Turkey is at the intersection of State Highways 86 and 70 in the southwestern corner of Hall County. The community, initially settled sometime in the early 1890s, was originally called Turkey Roost, for the wild turkey roosts once found on nearby Turkey Creek. The town name was changed to Turkey in 1893, when a post office was established there in the dugout of Alfred P. Hall, the first postmaster. By 1906 a school district had been. A town plat was officially recorded in 1907. By 1914 about 250 people were living in Turkey, which included a bank, a hotel, a general store, and two groceries.

A newspaper, the Turkey Gobbler, began publishing in 1919. When Turkey incorporated in 1926, Jess Jenkin became the first mayor, and G. Katzkie and J. B. Miller were elected as aldermen. By 1927 the town had an estimated 600 residents, and that year a Missionary Baptist church was constructed. A fire department was organized in February 1928, after a disastrous fire destroyed most of the business district.

The Fort Worth and Denver Railway built through the town later that year, and on November 20, the townspeople celebrated the arrival of the first locomotive. With the railroad, Turkey became an important shipping point for area farmers and ranchers, and by 1929 the town had two banks and about 1,000 residents. An Assembly of God church was built the next year. The Great Depression slowed growth during the 1930s.

One bank closed in 1933, and the other in 1940; meanwhile, the population declined to about 975 by 1931 and to 930 by 1941. During the late 1940s or early 1950s the local economy revived, and by 1950 Turkey included fifty businesses and 998 residents. In 1971 The Bob Wills Foundation was established to preserve and share the music and life of Bob Wills as a unique and central figure in American history referred to as King of Western Swing. The first Bob Wills Day event was held in 1971. The Bob Wills Day celebration became an annual event held on the last Saturday of April and is still ongoing!