Carroll County Biographies


A distinguished citizen of Carroll county, he was born near the village of Delhi, Delaware county. N. Y., May 29, 1839. of Scotch descent. His great-grandfather, Francis Yeoman, was n native of Berwickshire. Scotland, but emigrated with his family to this country just previous to the Revolutionary War, and served as a noncommissioned officer in a New York regiment through that struggle. His oldest son, David, commanded a privateer in that war and was wounded in a battle with the British brig, Hulker, from the effects of which he died. Mr. Yeoman's maternal grandfather. John Grant, also a Scotchman, was a soldier in the War of 1812 and was killed in the battle of Queenstown Heights. Frank G. Yeoman is a son of Francis Y. and Margaret (Grant) Yeoman, both natives of Delaware county, N. Y. He is the seventh child in a family of eight children, two of whom, a sister older and brother younger died early In life,

Frank G. Yeoman was born on his father's farm and at tended the district schools until he was thirteen years of age, at which period he entered the Delaware Academy, a moat excellent institution, in which he was a student for five years, receiving a thorough academic training. At the age of sixteen years he taught his first school in his native county, continuing two terms before coming west with his parents in 1858. In the spring of that year the family, then consisting of his father, mother and himself, came to Illinois and settled In Winnebago county, nine miles from Rockford. A married brother had preceded them to Illinois and was then living in Elkhorn Grove township, Carroll county. In the fall of 1858, Mr. Yeoman, then in his nineteenth year came to Carroll county to teach the school north of Eagle Point, Ogle county, Ill., known as the Stuart school. His brother was one of the directors, the school district being a port of Eagle Point and Elkhorn Grove township.

In the spring of 1859 Mr. Yeoman returned to Winnebago county and engaged in farming with his father during that season; but in the fall the family moved to Eagle Point and Mr. Yeoman was again employed as teacher. In the spring of 1860 the family moved to a rented farm northeast of Eagle Point, In Ogle county, belonging to Solomon Shafer. The latter was a noted Abolitionist and his home was a station on the "Underground Railway" where fugitive slaves were received, cared for and assisted in their race to Canada and freedom. Here, Mr. Yeoman, then ready to cast his first vote, was initiated into the mysteries and dangers of the "Underground Railroad" and became a most efficient conductor, he was a lover of good horses and owned a spun of well matched bay mares, five years old, that could show their heels to anything on the road when it came to a running race. It is needless to say that he and his team were in frequent demand to carry colored passengers to the next station, and he always delivered them safely and on time. On September 29, 1960 Mr. Yeoman married Miss, Lucy A. Schryver, a niece by marriage, of Solomon Shafer. She was of Holland descent and like all of that nationality, a prudent worthy and frugal helpmeet. From this time until 1875 Mr. Yeoman was engaged in farming and teaching, as the seasons alternated. He taught in Carroll county. In the west part of Ogle and also in Whiteside, standing in the front rank of teachers, and was particularly noted for the thoroughness of his instruction and the excellence of his discipline, taking an active interest in public affairs both as a worker and public speaker. In 1875 he moved to Wright county, Iowa., where, in 1868 be had bought a piece of wild land. In his leisure hours he had read law and had practiced to a considerable extent in justices' courts before going to Iowa, and had been offered admission to the bar in Carroll and adjoining counties. After removing to Iowa he was there admitted to the bar in Hamilton county, in 1875. He engaged in law and newspaper work and was recognized as an able speaker and trenchant writer on all public questions. While he held several offices he never solicited them, serving as school director, assessor, Justice of the peace and city attorney because of popular demand. A Democrat in politics he was generally on the stump in each campaign at the request of the Democratic State Committee. Three times he was offered the nomination by his party for Congress in the third congressional district, but each time declined. He brought out Hon. Horace Boles as a candidate for governor. In 1880. and editorially assisted in his election. In 1891 he was elected sergeant at arms of the senate in the Twenty- fourth General Assembly, and in 1897 was strongly urged to become a candidate for governor. This honor he declined but when the convention met, eleven counties in the state bad instructed their delegates to vote for him, while he had scattering votes from other counties. Mr. Yeoman could have received the nomination if be had said he would accept it, but he steadfastly declined to have his name considered. While he has fought a hundred political battles for others, many of which he has won, he has never fought one for himself.

To Mr. Yeoman's first marriage five children were born, two of whom died in infancy. Those who survive are: Mrs. W. A. Brisbin, of Eagle Grove. Iowa: Mrs. G. W. Pratt, of Morning Side. Sioux City, Iowa; and Rev. Grant Yeoman, of Eldorado Springs, Mo. After the loss of his first wife Mr. Yeoman married Miss Louisa Slatter, of Dane county. Wis. She is a graduate of Downer College (now Milwaukee-Downer) and was engaged in teaching at the time of her marriage. She is W. M. of Bernice Chapter No. 492 O. E. S.; a member of the Woman's Club and prominent in educational work.

In the spring of 1907 Mr. and Mrs. Yeoman came to Milledgevllle, where they now reside. Mr. Yeoman opened a law office and is widely known in his profession. As a lawyer he has always discouraged litigation, ever advising settlement or arbitration of differences between individuals where it could he done with honor and without injustice to either party. He is known as an able trial lawyer and as being true as steel to his clients. He has never withheld advice or help for those in need and on account of his generosity it is not strange to those who know him well that he has not accumulated one of the modern large fortunes in his profession. He has always worked hard for the broadening and widening of the sphere of education and clean polities.

Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Carroll County, Vol. II, Munsell Publishing Company, 1913,

Back home

Illinois - "Our Way"