Andrew F. Yetter
The gentleman to a brief review of whose life and achievements the reader’s attention is herewith directed is among the leading farmers of Brown township, and by his enterprise and progressive methods he has contributed in a material way to the agricultural advancement of his section of the county. In the course of an honorable career he has done as much if not more than any other citizen of Hancock county to improve the grade of live stock, especially horses, in the breeding of which he several years since achieved a reputation which has made his name a familiar sound to the leading raisers of fine horse flesh throughout Indiana and several other states.
Andrew F. Yetter was born in Wayne Township, Henry county, Indiana May 25, 1842, and is descended from an old Pennsylvania family whose ancestors came from Germany. The name in the original German form was “Yoder”, from which it was changed to “Yutter”, and finally to its present form. The subject’s grandfather, Henry Yetter, lived and died in the Keystone state: Daniel Yetter, the father, was born in Mifflinsburg, Union county, Pennsylvania, and remained there until the year of 1835, when he came to Indiana and settled in the county of Henry, where he purchased eighty acres of wild land and began the life of a pioneer. Shortly after coming to this state he married Miss Lavina Byrket, of Preble county, Ohio, who bore him three children: Mary, deceased, wife of A. E. Pennington, of Henry county; Andrew F. and Henry: the last named was a soldier in the late Civil War and died some years ago; his widow, formerly Sarah Simpson, lives in the town of Cicero, this state.
Daniel Yetter cleared a good farm in Henry county and lived on the same until 1859, when he sold his real estate and migrated to Johnson county, Missouri. By reason of the disturbed conditions in that county caused by the Civil War, then in progress, he soon returned to Indiana and purchased one hundred and fifty-six acres of land in Brown township, Hancock county, which, like his original place in Henry county, was in a wild condition, containing few improvements beyond a small log cabin and few acres ready for cultivation. He cleared and improved the farm and continued to live on the same until advancing age obliged him to desist from natural labor, when he retired to Maple Valley, Henry county, where his death occurred April 9, 1889. He was a staunch Republican, an active member of the Christian church and for many years enjoyed the reputation of being one of the most enterprising citizens of the community in which he lived; his widow still survives and makes her home with her children. September 9, 1902, a reunion was held on the old Byrket homestead in honor of her eighty-second birthday.
Andrew F. Yetter was reared in the country and experienced his full share of the hardships which come to farm lads whose parents are poor in this world’s goods and unable to give them the advantages they desire. Owing to his services being required on the farm he was able to attend school but a short time, consequently his early educational training was exceedingly limited. He toiled early and late during the years of his minority, helped his father in many ways and left nothing undone in the way of ministering to the comforts of his parents in their old age. At the age of twenty-two he was united to Miss Caroline Craft, of Henry county, daughter of Timothy and Mary Craft, a union which resulted in the birth of two children, Mary, who died in 1885 when eighteen years old, and Lora, wife of Walter S. Ham, of Brown township.
During the first seven years following his marriage Mr. Yetter farmed in Jackson township, this county, and at the expiration of that period opened a general store in the village of Maple Valley where he carried on a fairly successful business for twelve years. Disposing of this stock to good advantage, he returned to Hancock county and purchased the beautiful farm in Brown township on which he has since lived and prospered as an agriculturist and breeder of high-grade live stock.
Mr. Yetter has practically made all the improvements which his farm now contains, erecting good buildings and enhancing the value of the place in many ways. Familiar with every detail of agriculture and appreciating its dignity when compared with other callings, he has spared no pains in developing the productiveness of the soil, employing advanced methods and using the latest and most approved implements and appliances. While meeting with a large measure of success in general farming, it has been as a breeder and raiser of fine horses that he has achieved his reputation and made the larger part of his fortune.
Mr. Yetter turned his attention to horses some years ago and, finding the business to pay well, has continued it with most gratifying results. He has bred and raised a number of high grade animals that won records in various parts of the county and at the present time owns some of the finest horses in the state, the value of several running well up in the thousands. His reputation has attracted the attention of the leading horsemen throughout Indiana and adjacent states, many of whom have visited his farm for the purpose of inspecting the premises, studying his methods and examining his stock. As evidencing Mr. Yetter’s enterprise the fact may be cited that he leased from J. H. Clarke, of Elmira, New York, the celebrated trotting stallion “Old Pocahontas,” valued at thirty thousand dollars, and for whose services the fee was one hundred dollars and no insurance. Mr. Yetter bred and raised “American Boy,” that sold for three thousand dollars, and he also raised a colt from this horse that sold for four thousand dollars. He now owns some of the finest brood mares in central Indiana. As a judge of the merits and qualities of horse flesh, Mr. Yetter has no superior and but few equals. He appears to possess an intuitive knowledge and is seldom if ever mistaken in his judgment. He has made a long and critical study of the noble animal, and hesitates not to give others the benefit of his wisdom and observations, believing that in doing so he is conferring a great favor in the way of improving the horse flesh of the county.
Mr. Yetter is a public-spirited man and for years has manifested a deep interest in every enterprise having for its end the general good. He has been a forceful factor in the agricultural and industrial development of this township and county, ready at all times to head any movement whereby his fellow man may be benefited and willing to co-operate with others in all laudable undertakings. He is a pronounced Republican in politics, and since 1875 has been a prominent worker in the Odd Fellows fraternity, belonging to Lodge No. 503 at Wilkinson. While living at Maple Valley he held the position of postmaster and notary public, in addition to which he transacted considerable legal business for his friends and neighbors, being well versed in the law as well as having a wide practical knowledge of business.
Mr. Yetter is a man of excellent judgment and is frequently consulted on matters involving technical legal points. In this respect he is a valuable man to the community and not a few have availed themselves of his knowledge and experience in adjusting affairs which without his assistance and advice would doubtless have resulted in long and expensive litigation. In his religious belief he is a Methodist and as a humble and devout disciple of the Master has been the means of strengthening the congregation in which he belongs, numerically and otherwise. From the beginning of his career to the present time he has tried to discharge worthily every obligation incumbent upon him and to live so as to merit the approbation of God and his fellow men.
Mr. Yetter has been twice married, his first wife, to whom reference is made in a preceding paragraph, having died in the month of September, 1892. Subsequently, March 28, 1896, he was united to his present companion, who bore the maiden name of Clara Gains. Mrs. Yetter is a native of Randolph county, Indiana and has presented her husband one child, Josephine, who birth occurred on the 17th of November, 1899.
*******Source: Andrew F. Yetter, Biographical Sketch, Biographical Memoirs of Hancock County, Indiana, B. F. Bowen, Publisher, Logansport, Indiana, 1902, Hancock County Public Library, 900 West McKenzie Road, Greenfield, Indiana 46140, (317)462-5141, GEN 977.25813, pages 707-709.
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