Turner-1st Fair

Turner Family

effie turner

Effie Turner Lowther

August 18, 1958

I can proudly say I have spent the best years of my life in Polk County.

My father helped clear the site for the beautiful city of Mena.  My eldest brother, Owen Turner, and my older sisters have gone to parties in the log cabin in Janssen Park long before there was a Mena.  I went to my first school at White Oak.  The school house stood in White Oak Cemetery ground; and the late Martin Imoe was the teacher.  My father took us children to see the first train that ran into Mena.  If I remember right George Petty opened his business in a tent.  But oh, day of days, and the biggest thing that happened in my young life was Mena celebrating her 1st birthday.  The World’s Fair now can’t compare with the 19th of August celebrations [as they used to be] year after year, for children and older folks too.

Fireworks, confetti, homemade lemonade stands and watermelons everywhere; and swings, first horse drawn, then (wonderful of wonders) the steam swings, the horses bobbing up and down, and the spring in the park bubbling up from white sand, so clear you could see a pin in the bottom.

© Shirley Manning 2004