James Martin Yeager.

An brief history of the Yeager, Buffington, Creighton, Jacobs, Lemon, Hoffman and Woodside families, and their collateral kindred of Pennsylvania online

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Online LibraryJames Martin YeagerAn brief history of the Yeager, Buffington, Creighton, Jacobs, Lemon, Hoffman and Woodside families, and their collateral kindred of Pennsylvania → online text (page 3 of 14)
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Choraeteristies of his life by Rev. A. R. Home.
Allentown, Pa.

The life of Father Yeager, whose history extends over
more than four score vears, was characterized by constant
and great laboriousness. Accustomed in his early years to
hard manual labor, he was not easily discouraged when in
his ministry difficulties had to be encountered. Fndowed
with a strong constitution, which was well preserved by the
observance of hygienic laws, even to old age, he endured ex-
posure and performed physical and mental work almost with-
out a parallel in the history of ( rod's ministers. His tall, erect,
manlv form attracted attention wherever he went. Strangers
stopped, as they passed him on the street, to admire his
splendid physique. lie never missed an appointment
by sickness, nor from any other cause. He was an al-
most complete stranger to the ordinary ailments of human-

Mis preparations for the pulpit wen' always carefully


and conscientiously made, and, hence, his audiences always
listened to him with close attention. As a rule, which he
had obtained from his father, the Rev. John Conrad Yeager,

The Rev. Joshua Yeager (1802-

of Allentown, Pa.

he selected his text and began his preparations for Sunday
on the Monday preceding. Hence, he was never found un-
prepared, and always had something interesting for his hear-


ers. His discourses were brief and pointed, prepared with
special reference to the conviction and conversion of sinners.

As he was noted for his neatness in dress and the care-
ful arrangement of his toilet, even in its minutest detail,
so his sermons were prepared with scrupulous exactness ;
his skeletons, which he always had before him in the pulpit,
evinced a systematic arrangement such as is seldom found
in the discourses of the most finished pulpit orator. His ser-
mons were characterized by special earnestness and deep
emotion. This was not studied, but heartfelt. Father Yea-
ger in tears, in the pulpit and before his catechetical classes,
was not an unusual sight. These were no tears of sympathy
at funerals, but the outpouring of his soul for the love of

This is the more remarkable when we remember that
Father Yeager entered the ministry in a day when the pulpit
was particularly noted for its coldness, when head religion,
and not heart religion, held sway in many of our churches in
America and Germany. He could aver with all his heart :
"I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the
Father from eternity, and also true man born of the Virgin
Mary, is my Lord." In Him he believed and Him he preach-
ed, of Him he spoke to the sick and dying, and to Him he
pointed the sinner seeking salvation. He firmly believed and
preached the inspired word in his ministry of almost three
score years, and thousands of souls were given him as the
seal of such a ministry.

( )n one occasion, those who were not so favorably dis-
posed towards him laid hold of an inadvertent expression
with the design to injure him. In one of his sermons he
exclaimed, in die fervor of his soul, closing the Bible: "Do
you believe all that is contained in this book*-' 1 don't be-


lieve it." The apparent ambiguity of the expression was
seized upon and Father Yeager decried as a rationalist. But
this, as all such efforts necessarily must, reverted to the in-
jury not of Father Yeager, but of those who had watched
the opportunity to injure him. It gave him an opportunity
to preach an explanatory sermon and to state in emphatic
language, such as he was capable of employing, that he had
said: "Dc you believe all that is contained in the Bible? I
do not believe that you do, or else your actions would be
vastly different." The sermon had a telling effect, and made
an impression which is not forgotten to this day.

On another occasion, while pastor of St. Paul's, at Al-
lentown, he had to encounter an element of free-thinkers,
which had developed there and made attacks not only on his
pulpit teaching, but even upon his character. It happened,
while he was conducting his services one Sunday, that two
snakes were observed by those in the gallery, gamboling and
playing upon the sounding board of the pulpit, disappearing
in a very short time. This occasion, while foreboding terror
to the superstitious, was seized on by the "New Light" party
and published, not only in the county papers, but even in
Day's Historical Collections of Pennsylvania, 1843, and th is
scattered broadcast, designedly to his detriment. The ad-
verse sentiment which they tried to create, however, like the
serpent on the sounding board, recoiled upon his enemies,
when, upon examination, it was found that the snakes had
made their way through a cracked wall, and were not of the
old serpent of Paradise, and that that serpent was to be look-
ed for rather in the angels of light, who, in disguise, were
promulgating the false doctrines which Father Yeager was
so strenuously and successfully combating.

