An American Family History

Henry Clay Yerkes

Yerkes has also been spelled Gerkes, Gerckes, Jerghes, Jerghjes, Jurckes,Yercas, Yercks, Yerkhas, Yerkas, Yerkiss, Yerks, and Yerkus

The Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia borders Maryland and Virginia. The first European settlers started arriving about 1730.

Indiana became a state in 1819. The north was settled by people from New England and New York, the center by people from the Mid-Atlantic states and Ohio, and the south by people from Southern states, particularly Kentucky and Tennessee.

In the Civil War (1861 to 1865) eleven Southern states seceded from the U.S. and formed the Confederate States of America.

Henry Clay Yerkes was born on June 28, 1826 in Jefferson County, Virginia (now West Virginia). He was the youngest son of Josiah Yerkes and Sarah Lupton.

In 1850 he was living with his sister, Catherine Cline, and her family in Jackson Township, Carroll County, Indiana.

When he was 25, Henry married Mary Ellen Woodward of Camden, Carroll County, Indiana on February 20, 1851. Mary Ellen was born on June 26, 1833. Her parents were James Woodward and Malinda Goodwin.

Their children were:
Malinda Catherine Yerkes Appleton (about 1852, married Wilson Appleton),
Sarah Margaret Yerkes (about 1854),
David Newton Yerkes (April 29, 1857, married Mary Frances Lenon),
James Levington Yerkes (1860, married Gertrude Studebaker),
John Lenon Yerkes (1862, married Myrtle L. Houser),
William Henry Yerkes (July 9, 1865, married Elizabeth J. Lenon),
Clara Belle Yerkes (1868), 
Girelda Yerkes Downham (1869, married Harry B. Downham),
Anna Elizabeth Yerkes (1873), and
Charlotte Yerkes Shanks (May 28, 1876, married James Oliver Shanks). 

Malinda and Wilson Appleton
hoto courtesy of Lee Appleton

The family appeared in the 1860 census in Washington Township. The household  consisted of Henry age 31 who was a farmer, Mary E. age 25, Malinda age 8, Sarah M. age 6, David M. age 3 and an unnamed infant. David age 35 was living with the family at that time.

The family was still in Washington Township in 1870. The household consisted of Harry Georkis age 43, Mary age 37, Malinda age 18, Sarah age 15, David age 13, James age 10, John age 8, William age 5, Clarra age 3, and Gesilda age 1. Henry was a farmer and Malinda was a teacher.

In 1880 the household consisted of Henry Yerkes, Mary E. Yerkes, Newton Yerkes (1857), James Yerkes (1860), John Yerkes (1862), William Yerkes (1865), Clara Yerkes (1868), Relda (Girelda) Yerkes (1869), Anna Yerkes (1873), and Charlotte Yerkes (1874). In 1880 Henry was a stage coach station operator.

Henry died when he was 55 years old on April 29, 1882 and Mary Ellen died on April 2, 1894. They are buried together at Paint Creek Cemetery.

Children of Josiah Yerkes
and Sarah Lupton

Eliza Yerkes Fox
William B. Yerkes
Mary B. Yerkes
Josiah Yerkes, Jr.  
Sarah Ann Yerkes Hinkle 
Catherine Yerkes Cline
David Henry Yerkes
Rebecca Yerkes Lenon 
Henry Clay Yerkes


Berkeley County, Virginia was created from the northern third of Frederick County, Virginia in 1772. Jefferson County was formed from the county's eastern section. In 1863 Berkeley County became part of the new state of West Virginia.

West Virginia is located in the Appalachians and was originally part of Virginia. The capital and largest city is Charleston. It became a state during the Civil War and was admitted to the Union on June 20, 1863.




From The History of Carroll County,Indiana, p. 398-9

Stock raising has become one of the scientific arts of the day, the interest having become so widely spread that societies are rapidly being formed all over the country, in order that farmers and stockmen may be instructed in the most approved methods of breeding, feeding and caring for all kinds of stock, as well as in the best system of placing animals upon the market.

Wilson Appleton, farmer and stock raiser, Camden, Indiana, was born on January 29, 1847, in Lebanon County, Ohio, and is the son of John and Lettie (Brown) Appleton.  His youth was spent on his father's farm where he remained until he was nineteen years old, when he bought forty acres of land at a cost of five hundred dollars, where he farmed for about two years, and then sold out, buying an interest in eighty acres. He again sold out and came to Carroll county, buying one hundred and sixty acres, eighty acres of which he sold to his brother, Joseph, and forty acres to Michael Ryan, all at a good profit, and now owns a splendid tract of land, consisting of three hundred acres, where he raises fine stock of every kind, which he disposes of by the carload each year. Politically, Mr. Appleton has given his vote to the Republican party ever since attaining his majority.

John Appleton, father of the subject of this sketch, was born near Trenton, New Jersey , of which state his father was also a native. John grew up on a farm and remained in his native state until he was twenty-one years of age, when he migrated to Ohio where he engaged in farming, as he worked by the day, until he was twenty-five years of age, when he was united in marriage with Lettie Brown, daughter of John Brown.

Mr. and Mrs. Appleton lived for a time at Lebanon, Ohio, where they were engaged in the grocery business and in 1852 they moved to Cass county, Indiana, by canal, landing at Logansport. They afterward moved to Rock Creek, Washington township, Carroll county, where Mr. Appleton bought a saw-mill and forty acres of land, operating the mill about ten years, and living on the place until he died.  He went to the Civil War in company K, One Hundred Twenty-eighth Regiment, Indiana volunteer Infantry, in 1864, serving until he was taken sick and sent home, after which he followed agriculture.  John and Lettie (Brown) Appleton were the parents of six children.

Wilson Appleton was united in marriage on August 31, 1871, with Melinda C. Yerkes, daughter of Henry and Mary (Woodward) Yerkes  She died on July 31, 1910. This union has been blest with three children:  Charles A., who lives on the home place; Burton F., in the business at Deer Creek, and Stella A. who became the wife of S.W. Smith.

Mr. Appleton boasts of Dutch and Irish ancestry. His fine stock has attracted the attention of a great many large dealers, his reputation having reached far and wide.

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©Roberta Tuller 2023
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