Yankee, Henry (History - 1844)


Janet Schwarze





----Source: 1918 History of Clark County, Wisconsin, page 483.

Henry Yankee, an elderly resident of Lynn Township, of which he was a pioneer settler, and where he is universally known and respected, was born in Canada, Dec. 26, 1844, son of Frederick and Frederica Yankee. The parents had then resided in Canada for about six years, and in the year of his birth, or soon after, they came to Washington County, Wis., where they resided for ten years, and where his education was begun in a German school. The family then removed to Clark County, arriving here just two weeks after the arrival of the Wedge and Williams families, and locating on land in Lynn Township that has since remained the family homestead. Here Henry attened the Mapleworks school for a while, and when a little older gave his full time to industrial occupations, being employed at logging in the winter and on the drive in spring, working for Mr. Hewett on O'Neill Creek. He also did some harvesting in Minnesota. While the mail members of the family were thus working, the mother spun wool and flax and attended to the household affairs. Henry often walked to and from Neillsville, there being no better method of locomotion in early days.


On Feb. 28, 1875, he was married to Amelia Knoop, who was born in Germany, Oct. 8, 1854, her father, Paul Knoop, being a shoemaker in Stolp. He died in Germany, and she came to the United States alone at the age of 17 years, having a brother in Neillsville. Her mother followed her a year later. After his marriage, Henry Yankee settled with his wife on the home place. He cradled grain for a time and broke his own oxen, his first wagon being built for him by George Riedel. The Indians often camped near his house, occasionally performing one of their ceremonial dances. Mr. Yankee's original tract contained eighty-six acres, improving it as the years went by, and erecting good buildings. Here he has since spent his life and has attained comfortable circumstances.


At times he has served in public office as a member of the side board and as road boss.


He and his wife had a family of ten children, four of whom, Alfred, Leo, Martha and Ida, died of diphtheria. The survivors are Ernest, a farmer in Fremont County, and Arthur, Martin, Lily, Violet and Rosa, residing at home. The mother of these children, Mrs. Amelia Yankee, died Dec. 7, 1908.





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