The mind of a man who has lived four-score years, is to him a kingdom in which he can send out the messengers and servants of thought, memory and reflection, and live over the pleasures of the past that have grown intense under the magnifying influence of time. He realizes in a subdued way the pains which at the time of their experience, seemed tragedies, modified and made interesting by the lapse of years. Content has come to gently round off the afternoon with its golden glow of sunset. Our subject, who has ascended the sunlit heights, looks back over a broad expanse of experience in a land where experiences are ever fresh and invigorating.
On the opposite page appears a portrait of Mr. Yantis, who is an old settler and successful farmer and stock-raiser living on his homestead, located on sections 29 and 30, of Pickaway Township, Shelby County. This fine farm is the same which he secured from the Government in a raw, prairie state, comprising two hundred and forty acres. His purchase was made in 1853, and since that time he has bent every effort to making the farm a model of agricultural neatness and productiveness. Our subject came here from Pickaway County, Ohio. He was born September 15, 1811, in Frederick County, Md. His father was Henry Yantis, who is an old settler and successful farmer and stock-raiser living on his homestead, located on sections 29 and 30. Of Pickaway Township, Shelby County. This fine farm is the same which he secured from the Government in a raw, prairie state, comprising two hundred and forty acres. His purchase was made in 1853, and since that time he has bent every effort to making the farm a model of agricultural neatness and productiveness. Our subject came here from Pickaway County, Ohio. He was born September 15, 1811, in Frederick County, Md. His father was Henry Yantis a native of Maryland and his paternal grandfather was John Yantis, who came to America from Germany prior to the Revolutionary War and made settlement in Maryland. As far as our subject knows, his grandfather did not, however, take part in the war, but after the death of his wife, he went to Ohio with his sons, where he remained until his death. His wife was a native of Maryland, who lived and died there at an advanced age.
It was about 1815 when John Yantis, our subject's grandfather, came with his grown sons to Pickaway County, and there he lived for a time in the unbroken wilderness. After a time he went with his son William to Franklin County, Ohio, at which place he died when past ninety years of age. His death, however, was caused by an accident while he was assisting his son in rolling logs. He and his wife were members of the Presbyterian Church and politically he was a Democrat. Henry Yantis, the father of our subject, was probably the eldest of his father's children, of whom there were seven, four sons and three daughters. He attained his growth and manhood in Frederick County, Ohio, and was married to Miss Catherine Yantis, an own cousin, whose father had emigrated from Germany. The parental family comprised five children, namely: Lydia, Solomon, Elizabeth and Catherine, besides the subject of this notice, the latter being the only one now living.
Our subject's family Pickaway County, Ohio, when he was but a lad and they there began life as pioneers in the woods. Henry Yantis and his two sons cleared three farms in that county and there our subject's father died when at the age of eighty-seven years and nine months. His wife had preceded him to a better world some time at the age of seventy-five years. They were members of the Presbyterian Church and were good, true, unaffected pioneer people. Our subject became of age in Pickaway County and there in 1833 married Elizabeth Longenbach, a sister of Isaac Longenbach, a history of whom may be found under the biographical sketch in another part of this volume.
Mrs. Yantis was reared in Pickaway County. The young couple too up the burdens and joys of life together and after the birth of all their children but one, they left Ohio, coming with teams by way of the overland route and living a camp life on the way. They made the journey one of pleasure instead of discomfort and enjoyed the trip probably more thoroughly than do we of today, who are hurried from one end of the country to another in the space of a few hours. They reached their destination without accident, and at once settled on the tract which Mr. Yantis had secured previous to bringing his family hither, having made a journey on horseback and reconnoitered the country well in order to select a good location. They began life in their new home on an entirely unbroken farm, and although there were many privations and inconveniences in living so far from neighbors, they made the conditions as pleasant as possible and the children grew up knowing that they held resources within themselves irrespective of others.
After securing their home, our subject and his wife took pleasure in bringing about them comforts and even luxuries of life. They put up good buildings on their place and as they were the representative people of their township and leading citizens thereof, they were naturally the center of social life. Mrs. Yantis passed to the other world February 16, 1890, after having lived with her husband in a close and tender companionship for fifty-seven years. She was born December 2, 1809. She was a noble woman being of the fiber of which heroines are made, and her character was beautified by a lovely temperament and genial, kindly manners. She was a good wife and mother and a kind, thoughtful neighbor. She was the mother of fifteen children, six of whom, however, died. They were Mary, David, Mary, Sarah, Lydia and Jacob.
The living are: Samuel, George, Henry, Solomon, Elenore, Isaac, Daniel, Barbara and John W. George W. is a farmer in this township, and made mistress of his heart and home, Miss Lucinda Tolly, who died, and he later married Mrs. Mollie Smith. Henry is a merchant in Yantisville, this township, and married Barbara Longenbach. A biographical sketch of Solomon may be found in another part of this volume. Elenore is the wife of Nathan Killam, and now resides in Elk County, Kan., on a farm. Isaac took to wife Emma Pogue, and lives Moultrie County. Daniel is the proprietor of a livery stable at King City, Mo. He took to wife Mary A. Klar. Barbara is the wife of James Murcer and they live on a farm in Texas County, Mo. John, who is a resident of Shelbyville, first married Lucy James, who died, and afterward took to wife her sister Dordelia.
