RNT Family History

Turner, John Franklin

Turner, John Franklin

Male 1856 - 1880  (24 years)

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  • Name Turner, John Franklin 
    Born 09 Jan 1856  Provo, Utah, Utah Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Cause of Death Murdered  [1, 2, 3
    Buried Jul 1880  Provo City Cemetery, Provo, Utah, Utah Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Died 03 Jul 1880  Park City, Summit, Utah Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I2256  Taylor
    Last Modified 30 Aug 2005 

    Father Turner, John Wesley,   b. 21 Nov 1832, Avon, Livingston, New York Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Jan 1895, Provo, Utah, Utah Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 62 years) 
    Relationship Birth 
    Mother Fausett, Sarah Louisa,   b. 16 Feb 1835, Marcep, , Illinois Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Dec 1915, Provo, Utah, Utah Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 80 years) 
    Relationship Birth 
    Married 01 Dec 1853  Salem, Utah, Utah Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F391  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Turner, Johnny
    Turner, Johnny

    Turner,  John Franklin
    Turner, John Franklin
    Grave Location: Block 4 Lot 4

    John Franklin Turner, aka Johnny Turner
    John Franklin Turner, aka Johnny Turner
    Was murdered by Fred Hoyt, aka Fred Welcome Park City, Summit County, Utah on 3rd July, 1880 as revenge for having served jail time under Johnny's father, Sheriff John W. Turner in Provo.
    Jack McCormick alias Jack 'Emerson 
Ogden Standard Examiner 07 Aug 1880
    Jack McCormick alias Jack "Emerson Ogden Standard Examiner 07 Aug 1880
    He was arrested for the murder of Johnny Turner, served 5 years and was later given clemency. He was arrested wearing most of Johnny Turner's clothes.
    15 Oct 1881 The Daily Enquirer
    15 Oct 1881 The Daily Enquirer
    Brief news article about an accomplice to the murder of Johnny Turner.
    Odgen Standard Examiner, 09 Aug. 1887, p. 1
    Odgen Standard Examiner, 09 Aug. 1887, p. 1
    The execution of Fred Hopt, the murderer of Johnny Turner, gets closer.
    The execution by firing squad of Fred Hopt.
The Daily Enquirer,12 Aug 1887
    The execution by firing squad of Fred Hopt. The Daily Enquirer,12 Aug 1887
    Hopt was convicted 4 times for the murder of John "Johnny" Franklin Turner.

  • Notes  Died:
    • There are several news article pertaining to Johnny Turner's murder and I will place the bulk of them in the history section.

  • Sources 
    1. [S164] Salt Lake Tribune, (Utah Digital Newspapers) (Reliability: 3), 29 Jul 1880.
      Large Funeral,

      LDS Tribune- One of the largest processions ever formed in this city, attended the funeral of the late lamented Johnny Turner. The large meeting house was full to overflowing, and hundreds were standing on the outside. Elder W. Woodruff preached a very good sermon. I don't think there was one in the house that did not shed tears. There were 125 vehichles in the procession.

      Provo, July 23,1880

    2. [S164] Salt Lake Tribune, (Utah Digital Newspapers), 4 (Reliability: 3), 27 Jul 1880.
      The Murderer of John Turner Returned to Zion

      He Confesses to Have Killed For Plunder
      Full Details of the Terrible Crime.

      Sunday evening’s train brought to this city the perpetrator of an cruel and unprovoked a murder as was ever committed in this Territory. The particulars, which are now at hand prove that the murder of Johnny Turner at Park City on the night of July 3rd was deliberate, causeless and terrible in the extreme.
      Johnny Turner, the victim of the horrible deed was the son of Sheriff Turner, of Provo. He was a young man of twenty-three years of age and had a life of promise before him. Manly in the deportment, honest to all, courageous and affectionate, willing to oblige to such an extent that his unselfishness really was the cause of his death, he attracted all and was possessed of legions of friends.
      The other day he had a conversation with his father relative to his future. He had arrived at that age when the independence of youthful blood began to assert itself and he longed to earn his own bread by the sweat of his brow. He was a father’s pride, a mothers’ source of hope and when he left the Southern country it was with the blessing of them both and the good wishes of his many friends. He had no definite idea when he broke away from the ties of the family circle where his lot should be cast. He purposed going to Park City in the hopes of finding labor and with the teams of horses and the strong wagon which his father gave him, he started for the mining camp.
      Arriving at the flourishing camp, Johnny was doomed to disappointment. He searched in vain for labor, but there was none. He strolled around in the camp and made many acquaintances. He had left his team seven or eight hundred yards east of the eastern limits of the town and there he pitched his camp. Though disappointed he was not dejected. Full of hope and buoyant spirits, he resolved to push to the north and lo the mountains of Montana and occupation for his willing hands and strong horses. One day shortly before his intention had been formed he was with one of Bob Johnson’s men. He was a teamster, strong and rugged and accustomed to the hardship of life. He had been engaged at the Fairslow mine, and was known as


      the murderer of the confiding boy. When Johnny had made up his mind to hasten to Montana, he spoke to Welcome. He had, it would appear, formed a strong attachment for the man who afterwards buried the axe into the confiding youth’s brain. To him he spoke of his project and gave him a warm invitation to accompany him back was his generosity that he offered to transport Welcome to Montana for nothing. His expenses should be only his prorate share of meals, etc. Welcome accepted the offer and together the young men went out to the cap and matured there plans. It was agreed between them that on the fourth or fifth of July they should start for the valleys of the north. Johnny had arrived at the Park on the 1st.

