He was born in Tippecanoe Township of this county February 14, 1856, a son of Andrew and Clarissa (Hull) Yeager. His father was a native of Canada and his mother of Ohio. They married in Kosciusko County and from Tippecanoe Township they finally moved to section 30 of Scott Township, where the wife and mother died.
The father married a second time, and spent his last years at Nappanee. He was a very active member of the Church of God and a republican, having held several township offices. Of his eleven children, seven are still living: Charles S.; Annis, wife of Daniel Martin, of Prairie Township; Ida wife of Jacob Thomas, of Scott Township; Rose, wife of Hiram Zinn, of Etna Township; Orvil S. And Orlando, twins the former a resident of Jefferson Township and its trustee, and the latter deceased; Clementine, deceased; Eva, wife of Alfred Minor, of Etna; and Leonard, of Plain Township.
Mr. Charles S. Yeager grew to manhood in Tippecanoe Township, and attended district schools there. After reaching the age of twenty-one he became manager of the homestead and gradually acquired those interest and properties which now constitute his prosperity. April 8, 1883, he married Eliza Thomas, who was born in Scott Township, May 28, 1864. They have six children: Minnie, wife of Orville Lutz; Clayton, who is married and lives at Nappanee; Versa, wife of Merle Freeman, of Prairie Township; Victor, unmarried; Burten, who married Lodema Miller; and Thela, a graduate of the common schools. The family are members of the Church of God, while Mr. Yeager is one of it's elders. He is a republican in politics.
HISTORY OF KOSCIUSKO COUNTY, Page 546
Submitted by: Jackie Nobles
BENJAMIN YOHN, farmer, section 15, Tippecanoe Township, owns 220 acres in the vicinity, all in a body with the exception of ten acres. He was born in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, November 30, 1813. When he was fifteen years of age his parents removed to Highland County Ohio, and three years later he commenced to do for himself. He left home worth $3 and a very poor horse, the horse dying soon after he reached Indiana. He now has a competence. His father, Samuel Yohn, was born in Maryland December 1, 1787, and removed to Cumberland County, Pennsylvania when a boy, where he was reared and married. He died at the age of eighty-four years and seven months. His mother was born in Cumberland County in 1787, and died in Highland County, Ohio, aged eighty-eight and a half years. The Yohns are of German descent. His paternal grandfather, John Yohn, was born in Germany, and his grandmother, Vandena (Peterson) Yohn, was a native of that country. His maternal grandfather, James Anderson, was born in Ireland, near Cork, and died at the age of one hundred and four years. His maternal grandmother was Polly DeLaney, whose first husband, Mr. Lytle, was killed at Fort Wayne by the Indians, being a soldier under General Wayne. James Anderson was her second husband. Our subject came to what is now Noble County, this State, in April, 1833, with a Mr. Colwell, for the purpose of assisting him in building a saw-mill at Port Mitchell, situated on the Elkhart River. It was the first mill built in Noble County, and it was erected for a man named Washington Henshaw, a Virginian. After the mill was completed Benjamin returned to Highland County, Ohio, to visit his parents, making the journey on foot and shaking with the ague. The following spring he returned to Noble County on horseback, and during the winter of 1835 worked for Mr. Colwell. Mr. Yohn relates an interesting incident that occurred that year. On the 17th day of April there came up a very severe thunderstorm. In a short time it commenced to snow, and snow fell to the depth of seventeen inches. On the morning of the 18th the sun rose bright and fair, and by night the snow had all disappeared. From 1835 to 1847 Mr. Yohn worked at various things among the settlers, and boated it on the St. Joseph River, from St. Joseph to Constantine, Michigan. In 1847 he came to this county, and went to work for Mr. Thomas G. Boydston, in the old grist-mill, which was built by Ephraim Muirhead. In the spring of 1850 Mr. Boydston went to California, and rented the mill to Mr. Yohn, who ran it until it was burned in June, 1853. When the mill was first built it was quite small, but previous to the fire it had been enlarged. Mr. Boydston returned from California in 1853, and in 1856 rebuilt the mill, which is still standing, and is now owned by Henry Willis. Mr. Boydston came to this place in 1844, bringing with him his wife and children. The first winter he lived in Leesburgh, and the following spring removed to Webster, where he died March 17, 1861. He was a member of the Legislature and a leading man in Tippecanoe Township. He left a wife and four children to mourn his a loss, besides a host of friends, being widely known throughout the county. Mr. Yohn was married January 9, 1851, to Miss Elizabeth J. Boydston, daughter of Thomas J. and Jane (Nichols) Boydston, natives of Pennsylvania. The mother was born in Mifflin County and is now a resident of Albion, Noble County, Indiana, at the age of seventy-four years. Her father died March 17, 1861, aged fifty-five years, and is buried in a private burying ground near the grist-mill. Mrs. Yohn was born in Wayne County, Ohio, in August, 1832, where she lived until