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Turnbo's Tales of the Ozarks

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Arkansas Research is pleased to present a series of books containing stories by Ozark folk historian, Silas Claborn Turnbo, edited by Desmond Walls Allen. Following is information about Turnbo and the nine books in the series. Click on the links to view the index for each book. The original arrangement of the stories has been retained and a minimum of editing has been done.

Silas Claborn Turnbo

Turnbo wrote a series of marvelous tales about the people, places and events of the early history of the Ozark region in northern Arkansas and southern Missouri. His stories form a Poorman's Goodspeed History as there is an amazing amount of genealogical data in them as well as entertainment. Turnbo was born near Forsyth, Missouri, in 1844, and spent his childhood in Marion County, Arkansas. He served in the War Between the States in the Twenty-seventh Arkansas Confederate Infantry. Around the turn of the century and into the early 1900s, he wrote hundreds of tales about his childhood experiences, war-related incidents, and interviews with old settlers and war veterans. He visited graveyards and historical sites and corresponded with folks who related their memories of old times to him. He published two volumes of his stories and some of his material was printed in area newspapers.

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Turnbo's Tales of the Ozarks: Biographical Stories
ISBN 0-941765-45-8, 180 pages, $20.00, View the index
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This volume contains 134 stories. Some sample story titles are: Where Buck Jones Met Death; How Evening Shade, Arkansas, Derived its Name; Brief Sketch of the Early History of the Graveyard in the Southwest Corner of Ozark County, Missouri; Before Lead Hill was a Town; Five Children who were Saved from the Mountain Meadow Massacre; Where a Few Pioneers Lay Buried, Eloped with His Wife's Brother's Wife.


Turnbo's Tales of the Ozarks: War and Guerrilla Stories
ISBN 0-941765-46-6, 165 pages $18.00,  View the index
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This volume contains 124 stories. Sample titles include: The Last Hours of Mike Yocum; Oh Boys! Shoot Me Again; A Cowardly Murder; Joyful Meeting of Father and Son; Yellville in the Dark Days of the Civil War; How the Man Willoughby Hall was Scalped; A Brave Woman Saves the Life of Her Husband; Saving Her House Through Tears and Prayer; Death of Billy Howard.

Turnbo describes some of his wartime experiences both in service and at home and adds genealogical details about his subjects. A short notation about one veteran gives not only the relevant incident but mentions his father's and mother's names (including her maiden name), his date and place of birth, information about the family's travels and the burial places of his parents. After the war Turnbo interviewed veterans and pioneers and wrote accounts of their adventures. In many cases, women and children told of murders and robberies committed by both sides in the war.


Turnbo's Tales of the Ozarks: Schools, Indians, Hard Times and More Stories
ISBN 0-941765-47-4, 138 pages, $18.00, View the index
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This volume contains 84 more wonderfully detailed stories on a variety of subjects, with marvelous genealogical detail. It especially concerns early settlers of the Ozark region. Tales are about thieves, murders, meteors, narrow escapes and more. School stories often list recollected classmates. Stories about Indians describe the interaction between whites and Indians in interesting accounts by eyewitnesses. Sample titles include: Found Hung in the Woods; Something About Schools in the Early Days; Working for the Education of Their Children; Hardships and Starvation in the Turbulent Days of War; Away Back in the Early Days of Madison County, Arkansas; The Drowning of Sam Nard and Miss Hanna Friend in the Early Days of Marion County, Arkansas.


Turnbo's Tales of the Ozarks: Incidents, Mean Tricks and Fictitious Stories
ISBN 0-941765-49-0, 99 pages, $15.00, View the index
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This volume contains 78 wonderfully detailed stories about the early people, places and events of the Ozark region. Sample titles include: The Strange Preacher and the Remarkable Influence he had on Sinners; A Story of Hidden Gold and Silver in the Vicinity of Bee Creek; A Foul Murder; Early History of the Graveyard at the Mouth of Bratton's Spring Creek; The King and Everett War at Yellville; Old Ned Run Away with the Dead Hog; Twelve Pair of Twins; A Novel Way to Hide Money; Dodging Bullets; Finding Human Skeletons in a Cave - and many more!


Turnbo's Tales of the Ozarks: Bear Stories
ISBN 0-941765-33-4, 148 pages, $18.00, View the index
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This is a marvelous collection of stories about bear hunting adventures, and they are packed with genealogical detail. For example, Turnbo mentions a story about Pew C. Anderson and names all five of his wives and some of his fathers-in-law. And the stories are just too good to be missed. Some sample titles are: Face to Face with Bruin; How Two Women Killed a Bear; Following a Bear with a Hog in its Hug; They Fastened on the Wrong Bear.
 

Turnbo's Tales of the Ozarks: Deer Hunting Stories
ISBN 0-941765-40-7, 101 pages, $15.00, View the index
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This volume contains some interesting stories about deer hunting by the early pioneers of the Ozarks of Arkansas and Missouri. Some sample titles from the 85 stories are: Finding a Mad Stone, A Hunter Watches Three Deer Kill a Big Rattler, A Hunter's Wife Saved Him from a Wounded Buck, Freaks Among Deer, Dangerous Encounters with Wounded Bucks, Hung by the Horns, and more. Turnbo's forthright, plain style gives a lot of information about pioneer life. Hunters as well as family historians will enjoy these stories.
 

Turnbo's Tales of the Ozarks: Wolf Stories
ISBN 0-941765-42-3, 141 pages, $18.00, View the index
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Sample story titles: Mrs. Tersey Fellows and the Wolves; Narrow Escape from a Savage Pack of Wolves; A Hungry Wolf Attempts to Snatch a Pig from a Settler's Arms; Battle Between Wolves and a Negro Man; Wiped Out of Existence by Wolves; Wolves Contest a Setter's Claim; and more - 77 stories in all.
 

Turnbo's Tales of the Ozarks: Panther Stories
ISBN 0-941765-43-1, 142 pages, $18.00, View the index
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Sample story titles: A Panther Threatens a Mail Carrier; A Panther Attempts to Snatch an Infant from its Mother's Arms; A Panther Gets Among Bone's Sheep; Destroyed by a Wild Beast; The First Panther Killed in Marion County; Killing a Panther in the Saltpeter Cave Bluff; A Scene of Terror One Night on Buffalo; A Fight With a Wildcat; A Terrific Encounter Between a Bear and a Panther; and more - 93 stories in all.
 

Turnbo's Tales of the Ozarks: Snakes, Birds and Insect Stories
ISBN 0-941765-44-X, 96 pages, $15.00, View the index
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Sample story titles: Death from the Bite of a Diamond Rattlesnake; How a Black Snake Broke Turkey Eggs; Watching a Rattlesnake Charm a Rabbit; Capturing a Big Gobbler; Remarkable Escape of a Pig from the Talons of an Eagle; Blood Poison from a Copper head Snake; and more - 63 stories in all.
 

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