The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

County Profiles

By Susan M. Thigpen

Issue: March, 1983

Meet E.M. Turner, Patrick County Administrator. Mr. Turner is a quiet man, who by his own words, likes to keep a “low key profile.” He plays down his own importance and stresses instead, the importance of the office he holds. His low profile disguises the long hours he works and how diligent he is in coordinating federal, state and local services and funds. Many are the nights you can see a light burning in his office window as he gives extra time to the county’s needs.

He sees his first responsibility is to the residents and property owners of Patrick County and to give them first priority. His office, on Highway 58, [Stuart, VA] across from the courthouse is always open to their needs. Mr. Turner’s dedication to the county is due to a love of this area.

Mr. Turner has been the administrator for the past 13 years. Before that he worked for the Farm Bureau. He is a retired Air Force Major, with experience in World War II and Korea. He originally came from Laurel Fork, in Carroll County, from a rural background and is a farmer both at present and at heart.

When asked what is the largest problem facing Patrick County today, his face turns serious and he answers, “Unemployment. It is now 10.5% and we will have to do something to solve it. The best way would be to attract new jobs to the county. Patrick is growing slowly. The 1980 census showed a 2,320 increase since 1970. People are attracted here because of the lifestyle. It’s away from the hurry and big city rat race. People can slow down and enjoy life here.”

The county administrator’s office can be helpful to the non-resident land owner for its wealth of information, alone. You can get county maps there for 25 cents and other area booklets free. You can find out what the recreation department has to offer. Mr. Turner stressed that the recreation department has something to offer all age groups from swimming lessons for tots to Senior Citizens’ Programs. His office is where you go to get building permits or copies of local ordinances. All files are available to citizens with a small fee being charged for copying.

If you have questions you would like to ask or a problem that needs solving concerning Patrick County, drop by the county administrator’s office. The “Major’s” door is always open.


The American Legion of Floyd County and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) of Floyd County are co-sponsoring the erection of a war memorial for the citizens from Floyd County who served their country in the following wars:

American Revolution - 1776-1781
Civil War - 1861-1865
War of 1812 - 1812-1814
Spanish American War - 1898
World War I - 1917-1918
World War II - 1941-1945
Korean War - 1950-1953
Vietnam War - 1964-1973

This monument will be erected on the front lawn of the Floyd County Courthouse in Floyd, Virginia.

The Floyd American Legion and VFW War Memorial Fund Committee is asking for donations. Any persons, firms, corporations, or civic organizations wishing to make a donation should send the donation to:

Floyd County War Memorial Fund
P.O. Box 88
Floyd, Virginia 24091

All donations will be greatly appreciated and are tax deductible. Thank You, Floyd County Memorial Fund Committee.