The Yeoman family have been residents of Fayette county, Ohio, for nearly one hundred years and Osco Yeoman is the fourth in direct descent from his great-grandfather, James, who came to this county in 1815. The first member of the family to come to America from England was Stephen Yeoman, the great-great-grandfather of Osco Yeoman, with whom this narrative deals. Stephen Yeoman had four sons, Walter, Gilbert, Samuel and James. James Yeoman married Sarah Bates, the daughter of Stephen and Lydia Bates, natives of Vermont and of English descent. Ten children were born to James and Sarah (Bates) Yeoman: Abigail, Stephen, Joseph, Cyrene, Alva, Lydia, Jared, Minerva, Samantha, and Ira, the grandfather of Osco Yeoman.

Ira Yeoman was born in 1808 near Buffalo, New York and his wife, Osea McElwain, was born in 1811 near Good Hope, Ohio. She was the daughter of Robert and Jane McElwain, natives ofPennsylvania and later residents of Maysville, Kentucky, and still later of Fayette county, Ohio, where they settled in 1810. Robert McElwain was born in 1779, and was married to Jane Taylor in 1804, ten children resulting from this union, James, John, William, Osea, Robert, Nancy, Samuel, Thomas, Eliza and Minerva. Robert McElwain was the first justice of the peace in Wayne township, Fayette county, and people came to him from far and near to settle their difficulties.

Ira Yeoman came with his parents to Ohio in 1815, being a lad of seven years at the time. They first located in Columbia, a small village near Cincinnati, and in the fall of 1815 removed to Wayne township, Fayette county, where James Yeoman, the father of Ira, lived until his death. The first winter the family spent here in 1815 was filled with all kinds of discouragements. The family lived in a house which they built in one day, the house consisting of a mere pen built with poles and had neither floor nor windows. Through these primitive conditions Ira Yeoman was reared to manhood and in 1830 married Osea McElwain. Ira Yeoman was one of the substantial and trusted citizens of his township and county. He served as township trustee for fifteen years, clerk for two years and as county commissioner for three years, filling all of these positions in an efficient and very satisfactory manner to his fellow citizens.

One of the largest birthday celebrations which ever took place in Fayette county occurred August 1, 1896, when nearly one thousand people assembled in honorof the eighty-fifth anniversary of Mrs. Ira Yeoman. Several hundred invitations had been sent out,and everybody came with well filled baskets and prepared fora big feast and a pleasant time. The crowd was made up of old and young from far and near, and included a large number of pioneer citizens who had come to pay their respects to the aged couple and talkover the days of long ago when Fayette county was a wilderness. At that time Mr. and Mrs. Ira Yeoman were probably the oldest peoneer couple in the county and had been married for sixty-six years.

Robert Yeoman was the only child born to Ira and Osea (McElwain) Yeoman, and grew to manhood in Wayne Township, this county, and married Elizabeth J. Hill, and to this union were born five children: Osco, the immediate subject of this review; Sarah, deceased, who was the wife of Andrew Clark; Ella, deceased, who was the wife of Charles Doster; Emma, the wife of Joseph White, and William Ira, deceased. The first wife of Robert Yeoman died and he afterwards married Caroline Parker, and to the second union eight children were born, Mary, Joseph W., Effie, Martha, Robert, Earl, Luella and Nellie.

Osco Yeoman attended the Rock Mills school in his home township, and later attended the district schools in Jasper township. At the age of twenty he began renting land and in 1894 purchased his present farm of eighty-five acres in Wayne Township about one mile from Rock Mills.

Osco Yeoman was married December 24, 1874 to Susan Baughn, and to this union five children have been born: Jessie, who married Iva Edwards; Orpah E., the wife of Harley King, is the mother of four children, Marcus H., Dorothy M., Susan L. and Elner M. Ida J., the youngest child of Mr. and Mrs. Yeoman, is deceased, as is Apel.

Politically, Mr. Yeoman is a member of the Republican party, but has never had the inclination to make the race for any public office, preferring to devote his time and attention to his agricultural interests. Fraternally, he is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and, religiously, he and his family are affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal Church.


From History of Fayette County Ohio - Her People, Industries and Institutions by Frank M. Allen (1914, R. F. Bowen & Company, Inc.)