Many similar incidents could be related here, which oc-


curred in a life of such length and prominence, but they
would ah combine to illustrate how this man of God, by his
intrepidity, sustained by sovereign grace in which he was so
firm a believer, and which he proclaimed so many, many
years, was fitted for the special work of his day and genera-
tion. A circumstance may yet he mentioned in this connec-
tion which illustrates in Father Yeager's life that we, as co-
workers with Christ, having a steady purpose and a high
resolve, may make our life and labors a success.

He, though he always enjoyed good health, owing, by
the help of-God, to his temperate manner of living and the
care of his body, had, nevertheless, in his youth contracted,
by severe study, spells of indigestion, from which he suffer-
ed occasionally in early life. Applying to half a dozen phy-
sicians without being relieved, he at last came to a distin-
guished doctor, and applied to him for medicine. The reply
was: "I will give you none. But everv evening, when you
have finished your studies, take a wood-saw and saw hick-
ory wood into stove-lengths for half an hour — take a similar
dose in the morning." This advice was followed, and the
relief came. Father Yeager ever afterwards recommended
this medicine. The moral is that much of the indisposition
from and aversion to hard work, in the student's and min-
ister's life of today, could he cured thus, instead of reverting
to questionable diversions, by which mind, body and soul are
enervated and unfitted for the arduous task of life.

But the strong man, the giant frame, the acute intellect,
had to succumb at last. Joshua Yeager had looked forward
from the day that he laid down the active ministry, Trinitv
Sunday. [885, for the time of his departure. II'' had wish-
ed to die in the harness, hut it pleased the Lord to give him
a brief rest before his course on earth was finished. Like St.


John, he was permitted yet, for several years, to appear in
the midst of his people, whom he had served so long and
loved so well, saying unto them: "Little children, love one
another," and lifting his hands in benediction over them. On
Memorial Day, 1888, as he was seated at his parlor window,
where he loved to look out on the busy scenes of life, he was
stricken with apoplexy and became helpless, though his in-
tellect remained active and did not entirely forsake him till
quite near his end. On the 1st of August, however, it pleased
Almighty God, in His wise and gracious providence, to call
this aged servant to his rest, he having attained the age of 85
years, 10 months and 8 days. On the following Thursday
funeral services were held at the late residence of the de-
ceased, conducted by Rev. Dr. S. A. Repass, of St. John's
English Evangelical Lutheran Church of Allentown. and in
St. Michael's Lutheran Church, where Rev. B. W. Schmauk,
a former pastor and special friend, and Rev. Dr. G. F. Spie-
ker, the present pastor, delivered addresses, a very large con-
course of people having assembled. Rev. Dr. A. R. Home,
his successor in the charge which he had served, read the
above biographical sketch of the deceased, and also perform-
ed the burial service at Fairview Cemetery, all of which was
done in accordance with his desire expressed vears before.
A son, Robert J. Yeager, of Allentown, and a daughter.
Mrs. J. B. Reeme, of Chicago, survive. His wife, who was
Maria, a daughter of Jacob and Maria Grimm, of Friedens-
ville, died 1 1 years earlier than he. His daughter Amanda,
first wife of J. B. Reeme, his son. Dr. Theodore C. Yeager,
and an unmarried daughter. Sarah Y\\, also preceded him to
the eternal world. Six grandchildren also survive, namely,
Minnie W. and Norton, children of Dr. Theodore C. Yea-
ger ; Albert and Andrew, sons of Robert J. Yeager ; and Effie
B. and Annetta, daughter of J. B. Reeme, Esq.


Well done, good and faithful servant ; enter thou into
thy reward, while we remember those who have spoken unto
us the Word of Life.

Joshua Yeager's large field of labor extended over an
immense territory, and at least a dozen congregations have
sprung, in part or entirely, from his original pastorate, such
as Apple's Church, Hellertown, South Bethlehem, Beth-
lehem, West Bethlehem, Salisbury, Altona, Rittersville,
Catasauqua, Howertown, Bath, St. Paul's, St. Michael's. St
John's and St. Peter's, Allentown, etc.

The following is a synopsis of his official acts :
Entered in ministry, 1827.

Children baptized 6.859

Confirmed 3.875

Communed 50,000

Buried 2 -7°3

Married 2,000

Susie Yeager, a Schoolmate of Lincoln in Kentucky

The original Yeager settler in Tennessee was Daniel
Yeager and the original Yeager settler in Kentucky was
Cornelius Yeager. Both went from Pennsylvania about the
time the Lincolns and the Boones left Berks county — prior
to the Revolution.

