Death of Daniel L. Case

The following is from an unidentified newspaper clipping in the Dodge family scrapbook at the Turner-Dodge House. Upon request, the Secretary can provide a copy of the clipping.

Death of Daniel L. Case


Former Auditor-General of this State Expires in Lansing
Sketch of His Career

Lansing, November 26. - Daniel L. Case, a former auditor-general of Michigan and a pioneer resident of the state, died at his home in this city Thursday at the age of 87 years.

Mr. Case was born near Three Rivers in Canada, December 11, 1811. He came to Michigan in 1834, but did not make his permanent residence here till 1842, when he settled at Mason and for three years held the office of prosecuting attorney. He was for some time engaged in the mercantile business at Mason, but in 1847 he removed to Lansing. In 1851 he was a member of the legislature from Ionia county and in 1858 he was elected auditor-general on the republican ticket, holding the office for two years. Previously he had been a democrat, but in 1856 he wrote a powerful address giving his adhesion to the republican party. He became an effective campaign speaker for the republican party in the stirring days immediately preceding the war, and in 1864 he was made paymaster in the army with the rank of major. Since the war he has been a merchant and a farmer. For several years he was a trustee for the Michigan school for the blind, and at one time resident manager of the institution.

The following is the text of an article in The State Journal of Tuesday, July 7, 1896. Upon request, the Secretary can provide a copy of the article with its accompanying drawn portrait of James M. Turner.

The City Mourns


Ex-Mayor Turner Passed Away This Morning
Was at Alma Sanitarium Where He was Receiving Treatment When the Death Summons Came
The News a Great Shock to His Fellow Citizens

At an early hour this morning a dispatch was received by relatives in this city of the death at Alma sanitarium, shortly after 4 o'clock, of ex-Mayor James M. Turner. The news was such a surprise and such a shock, so few of his friends knowing of his serious condition, that it was at first discredited, but the sad news was soon confirmed by later dispatches announcing that the remains would arrive here on the Grand Trunk train at 10:40 o'clock.

Mrs. Turner, his two sons, Scott and James, and his cousin and physician, Dr. Longyear of Detroit, were at his bedside when death came.

The remains arrived at 10:40 and were met at the depot by Gov. Rich, Mayor Ostrander, and other state and city officials and citizens, and escorted to the family residence on Franklin street west. The exact time of the funeral has not been decided upon but it will probably be held Friday and will be from the late residence.

When a few weeks before the expiration of his term as mayor, Mr. Turner was taken ill, the trouble was thought to be nothing more serious than a cold or perhaps the grip. At each returning meeting of the common council his friends expected to see him once more in the mayor's chair, but the disease which finally carried him off slowly tightened its grip and with the exception of one brief interval, when he seemed to rally a little, his health slowly broke down. His rugged constitution, fostered by a life of activity and out-door exercise, was slow to give way to the ravages of disease, but at last the awful truth dawned upon his friends and family that the end was surely coming. The immediate cause of his death was heart failure, the result of Bright's disease.
It was May 2, after his illness had lasted about three weeks, that he decided to go to the Alma sanitarium. He returned somewhat improved in health on May 30 and spent a part of his time in his office, transacting business. On June 26 the disease had made such inroads that he returned to Alma but without benefit. He sank rapidly and was unable to retain any food upon his stomach for some time before the end came.

James M. Turner was born within the present limits of the city of Lansing on April 23, 1850. His father was a citizen of Mason and in 1847, the year the capitol was located here, he removed from there to the place ever since known as the Turner homestead on the north bank of the river and in the northern edge of the city. In those days the most of the present site of this city was a wilderness, and James M. Turner was born in the midst of it. Fortunately for him, he inherited the rugged courage and iron will which makes the pioneer. Speaking of his early life and the difficulties with which he contended, he once said "We were wretchedly poor in those days. I was one of ten children. Our clothing was strictly confined to the limits of what our financial circumstances would warrant. Such things as shoes and stockings in summer were unknown. I never had a suit of flannels in the winter at that time and I never owned an overcoat until I was old enough to work and earn one."