      When the sun sank behind the western hills on the night of the 3rd it escaped a sight which was as treacherous and bloody as the hand of man is capable of committing. On that night both men were in the tent. Wholly unsuspicious of his companion, young Turner was thinking only of the morrow when they should start for their Northern home. He sat down on dry blankets, having previously disrobed himself of his outer clothing. Welcome stood behind him. Johnny bended over to remove his stockings, when the act which will send his companion to the gallows was committing. Engaged in disrobing himself he was ushered into eternity in a moment and without pain. The villain behind had seen his opportunity. While the warm hearted youth was hopefully talking of the future, Welcome was thinking of death. While the prospects to the north had a resonate hue to the boy, in Welcome’s eye they had the color of blood. While the invitation was extended by the murdered boy in the hope that a friendly act had been done, it was accepted that the lad might be laid low in death, without warning and far removing from any one who would place the cup of cooling water in his parched lips and close his eyes when the vital spark had fled. Such were the feelings and thoughts which possessed each and while bended over the traitor to friendship stooped over his victim and with an
      ?ED AXE
      brought it down heavily upon the skull of his unsuspecting victim. There was no scream, no groans. He sank back unconscious. And then the perpetrator of the dastardly act jumped upon his victim, an with the feelings of a fiend, clutched the insensible lad by the throat and choked him until well assured that life was extinct.
      When the cold visitation of Death had come, the body of the murdered boy was thrown into the wagon to share which the murderer had been ?. He was placed in lengthwise and a wagon cover thrown over him
      The act being consummated, Welcome returned to Park City and there engaged in a scene of drunkenness and madness. He remained there over the Fourth, participating in the celebration of the Nation’s independence, and did not return in the wagon until the evening of the Fifth. He had thus been gone two days and three nights, during which time the corpse had been in the wagon exposed to the rays of the excessively hot sun.
      Taking possession of the teams and wagon with his victim as his cargo, the fiend started north. He drank all the way to drown any feelings that might give him remorse. From Deer Lodge valley, where the murder was committed, he hastened on and passed through Wanship and Coalville where he drank excessively at the Co-op, stores. Passing through these places with the terrible evidence of his act in the wagon, he seemed to be possessed of a devil, and fearless of detection. When he arrived in
      He determined to hide the corpse, which by this time was in a stage of advanced decay. As he went along through the beauteous country, where nature is her ? had smiled benignly and made a paradise where, only happiness and peace should rule, Welcome saw a knoll and behind this he determined to hide the body. Throwing it out of the wagon as he would throw a piece of wood, he got out himself, dragged the lifeless clay to the burial place and put him in position. To render detection yet more impossible he threw some stones and turf over the body, but did not conceal it all. Out of the rubbish the head with the terrible wound protruded. Then getting into the wagon he hastened on towards Evanston, passing through Piedmont en route, where we leave him for the present.

