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George Yauney, Ephratah

Originally posted for the Holiday Extravaganza 2003 Families

Transcribed by Joanne Murray. Contributed by Lisa Slaski.

GEORGE YAUNEY, a resident of Centreville of over thirty years’ standing, a carpenter be trade and a skilled workman. The evidences of whose genius may be seen in numberless buildings in the town and vicinity, wisely retired from active labor in 1882, and is now enjoying the comforts of a pleasant home in the western part of the city. He came to Michigan Territory in 1841, when a young man twenty-three years of age, and has watched with warmest interest the growth and development of his adopted county. He formed one of those resolute and persevering spirits, which did not allow themselves to be dismayed by any ordinary difficulties, but battled with the elements of a new country and came out of the conflict with flying colors.

The main points in a life story of more than usual interest are essentially as follows: Our subject was born in the village of Ephratah, in what was then Montgomery County, but is now Fulton County, N.Y., May 16, 1813. It will thus be seen that he is a veteran of nearly seventy-six years. His father, Henry Yauney, was born in Johnstown, N.Y., Sept. 11, 1779, and met his death by an injury received while riding a fractious horse. Being thrown violently against the pommel of the saddle, with fatal results.

The Yauney family is of German ancestry, and the first representatives in America settled in the State of Jew Jersey. There Henry Yauney, the paternal grandfather of our subject, was born Sept. 13, 1749. He was the second son of Christian Yauney, who was born in Alsace, near the city of Strasburgh, Germany. The mother of our subject was in her girlhood Miss Elizabeth Allen, a native of Columbia County, N.Y. She was born June 24, 1783, and was the daughter of Daniel Allen, a scion of a fine old family of Providence, R.I., and of English ancestry. They were related to the Spooner family, which emigrated to America in 1600, prior to the advent of the Pilgrim Fathers. The parents of our subject, after their marriage, settled in Montgomery County, N.Y., where the father was cut down in his prime, when his son George, our subject, was but three years of age. The widowed mother with her four children resided in New York State until the year 1836, then coming to Michigan, located near Centreville, and was afterward married to Dr. S. Cummings. Of her second marriage there were also born four children, and the mother died in 1859. The children of the two marriages are now eight in number.

The early years of our subject were spent in his native county, where he mastered the branches of the common school, and at the age of twenty years went to St. Johnsville, where he learned the carpentry trade, and where he met his fate in the person of Miss Catherine Klock, to whom he was married in 1837. Mrs. Yauney was born in St. Johnsville, N.Y., June 6, 1816, and lived there until her marriage. Four years later, in the fall on 1841, they came to this county and settled on a tract of new land in the vicinity of Three Rivers, which he brought to a good state of cultivation, and upon which he erected good buildings. They continued to occupy this until 1855, then changed their place of residence to Centreville, where Mr. Yauney gave his attention almost exclusively to his trade, which he followed successfully until 1882.

To our subject and his estimable wife there were born three children, one son and two daughters. The son, Charles E., died in 1852, at the age of ten; Elizabeth, the eldest daughter, is the wife of John S. Majors, of Centreville; Charlotte E. is at home with her parents. Mr. And Mrs. Yauney have traveled the journey of life together for over fifty years, and celebrated their golden wedding in February 1887. They are remarkably well preserved, and are a most worthy and excellent couple, who by their consistent Christian lives have drawn around them a host of friends. Both are members in good standing of the Dutch Reformed Church.

Mr. Yauney cast his first Presidential vote for Martin Van Buren, and since the organization of the Republican party has been a stanch supporter of its principles. He has been content to live the life of a quiet and unobtrusive citizen, having no ambition for official honors, although in his school district he has made himself useful as a member of the board for several years.

Source:  Portrait And Biographical Album of St. Joseph County, Michigan. (C) 1889. Pp. 568-569. Chicago. Chapman Brothers.

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