Featured, Local History, The Centennial History of Hurricane

Centennial History of Hurricane: Julia Thompson Turley

In 1988, The Centennial History of Hurricane, WV was published to commemorate the town’s 100th anniversary. Since the Centennial History is now out of print, the Breeze is reprinting articles from the book as space allows. This week’s selection will be the 236th installment of the Centennial History.


Submitted by Ruth T. (Mrs. Norman S.) Edwards

One woman who spent her entire life in the Hurricane area was Julia Thompson Turley. She taught school during the 1920’s and was known as Miss Julie. She was an early day “Women’s Lib” type as far as being able to support herself was concerned. She cared for her son Billy, a nephew, and her father, Jim Thompson, as long as he lived. Every week day she could be seen walking to visit people in their homes to take orders for or deliver Watkins Products. Vanilla Extract was a great sales item. She carried these products in a basket or box and walked several miles through Hurricane or Culloden, resting a little as she stopped to talk to people. She was usually dressed in dark clothing, a squashed type of hat, and carried an umbrella for sun or rain.

Julia was named for her Grandmother Julianne “Kitty” Morris Thompson, who was a twin of Cassandra “Cassie” Morris Dudding. The Morris twins were beauties in their day and lived through the Civil War with their large families in the Hurricane vicinity. Cassandra was the wife of John Booker Dudding and mother of Dr. George W. Dudding for whom Dudding Avenue is named. Julianne was the wife of Robert N. B. Thompson. Two of their sons were well known in West Virginia. They were Judge William T. Thompson of the Cabell County Court and Dr. John Morris Thompson of Kanawha County.

Julia was a devout Christian, never missing Sunday services at the Baptist Church as long as she could walk the two miles to get there and two miles back home. Before Route 60 was paved, she went by horse and buggy, but with pavement, she preferred walking as horses were shy of automobiles. She appeared to love walking the very brisk type of walk seen today.


A digital copy of the Centennial History can be obtained from the Hurricane City Hall for a small donation. For more information, call the City of Hurricane at (304) 562-5896.

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