Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Harry M. Turner came to Springfield, Ohio with his family in the early 1920's. After brief employment in several local factories, Mr. Turner began work in a local insurance company, a profession which he greatly enjoyed. In the midst of the Depression, his employer informed him that he could no longer afford to pay him. Whereupon, Mr. Turner replied that, in that case, he could no longer afford to work there. That very day, Mr. Turner applied for a license with the state to sell insurance, and the Turner Insurance Agency was established. More recently, through acquisitions, the agency became Wallace & Turner, Inc. It was with diligence, determination, vision, and pure business sense that this new agency survived difficult times and grew into a thriving company.
Harry Turner was also a founder of Cincinnati Insurance Company, now known as Cincinnati Financial Corporation. He was the first acting president of Cincinnati Financial, now one of the twenty largest property casualty insurers in the U.S., employing over 3,200 people and attaining assets of over 13 billion dollars.
As the success of Mr. Turner’s business grew, so did his wish to help others. He recognized needs in the community, and, as in his work, he gave good service, whether to a customer or to his community. His idea was to create a platform from which he could do, "good things for his community." He wanted to give something back to the "place that had made it possible for him to earn a good living, run a successful business, and raise his family."
With this commitment in mind, Mr. Turner established The Turner Charitable Foundation, Inc., in December of 1987. It was created to provide support to tax- exempt, charitable organizations within the community of Springfield and Clark County. Upon Mr. Turner's death in January, 2000, the former foundation was dissolved as his estate plan laid the path for the present Turner Foundation. In keeping with Mr. Turner's Christian faith and vision for a stronger community, his values have become The Turner Foundation's priorities for the future.