Yager, Henry and Mary (Musser)

(William B. Price)

Henry and Mary Yager were early Winneshiek Co. pioneers, coming here from Wayne Co., OH, in 1857. Henry Yager, the son of German immigrants, was born in Wooster, Wayne Co., 13 Nov 1827, where he spent the majority of his youth. On 28 Sep 1848 he married Mary Magdalene Musser, a native of Pennsylvania. Mary was born 23 Mar 1825.

Henry and Mary Yager were the parents of eight children: Fyann Elisabeth, born 1850 in Ohio, died in infancy; Franklin L., born 20 Mar 1853 in Ohio, died 16 Mar 1922 in Calmar, IA; William Vail, born Feb 1856 in Ohio, married Emma B. Shipley 1 May 1884;

Oliver Perry, born Oct 1858 in Winneshiek Co., married Margaret J. Hardy in 1888/9, died 1937 in Riceville, IA; Simon Rice, born 30 May 1861 in Winneshiek Co., married Emma R. Desmond 27 Apr 1888, died May 1931; Sophia Lillian, born 23 Feb 1864 in Winneshiek Co., married Robert Giffin Price 6 Sep 1893, died 6 Oct 1932 in Decorah; Henry Arthur, born Dec 1865 in Winneshiek Co., married Ada Reynolds 1894/5; Charles Wilson, born May 1868 in Winneshiek Co., married Etta L. Kent in 1889/ 1900, died 26 Jan 1953.

Henry and Mary Yager settled near Locust Lane in Pleasant Twp., where they farmed for about 35 years before moving to Decorah. On 16 Dec 1857 he was appointed Postmaster at Locust Lane by Aaron V. Brown, U.S. Postmaster General under President James Buchanan. Henry was actively involved in public school work, and served twenty consecutive years on the education board of Pleasant Twp., as well as teaching school in Locust Lane. During the Civil War he received a First Lieutenant’s commission of the “Pleasant Township Guards” from Governor William M. Stone, but was never called into active service. He was also appointed to the secret service and reported to the provost marshall.

In the fall of 1892 Henry moved to Decorah with his family, after winning an election for Treasurer of Winneshiek Co. He had run as the Democratic candidate, and had won by a very slim margin. He served only one term and returned to private life, moving to Calmar and later to Riceville, IA where he lived with his son Henry Yager Jr. until his death. Henry Sr. died 10 Mar 1908 and was buried in the Riceville Cemetery.

Mary M. Yager remained for a few years in Riceville where her sons Oliver and Henry were also residing. In later years she moved to Decorah to live with her daughter, Lillian and son-in-law, Robert Price. Mary passed away in Decorah 19 Mar 1922 three days after the death of her oldest son Frank, and three days before her 97th birthday. She was buried beside her husband Henry in the Riceville Cemetery.

Yarwood, Dean and Elaine (Bender)

(Elaine Yarwood)

Elaine Delores Bender was born to Virgil and Lucella Bender. She grew up on a farm north of Decorah. She attended Canoe #6 through the 8th grade and then Decorah High School. It was there that she met Dean Lesley Yarwood, son of Harold and Elsie Yarwood. Dean's father died 28 Apr 1950 when Dean was 15 years old. His mother passed away 21 May 1977. Dean was born in Decorah and attended Decorah schools. After graduating from DHS in 1953, he attended the University of Iowa, commuting on weekends to see Elaine. After Elaine graduated from high school, they were married 2 Sep 1956 at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Locust, IA. They then moved to Iowa City so Dean could complete his last year at the university. He graduated the following spring, Phi Beta Kappa, with a B.A. in History.

We spent the summer of 1957 on my parent’s farm. A daughter, Lucinda Jean, was born in the Decorah Hospital. In August of that year we moved to Wellman, IA, where Dean was employed as a junior high and high school social studies teacher, and also as acting junior high principal. Two years later Dean received a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship to attend Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. We spent the summer of 1959 again on my parent’s farm and our first son, Kent Dean, was born at the Decorah Hospital. We took the train from LaCrosse, Wl, in late August, departing after midnight and traveling with a 2 year old and a one month old baby. We lived in Ithaca, NY for one year while Dean worked on his master’s degree. He attended the University of Illinois for the next 3 years where he received his Ph.D. degree in Political Science. While living in Illinois, we had 2 more sons, Keith Virgil, and Douglas Scott.

Bio Photo

The Dean and Elaine Yarwood family, 1995.
Back, left to right: Lucinda, Kent, Douglas, Keith and Dennis.

In 1963 we moved to Cedar Rapids, IA. Dean taught at Coe College for three years. While there, our fifth child, Dennis Ross, was. From there we moved to Lexington, KY where Dean was employed at the University of Kentucky in 1966-67. Preferring to be closer to home, we left the university.

In June of 1967 we moved the five children and a striped dog to Columbia, MO, where Dean had a position at the University of Missouri. He is in his 29th year on the MU faculty. Columbia provided a stimulating environment in which to raise the children. I graduated from


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