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James Anderson Yates
Prof. James Anderson Yates
Prof. James Anderson Yates. From England to North Carolina, in colonial
times, the Yates family may be traced by generations as it extended into
Tennessee and Kentucky and 1916 finds it firmly and honorably established
in other states. For two decades this name in Kansas has been connected
with the educational field, the scholastic attainments of Prof. James
Anderson Yates, the head of the departments of chemical and physical
sciences, in the State Manual Training Normal School at Pittsburg, having
won recognition in this and in other large institutions of learning.
Professor Yates enjoys a wide acquaintance with the leading scientists of
the country and is valued as a member of numerous scientific bodies.
James Anderson Yates was born October 24, 1865, at Bush, in Laurel County,
Kentucky, and is a son of James F. Yates and a grandson and namesake of
Anderson Yates. The latter was born in 1810, in North Carolina, and died
in 1885, in Grainger County, Tennessee, in which he had been an early
settler and farmer. He married a member of the Mitchell family.
James F. Yates was born in 1835, at Rutledge, Grainger County, Tennessee,
and died at Bush, Kentucky, in August, 1903. He was reared in Tennessee
but during the Civil war went to Kentucky. When the war opened in 1861 he
enlisted for service in the Union army, entering the Third Tennessee
Volunteer Infantry, and during his three years of military service met
with many of the serious hazards of war. He was first wounded in an
engagement at London, Kentucky, and subsequently was captured by the enemy
but was paroled and later exchanged. He was wounded again at Resaca,
Georgia, and was sent to a hospital. As long as he lived he took pride in
remembering that he "marched with Sherman to the sea."
||After he returned to Bush,
Kentucky, he engaged in agricultural pursuits and they interested
him until the close of his life. In politics he was a republican but
never a seeker for office. As a consistent member of the Baptist
Church, his fellow men found him true to his faith and a man honest
and upright in all his dealings. He married Temperance Smith, who
was born in 1835, in Laurel County, Kentucky, and died at Bush, in
March, 1903. They had children as follows: James Anderson; Sarah
Jane, who is the wife of Israel Howard, a farmer near Goodman,
Missouri; George W., who is a farmer, cattle raiser and stockman and
lives at Bassano, Alberta, Canada; William F., who lives at Bush,
Kentucky, is a merchant and farmer; one child who died in infancy;
and one child who lived to the age of five years.
James Anderson Yates attended the common schools at Bush, Kentucky.
Following this he taught in district schools in Laurel and Clay counties,
Kentucky, for six years and then entered the Kentucky State University, at
Lexington. He was graduated from that institution in 1890, with the degree
of B. S. and immediately became principal of Laurel Seminary, where he
remained for two years. Professor Yates was then called to Cumberland
College, where he organized a science department and remained there as its
head for five years.
In 1897 Professor Yates became identified with Ottawa University, Ottawa,
Kansas, as head of the department of natural sciences and continued in
that relation for ten years. It was in 1907 that he came to Pittsburg as
head of the chemical and physical sciences departments in the great
industrial and normal college here, and since then he has bent every
energy in making progress along these lines for the benefit of the state's
future men and women. For this work he is equipped by natural bent and
training, by experimental study and association with those whose aims and
talents are like his own. He has attended the Chicago University for six
summer quarters and has won many quiet honors, and in 1899 received the
degree of M. S. from the Kentucky State University.
At Somerset, Kentucky, June 19, 1895, Professor Yates was married to Miss
Elizabeth Bryant, of that place, and they have three children: Julia Anna,
who belongs to the graduating class of 1917, in the Kansas State Manual
Normal Training School; Charles Robert, who is in the sophomore year in
the same institution; and Gladys, who is a student in the high school at
In his political attitude, Professor Yates is a republican. While residing
at Ottawa, Kansas, he filled the office of city chemist, as he does at
Pittsburg. In 1915 he was made president of the board of welfare, at
Pittsburg, organized in large measure for the supervision of public
entertainments, and through him the society was largely instrumental in
obtaining the passage of the law giving cities rights to maintain such
boards of welfare and to license exhibitions and other civic enterprises.
In many other ways he has shown the sensible, unselfish public spirit that
indicates the good citizen.
|For many years Professor Yates has been
identified with Masonry and has served in high offices. He belongs
to Pittsburg Lodge No. 187, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons;
Pittsburg Chapter No. 58, Royal Arch Masons; Pittsburg Commandery
No. 29, Knights Templar, and Mirza Temple, Mystic Shrine,
Pittsburg. He is a past high priest of the Chapter and a past
eminent commander of the Commandery. He is a deacon in the Baptist
Church and is chairman of the advisory board and a leader in the
benevolent enterprises and wide charities that distinguish this
Since 1896 Professor Yates has been a member of the American Chemical
Society. He is a member of the National Geographical Society, is a life
member of the Kansas Academy of Science and past president of the same,
is a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science,
in 1899 was a member of the Union Pacific Fossil Field Expedition, and
is a member of the National Educational Association. He has never made
the accumulation of wealth a leading impulse in his busy life but,
nevertheless, has shown the foresight that leads to comfortable
independence, just as needful for the scientist as for the ordinary
individual, and has secured some valuable property in the way of
desirable real estate at Pittsburg, this including his attractive
residence at No. 115 East Fourteenth Street. He is also the fortunate
owner of an apple orchard of ten acres, situated at North Yakima,
Source: "A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans",
compiled by William E. Connelley, Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, 1918.
The above biography is held at
Access Genealogy. Permission
has been granted to republish here.
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