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Judge Christian Yenni. A representative of that sterling Swiss people, a large colony of whom have been identified with the development of a section of Northwest Missouri lying north of St. Joseph, Judge Christian Yenni has lived in Andrew County a half century, and he himself and other members of the family are men of prominence and distinctive leadership in affairs. Judge Yenni has been singularly prosperous as a farmer, and owns one of the fine estates in Lincoln Township near Amazonia. His home place is in section 23 of that township. While engaged in the productive activities of farming he has not neglected public affairs, and among other responsibilities was for eight years one of the county judges of Andrew County.
Christian Yenni was born in Canton Bern, Switzerland, June 30, 1850, a son of John and Barbara (Lichti) Yenni, natives of the same canton. His father was born in 1809 and his mother in 1826. In 1859 the family emigrated to America, and after five years spent in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, they moved to Northwest Missouri, arriving in Andrew County in the fall of 1864. Here the parents spent the rest of their lives on a farm in Lincoln Township. The father died in 1869 and the mother in 1886. John Yenni, while most of his time was devoted to agricultural efforts, was a useful citizen, and held several offices in the democratic republic which was his native land. He was a lifelong member of the German Reformed Church. Judge Yenni was the seventh in a family of twelve children, three of the sons and four of the daughters being still alive. Barbara, the oldest, is the deceased wife of John Aebersold of Lincoln Township; Elizabeth married John Vetter of the same township; Rosa is the deceased wife of E. Oppliger; Verena is the wife of Peter Bauman of Lincoln Township; Mary married John Graff of Bedford, Iowa; John lives in Chicago; Judge Yenni is the next in order of birth; Magdaline died at the age of twenty-two years; Fred is deceased; Gottlieb lives in Jackson Township; Caroline is the wife of William Bawman of Dade County; and Emma is the wife of Fred Beverly of Los Angeles, California.
Judge Yenni has had his home in Andrew County since 1864. He was a boy of nine years when the family came to this country, and the education which had been begun in Switzerland was continued in the public schools of Tuscarawas County, Ohio. After the death of his father he managed the home farm for his mother until his marriage, and then spent three years as a renter. Thrift, industry, and the thoroughness and adaptability for agriculture which he probably inherited from his long line of Swiss ancestors have brought Judge Yenni to a place among the most successful men of Andrew County. After his work as a renter he bought a place of ninety-eight acres, but sold that in 1890 and came to his present farm in section 23. This comprises two hundred and forty acres, all highly improved and valuable land. Besides this he owns a hundred and two acres of bottom land in the county and has a half section of land in Hartley County in the Texas Panhandle. From the superficial appearance of the Yenni homestead anyone may quickly judge the excellence of its improvements and may understand how thoroughly its owner has conducted his business affairs. One of the conspicuous features on the farm is a large bank barn, on a basement foundation 40 by 80 feet, with a stock shed 80 by 10 feet. It is a grain and stock farm, and has been so conducted for many years. At one time Judge Yenni had a large area devoted to fruit. Having worked hard and being able to see the fruits of his efforts, Judge Yenni gives only nominal supervision to his farming interests, and two of his sons rent and manage the home place.
Judge Yenni assisted in the organization of the Amazonia State Bank, and has been its president, with the exception of two years, since its organization. He is president of the Amazonia Fruit Growers' Association. In early life he was a republican, but for the past twenty five years has been affiliated with the democratic party. As a democrat he was three times elected county judge, at a time when Andrew County regularly returned a normal majority between three and six hundred to its republican candidate. He served two two-year terms and one term of four years, thus making eight years of service in the most important administrative office within the gift of his fellow citizens. It was during his term as judge that the present courthouse and jail were built at Savannah, and it has been frequently said that no county ever received better value for the money expended than Andrew County in its present chief public buildings.
Judge Yenni is an active member and is an elder of the German Reformed Church at Amazonia. In 1877 he married Bertha Zimmerman, who was born in Ohio, September 20, 1856, and in 1858 came to Andrew County with her parents, John and Magdalena (Ziset) Zimmerman. Her father was a native of Switzerland, while her mother was born in Ohio. Both are now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Yenni may take pride in their fine family of children, and have had ten in number: John Henry of Andrew County; Marie M., wife of Walter Ryan of Andrew County; Emma L., wife of Roy Abersold of White Deer, Texas; Leonard L., of Andrew County; Anna, who died at the age of seventeen; Edward F. and Albert Christian, who are now the active managers of the Yenni home farm in Lincoln Township; Ida Lalah, who lives at home; Minnie Helen, attending the State Normal School at Maryville; and Clarence, at home. The children were all born in Andrew County, and received their preparatory education in the Liggett school district, which Judge Yenni has served in an official capacity for many years.
D. C. Allen. For the greater part of a lifetime of near eighty years D. C. Allen has lived in Clay County, Missouri. His active retrospect over affairs in his part of the state covers more than half a century, and in his work as a lawyer he has come into close touch with the more important events which have shaped political history and local progress.
[Source: A history of northwest Missouri, Volume 3; Edited by Walter Williams; Publ. 1915; Pgs.1964-1965; Transcribed and submitted by Andrea Stawski Pack]


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