Boone County Kentucky Historical Society

A. M. Yealey, A Short Biography

Biographical Sketch of A. M. Yealey

  A. M. Yealey, the seventh child of Michael Yealey and Catherine Strebel, was born in Union County, Ohio, on January 29, 1873.

Michael Yealey, the father, was born in Germany on January 10, 1827, and Catherine Strebel, the mother, was born in Germany on July 5, 1833. Catherine came to Ohio in 1847 and Michael in 1854. They united in marriage at Bryan, Ohio, on October 24, 1854. To this union were born eight children, four boys and four girls. Two boys and two girls are still living, in 1959.
A. M. Yealey received his grade and high school education in Union County, Ohio. His college work was at the National Normal University at Lebanon, Ohio; Wilmington College,   Wilmington, Ohio; and the University of Cincinnati, Ohio.
After teaching for five years in Union County, Ohio, he established a good business in selling coal, lime, salt, flour, sand, and other commodities in Columbus, Ohio. The flood of 1898 ruined the business by wrecking the buildings.
On March 1, 1898, A. M. Yealey married Lucy Ann Rouse, the daughter of George Rouse, of Florence, Boone County, Kentucky. They lived with the bride's father and Mr. Yealey became a farmer and teacher.  
After teaching in four rural schools in the county he became the principal of the school in Florence where he remained for twenty-nine years. In 1911 he established the first high school in Florence to be recognized by colleges.
In 1931, he and his son-in-law, Russell House, formed a partnership and built the Wild Wood Motel on U.S. Highway 42 on the southern limits of Florence.
After six years Mr. Yealey planned to open a hotel.  His wife's health prevented this and selling his home he purchased the house at 268 Main Street. His wife passed away in 1942.
His longing for his chosen profession caused him to return to the school house. He taught in Florence from 1943 to 1945, and at New Haven for three years.
His children are Mrs. Willa House, Russell Yealey, and Georgia Y. Tanner (deceased). Grandchildren are Dr. G. R. Tanner and Mary Russala Yealey Demoisey. Robert Tanner, Sherry Tanner, and Rene Demoisey are great-grandchildren.
Realizing the need for the preservation of Boone County history, Mr. Yealey began to write articles for the Boone County RecorderWalton Advertiser, and the Stringtown Christian under the title of  "Early History of Boone County."
The response from people who had once lived in Boone County was beyond expectations and to further the knowledge of the history of the area the Boone County Historical Society was formed. Mr. Yealey is the Historian of the society.
He took pride in Florence and served as its mayor on four different occasions. During his first term of office, in 1908, the first sidewalks were laid on Main, Shelby, and Girard streets.
His church membership is at the Unionvilie, Ohio, Methodist Church which he helped to build during 1893.
Now, in 1959, Mr. Yealey is eighty-six years of age. He has taught school forty-one years. He is a very spry man and still writes on Boone County history for the local newspapers.
[From A. M. Yealey, History of Boone County Kentucky; printed by Wm. Fitzgerald, 1960, pp. 1-2.]