From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Turner, Frank M. and Frosty [and Wyatt Burghardt Turner]

Frank Turner (1887-1941) was the son of Wyatt and Emma Mitchell Turner. He and his wife Frosty [or Frostie] Ann Duncan Turner (b. 1891) were from Richmond, KY. They lived in Jamaica, Queens, New York; according to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census the family lived on Saratoga Avenue, where Frank was recognized in the neighborhood as the father of tennis. The couple had six sons. Frank and Frosty, both 1909 graduates of Wilberforce [now Wilberforce University], were married the summer after they graduated.

Frank would become the chief accountant for the NAACP. He had kept the books since the organization opened its first office in the Evening Post building in 1910. He came to the NAACP with W. E. B. DuBois, who Frank served as secretary in Atlanta, GA, his first job after graduating from college. At the NAACP Office, Frank was also the circulation manager of the Crisis. He had helped establish the NAACP Branch in Jamaica, New York in 1927, where he served as secretary until his death in 1941.

Wyatt Burghardt Turner (1916-2009) was one of Frank and Frosty Turner's sons. He was named after his grandfather, and his middle name was in honor of W. E. B. DuBois. He was born in New York and graduated from high school in Kentucky, where he lived with his grandmother. 

Wyatt would become founder and president of the Brookhaven NAACP and serve as chairman of the Suffolk County Human Rights Commission. He had also been a history professor at Stony Brook University. Prior to becoming a professor, he was the first African American teacher at Bay Shore in New York. He was a graduate of Kentucky State University and Columbia University, and he served in the U.S. Army during World War II.

For more see "Frank M. Turner," The Crisis, vol. 48, issue 12 (December 1941), pp. 394 & 398; "History of the NAACP" at the website; H. L. Moon, "History of the Crisis," The Crisis, November 1970; and K. Schuster, "Wyatt Turner dies; pioneer helped found Brookhaven chapter, active in Obama's presidential campaign," Newsday, 1/23/2009, News section, p. A8.

Kentucky County & Region

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Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Crisis (periodical)
NKAA Source: Newsday (newspaper)

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry: Dill, Augustus Granville

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Turner, Frank M. and Frosty [and Wyatt Burghardt Turner],” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed March 4, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-07-03 17:40:50