The Turner Story.
J.B. Turner came to Sarasota in 1899 and immediately became involved with the local government. He is said to be remembered as one of Sarasota’s most prominent merchants. Turner took over Harry Higel’s mercantile business and renamed it Highsmith & Turner. In addition, he opened a merchandise store in what was then the Frank Higel Building. Turner’s business grew and transformed into a firm called Highsmith, Turner & Co, and quickly became the largest mercantile in Sarasota.
Turner also had a love for cars and brought some of the first cars to Sarasota in 1910. Not long after cars were more and more used, Turner built Sarasota’s first parking lot. Turner was also elected to the first Town Council and the first meeting was actually held in his home!