Compiled by Sue Jones, from Crawford County Historical Society files of the Hutsonville Herald of 29 December 1905.

The death of Lycurgus Turman, which occurred recently, calls to mind some interesting history of the Turman family, one of the earliest pioneer families in Sullivan County. A family tradition that is told from generation to generation and always kept fresh in the minds of the younger ones, was often related by the late Mr. Turman at leisure moments.

The Indians would often come to the Turman house, and Grandmother Turman would give them bread and meat and other food. One time they came and were very much dissatisfied. This was just before the War of 1812.

Among the Indians was one who was distinguished in some way and wore a silver band on his forehead. He was more impudent than any of the others. He stepped up to Aunt Mary Bryant and took her the hand, raised it over her head and brandished a war club in a threatening manner. The redskins did this twice before Grandpa Turman did anything. At the second time when he raised her hand, Mr. Turman jerked the club from his grasp and struck him over the head with such force that he fell on the floor apparently dead. The silver band was mashed into the Indianís head.

Grandpa then took him up in his arms and pitched him out into the yard. The other Indians ran off to their camps and spread the alarm among their fellows and in a short time a number of them, 40 or 50 in all, came with their faces painted red and hallowing at the top of their voices. The old man then told the boys they would have to fight them.

Besides Grandpa Turman there were four boys, among them being Lycurgusí father, Thomas Turman, a Methodist preacher, and Grandma Turman. They set the table out into the middle of the house and placed all the bullets there were about the place upon it. Each boyís gun was also loaded. They gave the preacher a broad axe and grandmother took the adz. Grandfather stood at the door with a musket that had a bayonet on it and said none of them must shoot until he did.

When the Indians arrived, they came with a rush against the door, but did not get it open. After a lapse of a few minutes they succeeded in pressing the door open about eight inches. Then Grandpa placed the muzzle of the musket against the Indianís breast and gave back a little. About that time the Indian who had been struck began to show signs of life. The others then turned their attention to him and he was soon revived so that he could sit up.

This seemed to put the redskins in a better humor, and they proposed as a compromise that if Grandfather Turman would give them a fat hog and some other provisions they would go away. This Mr. Turman was quite willing to do and the Indians kept their word. Thus was a catastrophe temporarily averted.

A friendly Indian a few years later told Grandpa Turman that on the night before the massacre of the Hutson family nearby, the party that killed them went close to the house in which the Turman family lived with the intention of killing them, but when they had crept cautiously up to the house they listened and heard someone they thought talking to the Good Spirit and went away without disturbing them. That night they crossed the river and killed the Hutson family and burned their house.

The Turman family was one of the first to settle in Sullivan County. The first settler in that territory now known as Turman Township was Benjamin Turman, grandfather of the late Lycurgus Turman and the hero of the foregoing narrative. He was a man of great influence in his time. The first religious meeting in Turman Township was held by Jacob Turman in 1812.