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Turner, Benjamin Weems (1889–1972)

William D. Steers Biography

Benjamin Weems Turner, urologist, son of Frank and Annie (Krakuse) Turner, was born in March 1889 in Bonney, Texas. After obtaining a bachelor's degree at Sam Houston State University, he studied medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, from which he graduated in 1911. He interned at the Kansas City General Hospital and Medical Center in 1911–12 and did his residency in urological surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore under the guidance of Hugh Hampton Young. He established his practice in urology in Houston in 1913. In 1923 in Houston Turner established the Turner Urological Institute, a twenty-two-bed hospital and clinic architecturally similar to the Brady Urological Institute at Johns Hopkins. Turner's institute was unique in the Southwest for its focus on patients with urological ailments. He was considered by many urologists an authority on the surgical repair of male urethral strictures, a frustrating and difficult urological problem. When the institute closed in 1953, Turner continued to practice in the Texas Medical Center until he retired. At various times he consulted in urology at Hermann, Memorial, Baptist, and Texas Children's hospitals in Houston, among others. Turner was chief of urology at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute. His humanitarian nature was exemplified by his care of the indigent of Harris County. Turner was a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and president of the Houston Surgical Society and the South Central Section of the American Urological Association, as well as a charter member of the American Board of Urology. In 1960 he was elected an honorary member of the Texas Medical Association in recognition of his outstanding contributions to medicine in Texas. Turner was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Houston. He died in Angleton, Texas, on July 5, 1972, and was survived by his wife, Margaret (Carnes), and three children.

Texas Medicine, August 1972.


  • Health and Medicine
  • Physicians and Surgeons
  • Urologists

Time Periods:

  • Progressive Era
  • Texas in the 1920s
  • Great Depression
  • Texas Post World War II


  • Houston

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

William D. Steers, “Turner, Benjamin Weems,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 25, 2020,

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