Thomas B. Turley, U.S. Senator

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Thomas Battle Turley

Death: Died
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Jefferson Turley and Flora Crudup Battle

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About Thomas B. Turley, U.S. Senator

Thomas Battle Turley (April 5, 1845 – July 1, 1910) was a Tennessee attorney who served as a Democratic U.S. senator from 1897 to 1901.

Turley was born in Memphis, Tennessee to Thomas Jefferson and Flora Crudup Battle Turley. His uncle was Judge William B. Turley of the Tennessee Supreme Court. After attending public schools, Turley in 1861 enlisted and served in the Maynard Rifles of Memphis, a Confederate company that joined the 154th Tennessee Infantry Regiment. Turley sustained wounds at the battles of Shiloh (1862) and Atlanta (1864) before being captured in the Battle of Nashville in 1864. He was imprisoned at Camp Chase, Ohio, from December 1864 until March 1865.

Upon the war's conclusion, he attended the University of Virginia School of Law in Charlottesville, Virginia, completing his studies in 1867. In 1870 he was admitted to the Tennessee bar and began practicing in Memphis with L. D. McKissick, a former Confederate colonel. When former Governor Isham G. Harris teamed with them in 1876, the firm became Harris, McKissick & Turley. After McKissick moved to California, Harris and Turley remained partners until 1886, when Turley formed a partnership with Luke Edward Wright, who later served as governor-general of the Philippines and secretary of war. A prominent attorney, upon the death in office of Senator Isham Harris, Turley was appointed by the governor of Tennessee Robert Love Taylor to the vacancy. He was subsequently elected to the balance of the term by the Tennessee General Assembly.

Turley declined to stand for any further service in the Senate once the balance of the term to which Harris had initially been elected had expired, serving in the Senate from July 20, 1897 to March 4, 1901. He returned to his Memphis law practice until shortly before his death in 1910. He was buried at Elmwood Cemetery in Memphis, the final resting place of many West Tennessee political figures.

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Thomas B. Turley, U.S. Senator's Timeline

Age 65