hawk War, he served first in 1831 as a private in John Lorton's company of the 2nd Regiment of Mounted Volunteers, and in 1832 as a colonel and paymaster general on the staff of Governor John Reynolds. Upon his return home, he represented Greene County in the Illinois House from 1835 to 1836, serving alongside Abraham Lincoln. From 1836 to 1839, he represented Greene County in the Illinois Senate. He resigned at the end of the second session in 1839. Politically, Turney was a Democrat.
History of Greene and Jersey Counties, Illinois (Springfield, IL: Continental Historical, 1885), 43, 649, 668; John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 97-98, 198-99, 204-5, 207; Ellen M. Whitney, comp., The Black Hawk War, 1831-1832: Illinois Volunteers, vol. 35 of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1970), 1:84-85, 122-24; U.S. Census Office, Fifth Census of the United States (1830), Greene County, IL, 16; Theodore C. Pease, ed., Illinois Election Returns, 1818-1848, vol. 18 of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1923), 281, 285, 330n.