Mr. and Mrs. Yantis have for years been members of the Reformed Presbyterian Church and are highly regarded among the people. He has been the Assessor of the township for three years and has had other local offices. He is an adherent of the Democratic party both by tradition and conviction, for, as will be seen above, his father and grandfather before him were followers of that party. Our subject cast his first Presidential vote for Gen. Jackson. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
George W. Yantis
One of the men who has made many sacrifices for personal interests that have redounded to the benefit and advantage of the place that he has made his home, is he whose name heads this sketch. Although he has accumulated neither the land nor the pecuniary advantages that many of his neighbors and fellow-townsmen have gained, no one has accomplished more for the township than has our subject. Recognizing that educational advantages offer inducements for settlement to the best class of people he has striven to build up a reputation in this direction for the town, and he is a progressive man in every way. Mr. Yantis is a general farmer residing on section 32, of Pickaway Township, where he owns eighty acres of well improved land. Our subject located on his present farm in 1864. It was at the time partially improved and since then he has expended much money and unceasing effort in bringing it up to a high state of cultivation. He has lived in this township since 1855, and in the county since 1853. He was born in Pickaway County, Ohio, April 20, 1836, and is the second son of Daniel Yantis, of whom a biographical sketch may be found in another part of this volume. The original of our sketch was only a young man when his parents came to this State, and he here attained his majority, where his marriage took place. His wife's maiden name was Miss Lucinda Tolley, who was born August 2, 1843, in Flat Branch Township. She was reared and educated in this county and here died at their home May 4, 1882. She was a daughter of James Tolley one of the oldest settlers in this part of the county. Mrs. Yantis was a co-worker with her husband in everything that pertained to the interest and advancement of the community. She was a kindly neighbor, and an intelligent and cultured woman. She was a member of the old-school Baptist Church, and an ardent worker in that body. Five children came to enliven the home life of our subject and his estimable wife. One of these, a daughter whose name was Rose B. is deceased. The living children are Minnie E., John W., James T. and George V. Minnie is the wife of William Seibert, and lives in Assumption, where her husband is engaged in the grocery business. John W. took to wife Rachael Rice and he now lives on a farm in this county and township. James was married to Nora B. Killam and resides in Elk County, Kan. on a farm. George lives with his father and is of great assistance in conducting the business of the farm. Our subject is a Democrat in his political belief. He has no aspirations to high position, and enjoys the consciousness that while the pleasure of his life is in his home, his heart is disposed to work unselfishly for the good of others. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois. . . ." Published by Biographical Publishing Co., 1891, tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Samuel Yantis is a farmer located on section 30, of Pickaway Township. He pays particular attention to the breeding of Polled Angus cattle and is the owner of a fine farm comprising one hundred and sixty acres, all of which is under a high state of cultivation. He has redeemed this land from crude unbroken prairie and has made it prolific to an astonishing degree. He has occupied the farm since 1858, having thereon a fine residence that is not only comfortable and conveniently arranged, but is attractive and elegant. There are also barns that are filled to bursting with the products of the place. Mr. Yantis' farm bears an orchard in which are two hundred and fifty trees which are good fruit bearers. The place is well watered and stocked. Our subject has lived in this township and county since his boyhood. He was born in Pickaway County, Ohio, April 20, 1834, and is the eldest son of Daniel and Elizabeth (Longenbough) Yantis, natives of Ohio, being there reared and married. In 1853 they came as a family to Illinois, traveling thither by the overland route and living a camp life on the way. They finally located in what is now Pickaway Township, this county, and here they began. They were in reduced circumstances but soon secured some new land and began the work of making new homes. The tracts which they secured proved to be the best land in the county and they have ever since made this location their home. The father of the large family of which our subject is the eldest, is still living and enjoying the afternoon of life, serene in the knowledge that he has earned his rest by early toil. Here it was that our subject grew up, lovingly cared for by his parents but early learning the rigors of pioneer life. He remained under the home roof until he became of age, and has since been working on his own account. He procured one hundred and sixty acres of fine land upon which he still lives. Mr. Yantis is one of the substantial men of the township, and a genial, good-natured fellow who is loved and respected by all who know him. Mr. Yantis' marriage occurred in this township and county, November 5, 1857. His wife's maiden name was Miss Amanda E. Miller. She was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, in 1836, being the daughter of C. P. Miller, of whom see the biographical sketch of W. C. Miller. When only four years of age Mrs. Yantis came with her parents to Illinois and settled on Robinson Creek, this county, where she was reared and educated. She is the eldest of the family and is an intelligent and capable woman, being one of the energetic. ambitious representatives of her sex in this township where she has become well known and much liked.
