Biographical Sketch of

Jerry B. Yates

The early history of this county would be incomplete without adequate reference to the prominent part which J. B. Yates took in it from the beginning. Jr. Yates was born in Lockport N. Y., in 1829 was twice married, and died but a few month ago in Ramsey. In 1848 he came to Beaver Dam, Wis., and seven years later arrived in Austin. In partnership with V. P. Lewis he opened the second store here. They also turned their attention to town lots, and in April, 1856, arose the familiar controversy concerning the records of the platting of Austin.

At the first election in the county Mr. Yates was elected Sheriff on the west side ticket, by 46 majority, and was a fearless and efficient official. The commissioners were appointed by the legislature and most of them favored Austin as the county seat, although it had formerly been located at Frankford. So the little tin box was shrewdly hidden and finally found its way to Austin. Arrests were made, but before court convened the matter was settled at the polls and nothing was ever done with those under bonds.

Yates and Lewis started the first brickyard in Austin. Finally their partnership was dissolved and Mr. Yates engaged in the grain business for a while, then moved to his fine farm near Lansing. He stayed there four years and then engaged in extensive insurance business until the time of his final illness. His memory will long be cherished as one who had not a little natural shrewdness, and a willing hand and kindly heart to all in times of trouble.

Submitted to MnGenWeb by Darrel K. Waters