Biography of Henry and Mary Yager, great-great-grandparents of Bill Price
Henry and Mary Yager were early Winneshiek County pioneers, coming here from Wayne County, Ohio in 1857. Henry Yager, the son of German immigrants, was born in Wooster, Wayne County, 13 November 1827, where he spent the majority of his youth. On 28 September 1848 he married Mary Magdalene Musser, a native of Pennsylvania. Mary was born 23 March 1825.
Henry and Mary Yager were the parents of eight children: Fyann Elisabeth, born 1850 in Ohio, died in infancy; Franklin L., born 20 March 1853 in Ohio, died 16 March 1922 in Calmar, Iowa; William Vail, born February 1856 in Ohio, married Emma B. Shipley 1 May 1884; Oliver Perry, born October 1858 in Winneshiek County, married Margaret J. Hardy in 1888/9, died 1937 in Riceville, Iowa; Simon Rice, born 30 May 1861 in Winneshiek County, married Emma R. Desmond 27 April 1888, died May 1931; Sophia Lillian, born 23 February 1864 in Winneshiek County, married Robert Giffin Price 6 September 1893, died 6 October 1932 in Decorah; Henry Arthur, born December 1865 in Winneshiek County, married Ada Reynolds 1894/5; Charles Wilson, born May 1868 in Winneshiek County, married Etta L. Kent in 1899/1900, died 26 January 1953.
Henry and Mary Yager settled near Locust Lane in Pleasant township, where they farmed for about 35 years before moving to Decorah. On 16 December 1857 he was appointed Postmaster at Locust Lane by Aaron V. Brown, U. S. Postmaster General under President James Buchanan. Henry was actively involved in public school work, and served twenty consecutive years on the education board of Pleasant township, as well as teaching school in Locust Lane. During the Civil War he received a First Lieutenant's commission of the "Pleasant Township Guards" from Governor William M. Stone, but was never called into active service. He was also appointed to the secret service and reported to the provost marshall.
In the fall of 1892 Henry moved to Decorah with his family, after winning an election for Treasurer of Winneshiek County. He had run as the Democratic candidate, and had won by a very slim margin. He served only one term and returned to private life, moving to Calmar and later to Riceville, Iowa, where he lived with his son Henry Yager Jr., until his death. Henry Sr. died 10 March 1908 and was buried in the Riceville Cemetery.
Mary M. Yager remained for a few years in Riceville where her sons Oliver and Henry were also residing. In later years she moved to Decorah to live with her daughter Lillian and son-in-law Robert Price. Mary passed away in Decorah 19 March 1922 three days after the death of her oldest son Frank, and three days before her 97th birthday. She was buried beside her husband Henry in the Riceville Cemetery.