Cornelius settled in Washington county, Kentucky, and
his grandson, Joseph Yeager, married Susan Rinev, daugh-
ter of /achariah Riney, who was Abraham Lincoln's first
school teacher.

Miss Helen Xicolay, whose father, John ( i. Xicolay.
and John Hay, the late Secretary of State, wrote the one
great "Life of Lincoln," wrote what is considered by author-


ities, the best "Boys' Life of Lincoln." Miss Nicolay says
that when Lincoln was four years of age his parents moved
to a "much bigger and better farm on Knob Creek." "It
was," she says, "while living on this farm that Abraham and
his sister, Sarah, first began going to school. Their earliest
teacher was Zachariah Riney, who taught near the Lincoln

In this connection the following letter is interesting and
instructive, for Miss Nicolay truly says "that of the early
part of Lincoln's childhood almost nothing is known."

In response to an inquiry sent by the United States
Marshal, James M. Yeager, whether she was a schoolmate
of Lincoln's, Mrs. Yeager wrote as follows :

Dear Sir : I was very glad to hear from you. Many
thanks. Yes, I went to school with Abraham Lincoln. I re-
member Abe Lincoln well when he was a little bit of a fel-
low. It was in what is now LaRue county, but was then a
part of Hardin county, that Abe Lincoln and I went to the
same school. My father, Zachariah Riney, was the teacher.
I can see the old school house now. It was built of rough
logs as all school houses were in those days. The logs were
so arranged at the corners of the building that the ends
stuck out and formed little recesses in which the children
played at hide and seek. These were favorite hiding places
for little Abe. The school house had no windows, but one
log removed the whole length of the building served for
light and the floor was of dirt. The benches consisted of
logs, split in the middle and placed alongside the walls.
There was just one bench made of a plank. This was looked
upon with envy, and the children used to fight daily for the
privilege of sitting upon it. The school house was situated
on Knob Creek, where it joins Rolling Ford. I remember




that Abe's sister brought him to school. He was then six-
years old, and I was ten. They walked a distance of several
miles He was most diligent at his studies. The one thing
that T remember best about was his unfailing good humor.
He was an extra good boy. He never received a whipping.
He was very gentle in his manners. I remember seeing him
bending down saplings for horses. This was his favorite
amusement at play time. The family moved to Illinois and
I never saw them again. I am now nearly ninety-three years
of age and do not feel as I did when I went to school and
played with little Abe Lincoln.

Hope to hear from you again.

Yours truly,

Susie Yeager.

Rinevville, Ky., Sept. 15, 1897.

Another Yeager settler in Kentucky at an earlv date
was Nicholas, who emigrated from Germany to Pennsylva-
nia in 1713.

Nicholas, of Kentucky j Adam

Levi T. .

Nicholas, of Culpepper, Va.
Frederick, of Madison, Va.


\ Levi T., died in Danville, Ken-
Churchill } tucky, Feb. 23, 1894.

Annye Mae of Monticello, Mo.

Who was the recipient of special
honors at the World's Ex-
position at St. Louis in 1904.

;. f »


The oldest settler, with one exception, in the city of Lan-
ark, Illinois, is Joseph Yeager, a great-grandson of Andrew
Yeager of Dauphin county, the Revolutionary patriot.
The following appeared in the Lanark Gazette, May 30th,

Golden Wedding

Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Yeager Celebrate the Fiftieth Anni-
versary of Their Marriage

The celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the mar-
riage of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Yeager, which was held Sun-
day and Monday, was a social event of unusual and wide-
spread interest. A golden wedding is a rare occasion and
there was an added attraction in this event in the fact that
Mr. Yeager is the oldest resident who has been in continuous
business, and also the oldest settler in the city with the ex-
ception of Mr. Jerry Sheller, who came here one hour be-
fore Mr. Yeager.

( hit of town guests began to arrive on Saturday in or-
der to be present at the family reunion on Sunday. About
thirty relatives and intimate friends gathered for this occa-
sion, some of whom had not met for years. A sumptuous
dinner was served, which with the good cheer accompany-
ing it, made one of the most enjoyable features of the day.
Carnations and ferns were used for the decorations in the
dining room. The place cards were hand painted gilt hearts.
Most of the day was spent in recalling old acquaintances, talk-
ing over former days, and in singing familiar songs. It was
a day never to be forgotten by those fortunate enough to he



Golden Wedding Receptions

On Monday afternoon from three to five and Monday
evening from eight to ten occurred the Golden Wedding re-

The spacious Yeager home was beautifully decorated
with roses, lilies, carnations, ferns, magnolias from Atlanta,
Georgia, and roses and poppies from Ocean Park, Califor-
nia. The electric lights were covered with gold colored
shades which cast a mellow light over the rooms. In the
dining room streamers of golden crepe paper extended from
the center of the room to the sides, making a canopy effect.
A card having on it the dates 1856-1906 hung over the table.