she was brought by her parents to Indiana. She died September 5, 1865, and is buried in the family burying ground. She left four children - Emma Jane, wife of William Mack; Lizzie, living in Marshalltown, Iowa; William B., of Tippecanoe Township, and Franklin, who is married and living at home. Mr. Yohn was a township trustee four years. In 1849 he was elected postmaster of Webster, and served nineteen years. Thomas Boydston was the first postmaster. In 1853 Mr. Yohn commenced selling a general stock of merchandise in a small house just north of his present home, and continued in that business sixteen years. During this time he became the owner of the mill property, after the death of Mr. Boydston, and ran the mill until 1868, then sold to Jacob Bishop, who in turn sold to his brother Levi, and the latter to Mr. Willis, the present owner. The mill site is one of the best in the country. Mr. Yohn relates many interesting anecdotes of pioneer life. In 1833 the few who were living within a radius of twelve or fifteen miles began to talk about a 4th of July celebration. After the question was decided in the affirmative, the next thing was to look about to see if young ladies, or "the girls," could be found. Mr. Yohn found his girl about eighteen miles from Mr. Joseph Bristol's, the place where the celebration was to be held, and two girls came from Fort Wayne, riding on Indian ponies, their saddles being wolf-skins. Mr. Yohn had the only carriage in the turn-out; all the others came on horseback or on foot. It took the greater part of one week for the young men to get their girls and take them home. When Mr. Yohn was taking his girl home the buggy broke down when about nine miles from in home. He unharnessed the horse, leaving the buggy and harness together, and his girl rode the horse while he walked beside her. After he had seen her safe home he returned to his own home, procured an ox team and big wagon and brought the broken buggy home. In July, 1833, Mr. Yohn went to mill for Mr. Colwell. They heard that there was some wheat on Elkhart prairie, owned by old Mr. Weinbright. He took an ox team and started early Monday morning for Mr. Weinbright's. He found him threshing his wheat, treading it with horses. The threshing floor was the ground and in the open air. There were several others also waiting for wheat, and Mr. Yohn had to await his turn. He bought ten bushels, paying $1.75 per bushel, and went to Brandywine mill, at Elkhart, to get it ground. He then returned to Mr. Colwell's, reaching there Saturday night at 10 o'clock, after a week's absence, having traveled sixty-two miles. This was the first milling done in that part of the county. The early settlers in that day had a very kindly feeling toward one another. Mr. Yohn has many times gone eight and nine miles to a house-raising or log-rolling. The settlers were very hospitable to new neighbors coming to settle among them, and would go many miles to welcome them. At one time Mr. Yohn and three others went to assist in raising three log cabins, one of which is still standing. The latch-string was always open to new settlers. In the fall of 1835 Mr. Colwell paid $1.25 per pound for rusty bacon, brought in by an ox team from Dayton, Ohio. He said he never ate any meat that tasted so good. Previous to that time he lived on venison, corn meal and potatoes. The corn was pounded in a mortar. Mr. Yohn relates an incident connected with the raising of the first saw-mill in Noble County. There were not enough white men to raise the mill, and a man named Joseph Bristol, who was acquainted with the Indian language, went and obtained the assistance of several Indians. These Indians were placed so as to help lift the beam. As soon as they heard the "heigh ho heave" they were so pleased they could not lift, and they came very near letting the beam fall; but they soon became accustomed to it and rendered very efficient help. Before the advent of the railroads Mr. Yohn used to have his flour hauled to Fort Wayne, and paid 25 cents per barrel for the hauling. This was done with two pairs of oxen and a wagon, and ten barrels were taken at one load, the driver paying his own expenses. The flour was sold for $3 per barrel. He sold wheat for 40 to 48 cents per bushel, at Fort Wayne, hauling it a distance of forty miles. It took three days and half of the night to make the trip. He also had lumber hauled to Fort Wayne, and sold it for $5 per 1,000 feet, paying $2.50 for the hauling. When Mr. Yohn lived in Noble County wolves were very plenty, and every pioneer always carried his gun with him. There was a circuit rider who came through the county every five or six weeks, and preached at John Knight's log cabin. Everybody for a long distance would attend the services, always coming early so as to have a social time before services commenced. They would enjoy themselves at card-playing, jumping, wrestling and pitching quoits. When it was about time for the preacher to come, John Knight would say: "Boys, you'd better adjourn; the preacher will be here soon." The sports were then laid aside, and each one was on his good behavior when the preacher arrived, and all listened attentively to the Sermon. They all brought their guns Sundays as well as week days, thinking they might "sight a wolf or a deer. John Knight kept a tavern on the road between Fort Wayne and Goshen.