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Yager, Simon R. 1861 1931


Posted By: Joy Moore (email)
Date: 5/17/2015 at 09:44:34


The activities of Simon R. Yager have in various ways influentially affected the city of his residence, for he has since 1893 conducted the Calmar Courier and has here, since 1884, in partnership with a brother, conducted a jewelry store which is one of the foremost establishments of its kind in this part of the county. A man of ability and public spirit, he has also served as city clerk and mayor and now holds a position in connection with the school board. A native of Winneshiek county, Iowa, he was born May 30, 1861, his parents being Henry and Mary (Musser) Yager, the father a native of Ohio and the mother of Pennsylvania. The father was one of the pioneer settlers of Winneshiek county, coming here in 1857. He bought a farm at that time which he improved and cultivated until the fall of 1892, in which year he was elected county treasurer, serving one term. He then resided in Calmar for one year, removing at the end of that period to Riceville, this state, where he resided until his death, which occurred on March 10, 1908, at the age of eighty-one years. The mother is still living at Riceville, Iowa, at the age of eighty-eight years.

Simon R. Yager was reared at home and in the acquirement of his education attended the district schools and also Breckenridge Institute at Decorah. He remained with his family on the farm until he reached his majority and then taught country school for about four years, learning at the end of that period the jeweler's and watchmaker's trade, which he followed for a few years. He then learned the trade of printer and in 1893 issued the Calmar Courier, which he has conducted ever since. It is one of the substantial papers of the county. In the passing years it has increased in circulation and in value as an advertising medium. Mr. Yager follows the most up-to-date methods, giving his readers valuable news service, comprising not only items of local interest but also detailed accounts of the happenings in the state, nation and world. As he has built up a circulation his advertising space has increased, making his paper one of the valuable properties in the county. His editorials are lucid and to the point and are often employed to further the public spirit of his locality and the promotion of public improvements of importance. In 1884 Mr. Yager, in partnership with his brother Franklin, established a jewelry store in Calmar, which they have successfully conducted since, it being the oldest enterprise of the kind in the city. This establishment is conducted under the name of Yager Brothers, while his newspaper interests carries the name of Calmar Courier, S. R. Yager, editor and proprietor. The success Mr. Yager has made is the more creditable as he started out in life without means or influence, having but five dollars in his pocket when arriving in Calmar. He owns the building which is occupied by the jewelry store and printing establishment, the year of its erection being 1895. As prosperity has come to him he has made other judicious investments, owning valuable farm lands in other states and city property in Calmar besides his handsome residence.

On April 27, 1888, Mr. Yager married Miss Emma Desmond, a daughter of James and Susan (Heberling) Desmond, natives of Wisconsin. Mr. and Mrs. Yager have three children: Harry, aged twenty-four, who assists his father; Walter, twenty-one years of age, who is employed in the same manner; and Florence, aged fourteen, still attending school.

In politics Mr. Yager is independent, following his own judgment in supporting candidates. He attends the Methodist church. Fraternally he belongs to the local lodge of the Knights of Pythias. A man strongly marked by character, he has come to be recognized as a forceful element in the community, whose activities have strongly affected the commercial and public life of the city. His sterling traits of character have won him the high regard and confidence of all who know him, and while he has attained individual success has been a serviceable factor in the upbuilding of Calmar and the development of Winneshiek county.

Source: History of Winneshiek County, Iowa Vol. II Chicago the S. J. Clark Publishing Company 1913

Calmar City Cemetery

Winneshiek Biographies maintained by Bill Waters.
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