Mary Turner Life Sketch

(1795 - Feb. 7, 1884)

Mary Turner was born in 1795 in Baltimore, Maryland. Mary married Solomon Dill on January 31, 1815, in Muskingum County, Ohio. Mary Turner Dill died on February 7, 1884 in Oxford, Ohio.

Mary Turner, also known as Polly Turner, was born in 1795 in Baltimore County, Maryland. Her parents are unknown however, two of her siblings, John Turner and Ann Turner Stoltz, have been identified from Mary's obituary. While her obituary stated that she was “a descendant of John Turner, who was one of the party that came over to this country in the “Mayflower” 263 years ago”, evidence contradicts this claim.

Mary moved to Muskingum County, Ohio, in 1815, near where Zanesville now stands. According to her obituary, “many thrilling events of frontier life she could relate as well as Indian encounters, hardships and struggles to endure in order to make a comfortable home, in the wild forests along the Muskingum.”

Mary married Solomon Dill on January 31, 1815 and gave birth to eleven children. Of the eleven children, only 6 have been identified:

  1. John W Dill
  2. Benjamin Franklin Dill
  3. Solomon Dill
  4. Mary Ann Dill
  5. Lewis Dill
  6. Rebecca Dill

Mary's husband Solomon died in 1848 near Saltillo in Perry County, Ohio. In 1850, the census showed Mary living with William Turner and his wife in Perry County, Ohio. William is likely a relative of Mary's, possibly an Uncle, older brother or half brother.

In 1850 Congress passed an act granting bounty land to officers and soldiers who had “been in the Military Service of the United States.” This act extended to the officer and soldier's heirs. Mary applied for the bounty land, her biggest hurdle was proving her identity. When Mary married Solomon, she had used her nickname “Polly” on the marriage license. After providing several affidavits from friends and family members, Mary was finally granted the bounty land in 1852, 80 acres in Fairfield, Iowa, which she immediately reassigned; she sold it in a private transaction. By another act of Congress in 1855, Mary could apply for additional bounty land which she did and in 1860 was granted another 80 acres of land in Council Bluffs, Iowa, which again, she immediately reassigned.

In 1860, Mary lived in Oxford, Ohio with another couple, the Temples. He was a vocal music teacher and his wife was a milliner. Mary was a seamstress.

In 1871, Mary filed for a widow's pension from Hamilton, Butler County, Ohio, where her son Benjamin lived.

In 1880, Mary lived with her youngest daughter Rebecca Wadleigh, and Rebecca's family in Oxford, Ohio. The following year, her health began to fail, and on “February 2nd she left the house to enjoy the bright sunshine, after a long and severe winter, to walk around in the yard when she fell and dislocated her hip, which caused her death. Her spirit took its flight at 3 o'clock a. m. February 7, 1884 Her mortal remains were laid at rest in the cemetery vault at Oxford until the weather is more favorable for burial.”

Mary Dill died at the residence of her daughter Rebecca in Oxford, Ohio. At 89 years of age, she had outlived her husband and all but 3 of her children.

Genealogical Research and Life Sketch completed: September 2020


"Ohio Marriages, 1800-1958", database, FamilySearch, Polly Turner in entry for Solomon Dill, 1814.

"United States Census, 1850," database with images, Mary Dill in household of William Turner, Harrison Township, Perry, Ohio, United States; citing family , NARA microfilm publication (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

"United States Census, 1860", database with images, FamilySearch, Mary Dill in entry for C W H Temple, 1860.

"United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch, Mary Dill in household of Charles Wadleigh, Oxford, Butler, Ohio, United States; citing enumeration district , sheet , NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), FHL microfilm .

"Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001", database with images, FamilySearch, Mary Dell, 1884.

"United States War of 1812 Index to Pension Application Files, 1812-1910," database with images, Polly Mary Turner in entry for Solomon Dill, ; citing military unit Pvt Capt James Whimp's Co Ohio Mil, NARA microfilm publication M313 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 840,457.

“Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, 1773 - 2007, War of 1812 Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files, ca. 1871 - ca. 1900”. Case File of Solomon Dill - Pvt Capt James Whimps Co Ohio Mil - Ohio. ID# 85204031. National Archives.

Mary Dills (Fairfield, Iowa), Military Warrant no. 18.933; “Land Patent Search,” digital images, General Land Office Records.

Mary Dill (Council Bluffs, Iowa), Military Warrant no. 16.709; “Land Patent Search,” digital images, General Land Office Records.

“Dill, Mrs. Mary”, obituary, Butler County Democrat, Butler Ohio, Feb. 21, 1884, pg 4-5.

genealogy research