So here seems to be the magic bullet. I did find where Martha Stewart is given credit for taking the recipe to mainstream America in the early 90′s:
“Fried turkey has been all the rage at least for the last decade in New Orleans, and long before that it was a tradition in the bayou and throughout the South. Like many a vainglorious culinary mania before it, the national renown of fried turkeys can be traced directly to Martha Stewart, who plucked them from regional obscurity and put them in her magazine in 1996. “ —It’s Treacherous, But Oh So Tasty; Fried-Turkey Fans Take the Risk, Annie Gowen, Washington Post, November 22, 2001 (p. B1)