With Albert Stowe’s departure, the commission selected attorney Thomas M. Turner as his replacement.
Turner made it clear very fast he didn’t want to be a badge wearing cattle puncher or a pimp, so his first assignment was to gather up several constables and deputies and ensure all abandoned wells in town were filled in. To see ensure the job was done correctly, the office of the City Engineer was now placed under him.
Filling in holes was enough to keep Turner and his men busy until January 1877 when the trustees decided he was now to become the town dogcatcher. The duties went with a new ordinance that required all dog owners to pay a $4.00 registration fee. For those who didn’t comply, Turner was to arrest them.
MARSHAL THOMAS "T.M." TURNER
1876 - 1878
When the marshal wasn’t registering dogs he was expected to maintain roads and bridges. Unlike A.F. Knowles though, Turner was to have a better pool of workers to pick from - minorities. With the court providing a free labor force of Blacks, Mexicans and Indians for such minor offenses as being within the city limits, the marshal didn’t have a problem staffing his work crews.
In mid 1877 another Smallpox outbreak hit the city and the marshal once again bore the primary responsibility to ensure quarantines.
On July 1, 1878, Turner submitted his resignation and left office. The Police Commission quickly put out an announcement for a replacement but much to no ones surprise, there were no applicants.