Our subject and his wife are the parents of ten children, three of whom are now deceased: Catherine was the wife of S. B. Cole; she died leaving one child, now also deceased. William and Henrietta died early in life. The living children are: George, Mary A., Lydia J., Ellen, Harvey and David. Of these the first mentioned took to wife Emma Frietz, and is engaged in farming in this county; Mary A. is the wife of George M. Longenbough, a farmer in Colorado owning an extensive ranch; Lydia J. is the wife of Stephen Cole, a farmer in this township; Ellen married Harry Hunter who also owns a farm in this township; the two youngest sons are still under the home roof. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..." Published by Biographical Publishing Co., 1891, tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
Solomon Yantis, is the owner of one hundred and eighty acres of well-improved land located on sections 27 and 28 of Pickaway Township, Shelby County. He is a general farmer and successfully operates his tract of land making it yield as much as any farmer does a larger tract. Mr. Yantis is an intelligent man and a close observer, having early familiarized himself with the ways of nature. He has adopted many ideas from his German and English neighbors, who, in their native lands where the soil is held at a higher premium than here, learned to utilize every foot of soil and make it yield crop after crop in a single season.Our subject has placed many valuable improvements upon his tract, which is well-stocked. If it were the custom in this country, to give a name to the country residences as it is in England and France and some parts of the South, our subject might properly give his the beautiful name of "The Walnuts," for he has upon his place a grove of walnut trees which covers ten acres. He also has a fine peach orchard covering five acres, in which about one thousand trees have recently been set. The place has good and substantial buildings, the residence being comfortable and commodious, and the barns and outbuildings indicate the careful attention the proprietor gives to every detail of his farm work. He purchased the farm in 1862 and then began the work of improvement, it being, at the time of his purchase, unbroken prairie land. He has lived in this township and county since the spring of 1855.
Our subject was born in Pickaway County, Ohio, December 16, 1839. He is the son of Daniel Yantis, who is one of the well-known and influential men of this county and township, although now quite advanced in age, but still living on his old farm, and still retaining his faculties. Our subject is one of fifteen children that grew to manhood and womanhood. Of these nine are yet living, most of them residing in this State. He of whom we write remained with his father until twenty-seven years of age. He reached his majority in this township, and was married in Pickaway County, Ohio, to Miss Mary Runkle. She was born in Pickaway County, September 20, 1842 and comes of a good Pennsylvania Dutch family. Her parents died in Pickaway County, the father at the age of eighty-seven. Mr. and Mrs. Runkle, as were the Yantis family, were members of the German Reformed Church.
Since marriage, the original of our sketch and his wife have lived upon the farm which they at present occupy, and have here raised a family of ten children. One of these died in infancy. The living children who are still at home are: Mary E., Daniel, Henry, Cora M., Noah, Grace, Alma P., James M., Harley and Roy. Our subject is a member of the Baptist Church. Mrs. Yantis holds to the Reformed Church. Mr. Yantis is now serving his second term as Superintendent of the township. Politically he is independent. Socially he is a member of the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association.[Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
David M. Yost
David M. Yost, a well-known citizen residing on section 21, Ridge Township, Shelby County, is a son of George Yost, who was born in Cumberland County, Pa., and Catherine Harbaugh, a native of York County, Pa. The lady survives her husband, who died in Nauvoo, Ill. They have a family of six children, of whom our subject was the fourth, being born in Cumberland County, Pa., December 8, 1840, and being orphaned by the death of his father when about six years old. After the death of his father the mother removed to Franklin County, Ohio, where the boy passed his youth and early manhood with the exception of three years spent in the army, remaining there until he came to Shelby County, Ill.
David M. Yost enlisted in August 1862, in Company B, One Hundred and Thirteenth Ohio Infantry and served for about three years. He was married in Franklin County, Ohio, September 9, 1866, to Miss Mary Motts, who was born in Pennsylvania December 17, 1842. Her parents were natives of Pennsylvania. The father, Daniel, and the mother, Harriet (Warner) Motts, are both deceased. About four years after marriage he came and made his home in Ridge Township, Shelby County, upon rented land. Here he lived for five years and then bought eighty acres, which he afterward disposed of, purchasing one hundred and sixty acres, on section 21, where he has since been a resident.
Eleven interesting children clustered about the hearthstone of Mr. and Mrs. Yost. Their first-born, Ollie, died when only three years old and the survivors are named: Harriet L., Charlotta M., Charles S., Rhoda 1., Mary A., E. Amanda, David O., John W., Chauncy M. and Eunice M. Agricultural pursuits have absorbed the attention and strength of our subject to a great degree, still he has found some time for serving his neighborhood and for three years he has been Highway Commissioner and School Director. He has taken an active part in local political movements and is considered a leader in the Republican ranks. He is deeply interested in every movement looking toward the social and industrial advance of the agricultural community and is identified with the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association. He is Secretary of the Reformed Church, with which both he and his worthy wife are identified. [Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois..."; Chicago Biographical Publishing Co., 1891; tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
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