Clyde Turner


Clyde “Blondy” Turner

(1893-1967)

Clyde Turner

Clyde Turner and his twin brother were born September 4, 1893 in Tyler, Texas.

The family moved to Waco when the twins were young boys, and their education was received in the Waco public schools. Their father, Brother William Alexander Turner, was also a member of Waco Lodge. Turner played center for Waco High’s football team during the early parts of an era in which Waco’s football team was said to “own Texas football.” Turner is pictured below with the team in the final season of an undefeated streak that lasted several years. The legendary coach Paul Tyson would be hired just two years later.

ClydeTurnerCenterFootball
Clyde Turner is in the middle as center – 1911

After high school, Turner went on to play for Baylor where he was a member of the 1916 Conference Champion team that managed a rare victory against the Texas Longhorns. Decades later, 1960’s Baylor Bears coach John Bridge led the Bears to a decisive win over Texas. Clyde Turner was there to see it and went down to the field where he was noticed with tears in his eyes telling the coach, “I think that was the greatest display of football I have ever seen.”

Poster Celebrating Baylor's Win Over Texas - 1916
Poster Celebrating Baylor’s Win Over Texas – 1916

He attained a level of notoriety as a young man for his success as a boxer in central Texas. Brother Turner saw military service on the Mexican border in 1916.

Clyde and his brother, Claude, were 92’s first twins and they became masons here in 1918. By 1920, Clyde was active with the Scottish Rite, York Rite, and Karem Shrine where he became well-known for his comedic singing performances at the Shrine show of the Cotton Palace Expo.

Turner was employed by General Tire Co.  for many years and his team won awards for their exemplary safety practices. He also worked for the National Carloading Company and was a manager at the Orpheum Theater.

Turner as Orpheum Theater's manager presenting a contest winner - 1955
Turner as Orpheum Theater’s manager presenting a winner for radio contest sponsored by the theater – 1955

During his term as Master, another set of twins were received by the Lodge, the second set in 92 years. Turner’s long-time residence of 708 North 15th Street is large and beautiful and remains today.