Schuyler County ILGenWeb
A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans
W. T. Yoe & Charles Yoe
The Independence Tribuneis one of the oldest papers in Kansas, with a record of continuous issue in one locality for forty-six years, and it
is even older than that since the same plant had been used for publishing a paper in Missouri for several years before its removal to Independence, when that town was located
on the frontier and at the very beginning of its growth and development. The Tribune ever since its establishment has been under the control of two veteran newspaper men, both
brothers, W. T. Yoe, who is editor, and Charles Yoe, who is president of The Tribune Printing Company. The manager of the publication is Charles Albert Connelly, who grew up
in the Tribune establishment and has himself been identified with that journal for more than thirty years.
written and compiled by William E. Connelley, published in 1918.
Submitted by Mr. E. H. Johnson
The record of the Yoe brothers in connection with The Tribune is one of special interest to Kansans. W. T. Yoe was born at Port Republic, Calvert County, Maryland, March 26,
1845. The Yoes were an old Maryland family, having come from England with Lord Baltimore and most of the descendants of the first emigrants still live in Maryland. Walter Yoe,
father of the Yoe brothers, was born in Maryland in 1800 and died at Rushville, Illinois, in 1867. He was reared and married in Maryland, and in 1848 moved to Rushville,
Illinois. He followed his trade as carpenter and builder, was a republican in politics, served a time as a member of the Illinois militia. His wife was Elizabeth William
Harris, who was born in Virginia in 1818 and died at Rushville, Illinois, in 1859. Her family came from the North of Ireland, and her brother, Rev. William Harris, was a
Baptist minister, served as a colonel in the Confederate army, and died in Shelbyville, Kentucky, in 1870. Walter Yoe and wife had three sons: W. T., Charles and Franklin F.
Franklin is a druggist at Independence, Kansas, and thus all three of the brothers are identified with that city.
W. T. Yoe grew up in Rushville, Illinois, and most of his schooling came before he was thirteen years of age, having attended only six months after that time. His real
education was acquired in a printing office, and a better university for training young men does not exist. At the age of thirteen he was at the office of the Citizen at
Rushville, and later in the office of the Times, and made himself useful while accepting such opportunities as were presented to learn the printing trade and all there was to
know about the newspaper business as conducted in a small town. Later for a time he clerked in a dry goods store, but in 1864, at the age of nineteen enlisted in Company K of
the One Hundred and Thirty-seventh Illinois Regiment of Infantry and served nine months until the close of the war. After getting his honorable discharge, he returned to
Rushville, but in 1866 moved to Shelbyville, Missouri, and was in the hardware business for a time.
The real beginning of the Independence Tribune came in 1868, when he and his brother Charles, having located at Shelbina, Shelby County, Missouri, and together with A. M. York
and John W. Shaffer, became owners of the Shelby County Herald. Three years later, in 1871, the Yoe brothers and L. U. Humphrey and A. M. York moved the plant from Missouri to
Independence, Kansas, which was then just starting as a more or less promising village of Montgomery County. When the plant was in readiness it began issuing the South Kansas
Tribune, and in 1874 the Yoe brothers purchased all other interests and controlled the paper entirely until Mr. Connelly was made a partner in 1898.
The Tribune Printing Company now has as its proprietors W. T. and Charles Yoe and C. A. Connelly. It is a remarkable record, when the vicissitudes of newspaper experience are
considered, that the Tribune has never missed an issue since it was established, [p.1740] although the office was destroyed by fire in 1883. The Tribune is a stanch old line
standpat republican paper, is issued weekly, circulating in Montgomery and surrounding counties, and its prestige and influence are second to none among the papers in that
section of the state. The company owns the building and plant at 109 South Penn Avenue. This is the pioneer paper of Montgomery County, and only two other papers in Kansas are
older, considered from the standpoint of continuous existence and surviving to the present time. For forty-five years W. T. Yoe has directed the editorial management of the
paper, while Charles Yoe has been president and business executive, with Mr. Connelly now as business manager.
W. T. Yoe is a republican of the old school, a member of the Methodist Church, and is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd
Fellows, the Woodmen of the World, the Modern Woodmen of America, the Knights and Ladies of Security and the Sons and Daughters of Justice. A number of years ago he was
appointed postmaster at Independence by President Chester A. Arthur, and served three years, resigning before the expiration of his term. Governor Humphrey also appointed
him a member of the state board of charities and for a time he was one of the board of regents of the State Agricultural College at Manhattan. He married Jennie E.
Weatherby, a daughter of Warren W. and Harriet Weatherby, both of whom are now deceased. Her father was at one time postmaster at Shelbina, Missouri. Their children are
seven: Harriet, living at home with her parents; Roy, on a farm in Southern Montgomery County; Edna May, wife of A. L. Bryan, who lives near Los Angeles, California, and is
in the automobile supply business; Earl, foreman in the Tribune printing office at Independence; Ruth, wife of Guy Arey of Independence, Mr. Arey being in the oil business;
Warren W., with the Petroleum Products Company; and George, in the engineering department for the Kansas Natural Gas Company, employed in the Oklahoma
Charles Yoe, the younger of these veteran publishers, and the president of the company, was born at Rushville, Schuyler County, Illinois,
September 22, 1849, the year following the removal of his parents to that locality. Gaining his education in the public schools there, at the early age of sixteen he started
for himself and found employment at various seasons as a farmer, in sawing wood, peddling ice and in printing offices. For a time he was office boy for the Rushville
Citizen, and was paper carrier. For about five months he was with John Nicholson on the Illinoisan at Beardstown, Illinois, and in 1868, as already stated, became associated
with his brother and others in the management of the Shelby County Herald at Shelbina, Missouri, and from there accompanied the plant and paper to Independence, Kansas.
Mr. Charles Yoe is a republican, and served on the State Board of Charities under Governor Stanley and in 1910 was supervisor of the census. He is a member of the Methodist
Episcopal Church. Among other business interests he is president of the Independence Building & Loan Association.
On August 8, 1880, in Montgomery County, he married Miss Agnes Overfield, a daughter of Thomas and Margaret Overfield. Her father was a farmer and is now deceased, and her
mother resides in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Yoe, and is eighty-five years of age. The Overfield family came to Kansas from Massachusetts in 1854, and were among the
pioneers of the territory and had their part in the struggle for the free state movement.