WILLIAM THOMAS YOE             GRAVESTONE PHOTO                      

From History of Montgomery County, Kansas, By Its Own People, Published by L. Wallace Duncan, Iola, Kansas, 1903, Pg. 311-312:


Yoe, William Thomas Bio


            William Thomas Yoe was born in Calvert county, Maryland, March 26, 1845, and reared in a Christian home.  His parents were Walter and Elizabeth (Harris) Yoe, a native Maryland and Virginia people.  In 1848, the parents left their old home and established themselves among the pioneers of Rushville, Illinois.  The father was a carpenter and pursued the arts of peace and won the affection and regard of the community.  To the three sons, W. T., Charles and Frank F., the parents left the heritage of a good name and an inspiration to righteous and useful lives.

            Thomas Yoe, as our subject is universally known, passed his childhood and youth about Rushville, Illinois, where he had some acquaintance with the common schools.  His education assumed a practical turn from the age of thirteen years, when he went into a print shop, from which, as a business, he had never been separated.  Toward the end of the Civil War he enlisted in Company “K”, One Hundred and Thirty-second Illinois infantry, and saw service at Memphis, Tennessee.

            After the war he located at Shelbyville, Missouri, where, for a short time, he was a hardware merchant, and then at Shelbina, where he became associated with Col. A. M. York in the publication of a Republican newspaper.  After nearly five years, he decided to exert his energies among the people of the progressive frontier State of Kansas.

            In the winter of 1870, he founded, with others, the South Kansas Tribune, and, in February following brought the plant to Kansas and established it in the new town of Independence, in Montgomery county.  L. U. Humphrey, afterward governor of Kansas, was associated with the new paper, on its editorial staff.  The proprietorship of the “Tribune: came, later, into the hands of W. T. and Chas. Yoe, where, with a single exception, it has since remained.

            Mr. Yoe has been a part of Montgomery county nearly a third of a century and has shared in its development work, both rural and urban.  Little that has been of general interest to the county has not known his hand, or felt the influence of his voice or pen; and the confidence he thus inspired warranted the conferring of public honors and the bestowal upon him of public trusts.  The practical character of his views, his mature judgment and the evident sincerity of his purpose are traits which have commended him through life and marked him as one of the prominent citizens of his city and county.  He has been at the head of his newspaper since its establishment and his personal standing has given it weight and power.  He has helped make governors and other state officers and furnished effective advice in the distribution of local offices which showed abundant wisdom and brought a strong current of public sentiment to his party’s approval.

            As an appointee to public office, Mr. Yoe has rendered his chief public service.  President Arthur appointed him postmaster of Independence and he served three years bur resigned upon the election of Mr. Cleveland.  Governor Humphrey appointed him sectary of the State Board of Charities, where he remained three years, and Governor Stanley made him a member of the Board of Regents of the State Agricultural College.  As a Republican he has occupied a high position in party councils.  He has a single standard of honesty and applies it in business, religion and politics, alike.  He is an active and leading member o the Methodist congregation in Independence, and the influence of his life is a potent one in the spiritual and material affairs of the church.

            In 1870, in Shelbina, Missouri, Mr. Yoe married Jennie E. Weatherby.  The issue of this union are:  Harriet E, a teacher in the Deaf and Dumb Institution of Kansas; Roy W., a farmer, of Tyro, Montgomery county; Edna May, assistant in the Independence post office; Earl A., a printer in the Tribune office; and Ruth, Warren and George.

Contributed by Mrs. Maryann Johnson a Civil war researcher and a volunteer in the Kansas Room of the Independence Public Library, Independence, Kansas.