Samuel N. Yeoman, merchant and railroad builder, Washington. The name was originally Youmans, being of English extraction. Two brothers, thus spelling their names, came from England to New York in an early day, tbe one going to New Jersey, the other to the South; the celebrated Professor Youmans, of New York, being a descendant of the southern brother, our subject being a descendant of the brother who went to New Jersey. The grandfather came to Ohio, and settled on the waters of Paint Creek, in Wayne Township, Fayette County, about 1811, where he erected, probably, the first grist-mill ever built in the county. This mill was erected where the Rock Mills now stand. Here the pioneer remained until his death.

Samuel T. Yeoman, his son, was serving in the war of 1812 when his father came to Ohio, but immediately after its close he also came to Knox County, Ohio, where he married Miss Nye, daughter of Ichabod Nye, the first sheriff of Knox County. In 1815, they removed to Payette County, and settled on a farm near the town of Good Hope, in Wayne Township, and remained on this farm until 1829, when he removed to Springfield, and remained one year; thence, to Lebanon, and remained there one year. He then returned to Fayette County, and settled in Washington. In 1833, he was elected as a member of the General Assembly of Ohio. In 1836, or 1837, he engaged in the mercantile business, associated with Joseph and Amasa Olds as partners. In 1851, he retired from active business, and died in 1856. He served, with credit to himself as associate judge, postmaster, and justice of the peace, in his county, and was one of the active leading politicians of his day. Mrs. Yeoman died in Washington, in 1872, in the seventy-fourth year of her age. They were the parents of twelve children, six sons and six daughters. Stephen D. died while a young man, unmarried. Bethiah L. married, but she and her husband are dead. Gilbert L. M. died when a young man, unmarried. James L. died in infancy. Eusebia N. died at the age of thirteen. Jane M. was married to Theodore Ogle, who is now dead. She lives in Washington. Josephine M. married Van M. Ogle, and lives on a farm in Green County, Indiana. Sarah died in infancy. Ascenith also died in infancy. Joseph Amasa Olds is married and practicing law in Fort Dodge, Iowa.

Samuel N., our subject was born in Wayne Township, Fayette County, Ohio, in 1828. In the spring of 1849, he organized a company of ten persons, all boys but one, and went to California in search of gold. This was probably the first company that went from this part of the state to California. The entire company reached there, and all but one of the number returned. This enterprise proved to be a financial success to Mr. Yeoman, and after remaining there two years and some months, they returned to Fayette County. Soon after his return, he purchased his father's stock of goods, and commenced the mercantile business, continuing the same until the fall of 1853, when he sold out, and engaged in the real estate business until 1858.

In 1857, he organized a company, and built the first respectable hotel in the town, now known as the "Arlington Hotel." The same year Mr. Yeoman again entered the mercantile business, associating with him F. A. Nitterhouse and D. Ogle. They purchased the stock of goods owned by Zebedee Harper. He also established, the same year, a branch store in connection with Theodore and V. M. Ogle, in New Lexington, Perry County, and in that year retired from this establishment.

In the spring of 1861, Mr. Yeoman was appointed by the governor of Ohio chairman of the military committee of the county, and was soon afterward ordered to West Virginia, to look after the interest of the soldiers of his county. In June, 1862, while holding this position, he applied to the governor for an appointment as major, for recruiting for the 90th O. V. I., and entered on the recruiting business June 21, 1862. In thirty days he recruited two full companies (C and K), and assisted to recruit two more companies, which were assigned to the 114th Regiment.

August 1, 1862, he resigned his chairmanship, and reported, with his companies, at Camp Circleville, and in less than three days thereafter was ordered to Kentucky without arms or equipments, and reached Lexington by rail in great haste. Received arms next morning, and was ordered at once to assist in covering the retreat at Richmond, Kentucky. He participated in the battles of Perryville, Stone River, Seige of Chattanooga. Was commissioned lieutenant-colonel after the battle of Stone River, and colonel of the 90th after the seige of Chattanooga, Colonel Rippey having resigned. The colonel remained with the regiment, participating in the battles of Jouesborough, Atlanta, Champaign, etc., and was mustered out of service, after having served three years, June 21, 1865. He had in all some thirteen hundred men under his command, but only had about three hundred and twenty-seven when mustered out. Mr. Yeoman was a brave, patriotic man, working faithfully and honestly to put down the rebellion and save the Union. He left his mercantile interests to the care of his partners, devoting his entire time and energies to his country's welfare. But few officers have been more devoted to the country's welfare than has Colonel Yeoman.

In 1866, Mr. Yeoman projected and started the Columbus and Washington turnpike; it being the first enterprise of the kind in the county under the "Free turnpike Act," which enterprise inaugurated a system of free turnpikes all over the county, which has resulted in a spirit of general improvement, that now makes the county one of the leading counties of the state. Mr. Yeoman was elected state senator from his district, composed of Greene, Clinton and Fayette counties, in 1867, serving two years, with marked ability. He was elected by the same district, to the senate of this state, in 1873, and again served the full term.

In 1869, he organized the Columbus and Maysville Railroad, (known as the blue grass road), became its president, surveyed and located the same; but because of Hillsboro being interested in another railroad enterprise, and not sympathising with this movement, it failed.

In 1875, the colonel took up the old Dayton, Xenia and Belpre Railroad, and organized the Dayton and Southeastern Narrow Gauge Road. He became its president, overseeing and giving it bis entire attention ; and although the enterprise met with many reverses, he succeeded in its completion from Dayton to its intersection with the Marietta road at Musselman's. He also assisted in the building of the branch road from Allentown to Waynesville.

In 1877 and 1878, he built a part of the Danville, Olney and Ohio Railroad in Illinois.

He also built the Indianapolis, Delphos & Chicago Railroad, and at this time is superintendent of the Indiana, Chicago & Northern Railroad.

In 1873 Col. Yeoman, in connection of Mr. F. A. Nitterhouse, commenced the building of a magnificent store-room, opera-house, etc., in Washington. He completed the store-room in 1874, but on account of the panic, and the stringency of the money market, the opera-house remains unfinished.

Col. Yeoman was the originator of the Washington Cemetery, and was its first president. He organized and planned its lay-out. Probably no one man has done more for the improvement of the town of Washington, and the County of Fayette, than Col. Yeoman. In June 1853, Mr. Yeoman married Miss Susan M. Comly, of New Lexington, Perry County, Ohio. She is a most excellent woman. They are without children. In politics the colonel is a staunch Republican. Mrs. Yeoman is a member of the Baptist Church.

 

From R. S. Dills' History of Fayette County