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William Yuill Biography


This biography is from "Memorial and biographical record; an illustrated compendium of biography, containing a compendium of local biography, including biographical sketches of prominent old settlers and representative citizens of South Dakota..." Published by G. A. Ogle & Co., Chicago, 1898. Pages 455-456

WILLIAM YUILL is an energetic and prosperous agriculturist who makes his home on section 14, Clearwater township, Miner county. He is one of the old settlers, having located upon his present farm in i88i. Mr. Yuill was born in Montreal, Canada, April 10, 1851, and is the son of John and Mary (Barr) Yuill, both native of Glasgow, Scotland, who came to Canada, about 1846. John Yuill was a carpenter. Both he and his wife died in Lampton county, Canada, where they had settled, and where our subject spent his early life and received a common-school education. He remained at home until his twenty-first year, when he secured a position in the yards of the Grand Trunk railroad, as switchman. He remained there for six years and then went to Michigan and afterward to Minnesota. In 1881 he removed to South Dakota, taking up a government claim in Miner county, upon which he now lives. There were few white men to be found in that region in the early days, and Mr. Yuill encountered many hardships before he got his land under the plow and in a paying condition, for all of the land was wild. Mr. Yuill, however, worked away with a will, broke a little of his land, planted some flax, and put up a sort of "adobe" as a habitation. The same year he harvested a crop on shares. From these small beginnings he now has a fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres, all but thirty of which are under the plow. The place is well improved, with good buildings, barns, etc., and has a generally prosperous appearance. It has already brought its owner a handsome competence, and promises to yield even better returns in future under his able management. Mr. Yuill is politically a Populist, and has taken a great interest in local public affairs. He has frequently attended conventions as a delegate, and has held a number local offices, among which may be mentioned those of township treasurer, chairman of the board of township supervisors and justice of the peace. He occupies the last named office at the present time. Mr. Yuill is a member of the Modern Woodmen lodge at Winfred. In August, 1882, he married Miss Amelia Wesenberg, a native of Pomerania, Germany, where she wasborn April 15, 1862. Mrs. Yuill is a daughter of John Carl and Henrietta (Piepenburg) Wesenberg, who came to this country from Pomerania in 1870, settling in Houston county, Minnesota. Mr. Wesenburg cultivated a farm there until 1885, when he removed with his family to Clear-water township, Miner county, South Dakota. His wife died there July 13, 1897. Mr. and Mrs. Yuill are the parents of six children, Henrietta Mary, Anna Albertina, Amelia Barr, John Carl, Katie Elizabeth and Roy Erca. They are very fond of their parents, and it is an interesting sight to see them affectionately climb upon their father's knee and welcome him home as he comes in from the field or from a trip to town. And it may be said that Mr. Yuill is no less fond of his children, for he has provided his home with all the conveniences which conduce to happiness and comfort, and lets no opportunity pass to afford his family all reasonable pleasures. They are members of the Congregational church, in which Mr. Yuill has been an official, and he is now moderator of the school district.