The guests in the afternoon were received by Mr. and
Mrs. E. D. Hawke, of Rockford. and Miss Yeager. They
then passed into the parlor where they were greeted by Mr.
and Mrs. Yeager. Hearty congratulations and wishes for
many returns of the day were extended to this worthy cou-
ple with whom time and Divine Providence has dealt very
kindly during all these years of wedded life.

The friends, after receiving from Mrs. Frank Yeaeer
the favors which were white daisies with golden centers,
were ushered into the dining room by Mr. Conant of Daven-
port, Iowa. Here frappe and wafers were served by Mrs.
Laird of Oberlin, Ohio, and Mrs. Hime of Beloit. Wisconsin,
assisted by the Mesdames Conant and Gaghagen and Miss
Bates of Millersburg, Pa., and Mrs. Taylor of Freeport.
Mrs. Hicks had charge of the registering. Each guest was
asked to write his name on a card, and these cards will be
kept as souvenirs of the day.

The evening reception was similar to that held in the
afternoon. Mrs. Frank Yeager and Mr. and Mrs. Hawk


received the guests ; Miss Yeager dispensed the favors ;
Messrs. Conant and Finfrock acted as ushers. In the din-
ing room Mrs. Frank Yeager and Miss Corbett, assisted by
the Misses Taylor, Risley, Goddard and Pauline Risley,
served refreshments.

During the afternoon and evening nearly three hundred
friends were entertained at the receptions. Their presence
and the spirit of good, fellowship manifested, testify to the
kindly way in which Mr. and Mrs. Yeager are regarded in
this community where they have lived for the last forty-five
years. Not only among Lanark people do they find their
friends, for letters and telegrams of congratulation have
been received from all parts of the United States.

Although the guests were asked to omit gifts, yet many
beautiful remembrances were received, among which were
gifts from the business men and from the official board of
the M. E. Church.

Two relics of 1856 were displayed which attracted a
great deal of attention. One was a daguerreotype of Mr.
and Mrs. Yeager, taken the day after the wedding. The
other interesting relic was the wedding carriage which was
given a place of honor on the lawn. This buggy was hired
by Mr. Yeager for the wedding trip. It was afterward pur-
chased by Mr. Nathan Kreps. After many vears of hard
use the buggy was brought to Mr. Yeager's carriage shop
for repair. This chanced to be on the day of his thirtieth an-
niversary, lie recognized the buggy and told Mr. Kreps of
his interest in it. After the death of the owner about a year
ago, the buggv was given to Mr. Yeager in accordance with
the wish of Mr. Kreps. Mr. and Mrs. Yeager had their pic-
tures taken in the carriage on Monday.


The following- were the out of town guests:
Mr. and Mrs. E D. Hawk, Rockford, 111.
Lloyd Hawk, Aurora, 111.
Harold Hawk, Rockford, 111.

Mr. and Mrs. Henry Yeager and daughter, Chicago
Heights, 111.

Mrs. S. L. Laird, Oberlin, Ohio.

Mrs. Mary Hime and grandson, Beloit, Wis.

Mr. and Mrs. T. O. Conant, Davenport, la.

Mrs. John Gaghagen, Davenport, Iowa.

Miss Hannah Bates, Millersburg, Pa.

Mrs. Rev. Leonard Holt, Chicago, 111.

Mrs. I. X. Duncan, Rockford, 111.

Mrs. Xancy Bowers, Forreston, 111.

Miss Mary Hawk, Chadwick, 111.

Mrs. Oscar Taylor, Freeport, 111.

Mrs. A. X. Woodside, Freeport, 111.

Mr. and Mrs. James Graham, Mt. Carroll, 111.

Miss Fannie Graham, Mt. Carroll, 111.

Mr. and Airs. A. P. Woodruff, Savanna, 111.

Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Gray, Savanna, 111.

Mr. and Mrs. A. B. Puterbaugh, Milledgeville, 111.

Mrs Hannah H. Bingaman, Chicago, 111.

