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Aaron Yearous


Posted By: S. Ferrall - IAGenWeb volunteer
Date: 1/6/2022 at 09:37:55

Aaron Yearous, the pioneer attorney of this county, a former mayor, city attorney and councilman of Eagle Grove and its veteran justice of the peace, has spent many years in the service of the county.

Fortunate in having the educational opportunities to prepare himself for a life of more than ordinary usefulness, he early learned the "Knowledge is power," and, therefore, set himself to work to acquire it.

His later years, which have been full of conspicuous achievement both in private legal practice and in public life, have proven his early wisdom and have rewarded him for the labor then expended in faith. "A stalwart" might be a fitting title to apply to such a gentleman as the one whose life history in brief follows.

Mr. Yearous is a native of Jefferson township, Knox county, Ohio, having been born there on January 10, 1852.

Charles Yearous, father of the subject of this sketch, was a child of only two years when he was brought to this country by his German parents, who made their first home in Knox county, Ohio.

The grandfather of Aaron Yearous started his farming career on property consisting of one hundred acres purchased from the government through a land warrant. In 1864 he left this farm to become a weaver in Clayton county, Iowa, a trade which he had followed in Germany. There he died, and his son, Charles Yearous, grew to manhood on the farm.

A few years after his marriage he took up his residence in Clayton county, living there from 1854 until his death, in 1903. His original eighty acres were subsequently increased to three hundred and sixty acres. The devoted wife of this sturdy pioneer, formerly Catherine Peters, still lives on the Clayton county farm. In all of the hardships of early country life, she was an able second to her husband.

One of the exciting adventures, associated with their early travels was the crossing of the Mississippi river at Dubuque, this incident being fraught with real danger. Their first Clayton county home consisted of a quaint old log cabin of one room. Like all historical events the life of this period may be more picturesque as a memory than it was in reality. To this worthy couple were born nine children, Aaron being the only one now living in this county.

Mr. Yearous, though brought up amidst the hardships incident to pioneer existence, not only survived them all, but used them as stepping stones to a worthy career. He received his early education in Clayton county attending high school in Fayette county, where he graduated in 1874. He then attended the Iowa University at Iowa City, being a member of the graduates of the law class of 1878, and immediately began the practice of law.

In June, 1870, he located at Holdridge, Nebraska, also teaching and farming for a period of two years. He then removed to Eagle Grove, at a time when the town was just beginning to be built up on the east side. He and J.C. Moats formed a legal partnership, which lasted for one year. As law cases were at that time comparatively few and uncertain, it was necessary to acquire more income than could be obtained solely in the profession and during the winter months Mr. Yearous added to his income by teaching school.

Besides being one of the city's most reliable legal practitioners as well as its pioneer attorney, Mr. Yearous has been honored with public office, having filled his functions so creditably as to justify his fellow citizens in retaining him for many years. He was the city's mayor in the years 1907-8 and was for ten years a councilman. For two years he was the city attorney. He has the honor of having held the office of justice of the peace for a longer period of time than any man in the county, this being for twenty-four years.

Aaron Yearous and Elizabeth Shepard, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Hanks) Shepard, were united in the holy bond of matrimony on February 15, 1882, and to them have been born five children, Roscoe, Milo, Esther, Glynn and Howard. Roscoe and his wife Ethel Hull, are the parents of three children, Hazel, Gladys and Lester. Esther became the wife of Ralph Walster; no children have been born to this union.

Mr. Yearous has been financier of the Ancient Order of United Workmen for eleven years. Politics has played an important part in the life of Mr. Yearous. It furnished a congenial field for the exercise of his mental faculties and was of sufficient interest to engage those elements of the fighter which predominate in the makeup of every attorney. The political fortunes of the Republican party in this part of the state owe much to the labors of Mr. Yearous, whose faith in the old party has never been shaken by modern unrest and who still regards himself as a "standpatter."

~Transcribed by S. Ferrall from images of the book:
"History of Wright County Iowa, Its People, Industries and Institutions. With Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens and Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families"; Hon. B.P. Birdsall, editor; 1915, B.F. Bowen & Company, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana. pgs 403-405 (familysearch.org)


Clayton Biographies maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
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