      Welcome, in his drunken state, had blundered. Not only did his barbarous burial of his victim prove his stupidity, but he was pushing ahead with the murdered boy’s horses and wagons. As already noticed to The Tribune, the body was discovered accidentally by a party in the canyon and this led to other developments. The man with the horses had been seen and the boy’s parents had had no word from him. When the announcement of the finding of the corpse was made, it took but little time to determine who the victim was. It became soon ? ? that it was the son of Sheriff Turner. Instantly the search for the murderer commenced and on it the father and Sheriff Allison, of Summit County were the leaders. The horses and wagon were missing. ? ? ? at Wanship Coalville and ? places. Described as ? and the man who had the property in charge was a young man of about twenty-six, light hair, light gray eyes, etc. On the detective hurried. The murderer had been at Evanston and moved on to the West with one team. The Union Pacific train was boarded and Green River reached. Had the man or horses arrived before? An affirmative answer was given and more than this, here were found two horses which had been sold by the murderer, the others being sold at Evanston. He had been drunk most of the time and had been gambling. Having obtained a good price for the stolen property the fiend went on to the East and after him hastened the officers. The next day brought them to
      Where they left the train and commenced to look around for their man. By this time they had obtained a good description of the murderer and long before the men reached Cheyenne they had come to the conclusion that Welcome was the perpetrator of the act. They reached Cheyenne on the afternoon of Friday and the hunt commenced. Right in the heart of the city they spotted the man. Both the father of the murdered lad and Sheriff Allison covered him with their revolvers and at the command to hold up his hand he obeyed. He was handcuffed and taken off to jail. He broke down on his way and exhibited much fright. Before he had gone a block he confessed and told the story as given above with the exception of declaring that he committed the act with a board instead of an axe. There is little doubt, however, but the deed was done with the former instrument. On Saturday the
      Commenced. At the Cheyenne depot a large crowd was present, but no demonstrations were made. The prisoner was put on the long overland train and westward the three men came, the murderer, the father whom he had crushed, and Sheriff Allison. Welcome’s deportment showed his nervousness. He was manacled, of course, all the way ? when calling. Two seats behind him, with a gun, sat Sheriff Turner. His eye was scarcely off his boy’s murderer all the trip, but not once did he catch the eyes of Welcome. As the murderer demonstrated he was a coward, and with the instincts of one his eyes were lowered all the way, and not once did he look at the man who was suffering most. By his side, or close at hand, sat Sheriff Allison, with a gun handy, and thus the murderer was rushed to the scene of his fearful tragedy.
      Night came and went, but there were sleepless eyes in the car in which the murderer was seated. On the train rolled until at noon the cars came to a standstill at Evanston. Here a large crowd was gathered and they pushed up to the car. The doors were locked and the detectives seized their guns ready to beat back the furious mob which lined the car on all sides ? ? to catch a glimpse of the fiend.
      Welcome was nervous. Like a coward he feared he was gone and quaked with terror. The handcuffs were removed after the train drew away from the depot, and he ate. But his thoughts were not on the ?. He let his head and hands drop down and cast a hasty glance at the window as though contemplating a leap through it from off the flying train. But Argus eyes were upon him and he dismissed the thought.
      AT ECHO
      When the train drew up to the little station of Echo, the worst demonstration of the trip was made. The murder had been committed near the village and from all around strong men collected to avenge the dastardly act. There was another thing which set them wild. From the beautiful scenes of nature the corpse of Johnny Turner had been taken. The stones had been rolled away and the turf removed. All that was mortal of the young man, who a few days before was so full of ambition and activity, was placed in a coffin. By a kind of ? justice the same train which carried the murderer to justice brought also his victim to be laid away until the grave shall give up its dead. The father of the boy—imaging his feelings! He was on that train in two capacities: one as an official, the other as a parent. As he met his old friends and they spoke their first sympathizing word, the father wept like a child, and yet he was sworn to keep the mob away from the wretch who laid his boy in Death’s embrace. The crowd was furious, but nothing was done. As at Evanston they crowded around the car and one
      succeeded in so far as to poke his head through the window and ? in the face of the frightened murderer, “ May the devil take you ribs to make a frying pan of to roast yer G_d d_d carcase upon, G-d d-d yer�.
      At Ogden another large crowd had collected who eagerly gazed at Welcome. The Utah Central Train was boarded and the train after a time commenced to move for this city. Welcome perhaps was more frightened as he came into Zion than at any other point in the route. The precious demonstrations had made him believe that here were to be congregated great crowds from Park City and Zion, and it was with a feeling of relief that he found he was mistaken.
      The party thus arrived at the Union depot on Sunday evening. The prisoner was taken to the penitentiary. Yesterday morning he was
      For a preliminary hearing. Judge Hong was assigned as his counsel and after a brief consultation with his attorney, Welcome waited a preliminary examination and was committed in charge of Geo. Butler until the meeting of the Grand Jury.
      When he came to and left the room of the Commissioner he was followed by a crowd of twenty or thirty men, but they were not demonstrative.
      Of Fred Hopt, as his right name is, is evidently about twenty six years of age. He has a high forehead, light hair, light gray eyes, massive jaws and a wicked mug generally. He is well built and will weigh about 175 pounds. He was dressed yesterday in blue clothes, which he had bought from the proceeds of the sale of the horses. He talked intelligently yesterday and seemed not to be greatly disturbed by his arrest and its cause. He is said to be a dullard, and after his confession made the remark that he was reconciled to death now and was willing to be place in the hands of a mob. He explained that the cause of his
      from Hoyt to Welcome was on account of a “scrape he got into last summer� and a wish that his parents should not hear of it. His “scrape� was horse stealing, but in some way the arrest was compromised.
      The arrest and its attendant incidents furnished
      Yesterday. On corners there were knots of individuals discussing the murder and asking for details. All seemed to agree that the time had at length arrived when this Territory shall see once more justice avenged and the scriptural promise, “He that sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed,� fulfilled.

      There are a few words that I could not decipher that are replaced with question marks.


    3. [S165] The Daily Enquirer, (Utah Digital Newspapers), 3 (Reliability: 3), 16 Feb 1881.
      Hopt alias Welcome will be tried to-day for the murder of Johnny Turner.
      Untitled article.

    4. [S15] Cemeteries and Burial Databases, (State of Utah) (Reliability: 3).
      Name: Turner, John Franklin
      Gender: M
      Birth Date: 9 June 1856
      Birth Place: Provo, Utah
      Death Date: 3 July 1880
      Death Place: Park Summitt, Utah
      Burial Date: 0 July 1880
      Cemetery: Provo City Cemetery
      Source: Sexton
      Grave Location: Block 4 Lot 4
      Relatives: Father John Wesley & Sarah L. Fausett Turner