When he was 15 years of age he got the only schooling he ever had, outside of the district school. That was at a seminary at Cazenovia, N Y., and lasted about a year, but he improved every moment. Upon returning to Lansing he entered the employ of Daniel L. Case as a clerk in a general store, where he acquired the rudiments of his business education. After two years of life as a clerk he went to work in the land office of the Jackson, Lansing & Saginaw railway company, his father being the land commissioner of the road. Mr. Turner, the elder, was then engaged in building both the Jackson, Lansing & Saginaw and the Ionia & Lansing railroads and the son was given charge of the construction of the latter road.

It was not long after these enterprises were started that Mr. Turner's father died and left him, a boy 19 years old, in charge of the family. He assumed the duty of caring for his widowed mother and his sisters and brother manfully, and as paymaster and cashier of the Ionia & Lansing railroad he earned a revenue which cared for them all. Next he went into a general land business with Dwight S Smith, now of Jackson. Mr. Smith had charge of the office, while Mr. Turner acted as land-looker and surveyor. It was in this capacity that he accumulated a vast fund of information regarding northern Michigan and its great wealth, which he afterwards assisted largely in developing.

In 1876 he was married to Miss Sophie Porter Scott, a daughter of Ira Scott, then of Chicago, and now of this city. The tender and affectionate side of Mr. Turner's character was always manifest in his relations with his family. To the two sons he was a companion as well as father. The sight of Mr. Turner and his sons driving away to the farm with dog and gun for a day's hunting was familiar to many of the citizens, and it was at this fireside, surrounded by his family and friends, that the great large-hearted man was at his best.

Besides the first two railroads which Mr. Turner assisted in building, he built the line from Lansing to Flint, now a part of the Grand Trunk road, and the Iron Range & Huron Bay road in the upper peninsula. His numerous other business enterprises are familiar to people in Lansing. He was at one time president of the condensed milk company, and was for many years a manufacturer of brick. His Springdale farm is perhaps the best known farm in this section of the state and one of the widest known stock farms in Michigan.

His political career embraced one term in the Michigan legislature, the term of 1876; two terms as mayor, one in 1889 and again in 1895, and a term as a member of the board of education. He was a candidate for the office of governor in 1890 and the history of that memorable campaign is too well known to need comment. His great popularity with his own townspeople was best demonstrated by the very large majority accorded him when he was last elected mayor.

James M. Turner as a business man was enterprising, sagacious and energetic. He possessed both breadth of view and mastery of detail which enabled him to conceive great enterprises and carry them to successful issue. In politics he was aggressive and his personal qualities were such that he possessed a host of friends always ready to work and sacrifice for him. Among the people of this city he was the most approachable of men. He was never too busy to see the humblest workman on his brick yards if the man had any sort of a reason for seeing him. He was open in his conversation and never hesitated to state to anyone during his two terms as mayor what his views were upon any municipal affair. In private life and among his friends he was companionable and generous. It is related of him, and by good authority, that he once started a man in this city in business, lending him money enough to buy a stock of goods without security, simply because he thought the man to be worthy, capable and honest. His judgment proved correct and the money was repaid. This is but one of many similar instances.

No one save his family will ever understand his home life except that all know it to have been what the home life of an ideal husband and father should have been.

Mr. Turner leaves, beside his immediate family already mentioned, three sisters, Mrs. Marion Reasoner, Mrs. C. P. Black and Mrs. F. L. Dodge, all of this city. His mother, Mrs. Marion Turner, who resides with her daughter, Mrs. Dodge, also survives him.

Besides his large property interests he carried $120,000 life insurance, divided between the Equitable of New York, New York Life, Mutual Benefit of New Jersey, Michigan Mutual and the Union Central.