Historical Sketch

Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Yeager, who passed the fiftieth
milestone of their wedded life Sunday, were both born in
Pennsylvania. Mrs. Yeager — Sarah Bowers — came with
her parents to Freeport in March, 1852. From Freeport
the family drove in a wagon across the country about twenty-
five miles to the home of Mr. Peter Michaels, about five miles
east of Lanark. The}' finally located at Brookville. Mr.
Yeager came to Rockford in 1854 where he worked at har-
ness making until the fall of 1855. At that time he engaged
in business in Brookville.




c «



Mr. and Mrs. Yeager were married at Oregon, Ogle
county, May 2j, 1856, by Rev. G. A. Bowers. After the
wedding dinner the bride and groom drove in the buggy
which was exhibited on their fiftieth anniversary, to Spring
Valley, now Davis Junction, and to Rockford where they
spent a few days visiting friends. They began housekeeping
in Rrookville and lived there five years. November 7, 1861,
they moved to Lanark. At that time the only families in
Lanark were the two who boarded the men working on the
railroad. The building occupied by the family as a resi-
dence and bv Mr. Yeager as his place of business had been
moved from Rrookville and placed on Lower Broad street.
This building is the second one south of Mr. Swigart's
tailor shop. In the spring of 1862, Mr. Yeager built on the
corner occupied by DeGraff Brothers' furniture store, and
moved his business in the fall of the same year. The family
continued to live in the building first occupied until July,
1868, when they came to their present home. The house at
that time was what is now the north upright ; later a wing
was added to the south. Eighteen years ago the house was
remodeled as it is at present. Mr. Yeager engaged in the
harness business until 1875 when he went into the buggy
business. In 1884 he entered into partnership with his son,
Frank Yeager, the firm being known as Yeager & Son. The
building in which the business is now carried on was remov-
ed from Broad street to its present location in 18S2. Mr.
Yeager has been in business in Lanark continuously for
forty-five years. Both he and Mrs. Yeager have always been
public spirited, interested in whatever pertained to the wel-
fare of the city. Mr. Yeager has served on the school board
and the board of aldermen, has been treasurer and tax col-


lector. He is an influential member of several lodges and
of the M. E. Church.

Mr. and Mrs. Yeager's interest in public affairs, their
helpfulness and sympathy have kept them cheery and hope-
ful, so instead of calling' them seventy-three years old. we
may well and fittingly say they are seventy-three years


( Anthony — married Abigail
I Jacob — married Judith

Dorothy — married B. Hosterman

Conrad — died in 1767

Nicholas — married Eva.

2. Ann R. Hillegas

mmigrated In 1710; died in ^ John — married Elizabeth

Oley Township. 1755

Died in 1777.

married Dorothy.

ANDREW— married Dorothy.


Some of the above spelled the
I name Jaeger and some changed
I it to Hunter, the English for
1^ Jager.

r Margaret
i Catharine
| Susanna
\ Valentine




Descendants of Andrew Yeager, son of Andrew, son
John George, Revolutionary soldier of Dauphin county:
r Matthias.
I Christopher,
{ Mrs. Shoop.
j Mrs. Moyer


ried 1775, Anna Barbara Schu-

ster of Germany,
grandparents of J.
ger of Yeagertown

. Yea-

Mrs. W

lliam Swab

JOHN YEAGER, married
Catharine Row, Northumber-
land County, Pa. Grandpar-
ents of J. M. Yeager of Yea-

( Christopher.
I Simon.

X Catharine.
I Mary.

I Peter.
[ Joseph



William Brooke Yeager

Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Great-great-grandson of Andrew Yeager of Dauphin County




r Susanna

\ Josiah
] Daniel
I Elizabeth
I Catharine








Susanna Bordner

C Sarah, married Charles Bates,
born Aug. 27, 1816.

Delia, born Aug. 31, 1819.
I Amos, born July 15, 1821.
\ Susanna, born Aug. 9, 1823.
] Hannah, born June 30, 1828.

Joseph, born Dec. 12, 1832.

John, born Aug. 25, 1834.

Jacob — married Elizabeth Kop-
l penheffer.

George Bumngton

f Cyrus
I Amanda

I John

! George W.
i Catharine

I Leah
I Jtremiah
| Peter
(^ Aaron


married Thomas Woodside

( Daniel
I Thomas

i John
I Mary
t Rebecca







grandson of Andrew Yea-
ger — the Revolutionary sol-
dier; married Sarah Bow-
ers, May 27, 1856.

John, son of Andrew; mar-
ried Susanna Bufflngton,

Verna C, married E. D. Hawk.
Frank, born Oct. 19, 1858, mar-
ried Phebe Lang.
Mary A.
Henry R., born Mar. 8, 1864,

1 3 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Online LibraryJames Martin YeagerAn brief history of the Yeager, Buffington, Creighton, Jacobs, Lemon, Hoffman and Woodside families, and their collateral kindred of Pennsylvania → online text (page 3 of 14)