Tony L. Turnbow has practiced law in Franklin for almost 40 years. Since the time he grew up exploring his ancestors’ farm on the old Natchez Trace and listening to the stories they passed down, he has fed his love of history with historical research into the primary documents—original journals, letters, and official records.
He also worked to preserve history as president of the Natchez Trace Parkway Association and on the Tennessee War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission and regional boards. He currently serves as a Trustee on the board of the Lewis and Clark Trust, Inc. Through his volunteer work, he developed relationships to explore the cultures of Southeastern native tribes, which he says is critical to understanding the overall history of the U.S. South.
After publishing works in scholarly historical journals, in 2018, he released his first nonfiction, Hardened to Hickory: The Missing Chapter in Andrew Jackson’s Life, from several unpublished documents he tracked down over seven years. He has since released a young adult historical fiction trilogy, Fighting Devil’s Backbone, including The Shadow of E. Z.’s Fear, E. Z. and the Chikasha Warrior, and E. Z. in the Den of Thieves. The trilogy allows both young and old readers to explore the world of the old Natchez Trace. He is currently writing a nonfiction account of the mysterious death of famed explorer Meriwether Lewis at an inn about fifty miles south of Franklin.
Tony frequently speaks to groups, and he enjoys telling the stories of the Natchez Trace.