SOURCE: Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Western Arkansas.
Goodspeed Publishers, 1891.
Rev. John L. Yancey, a minister of the gospel and one of the prominent farmers of Union Township, is a native of Giles County, Tennessee, born in 1833. His father, Henry Yancey, was a native of Giles County also, and the mother, Sarah Prather, was a North Carolinian by birth. They were married in Giles County and from there they removed to
Fayette County and about 1842 to Tippah County, Mississippi, and soon after to Shelby County, Tennessee, where Mr. Yancey died (at Fort Pickering) about 1846. Mrs. Yancey died in Tipton County, Tennessee, about 1874, both Methodists for many years. John Yancey, the grandfather, was born and married in North Carolina and from there he removed to Tennessee, and died near Pulaski in that State about 1833, a successful farmer. Rev. Leonard Prather, the other grandfather of Mr. Yancey was a prominent Methodist divine of North Carolina, where he probably spent his entire life, but died in East Tennessee, while en route to West Tennessee, to visit some of his children. He was educated in the High Church of England, in which country his parents were born, but both died when Leonard was a boy. The mother, Frances (Williams), was of a noble family of England. John L. Yancey is the fourth in a family of four sons and two daughters and his schooling did not exceed six months. After the death of his father he supported the family till his majority when he began for himself. He was married about 1858, in Tippah County, Mississippi, to Harriet G., a daughter of Andrew and Phoebe D. Martin, who were married in Middle Tennessee, but the former died in Lauderdale County, Alabama, in 1857. His wife died in Lafayette County, Mississippi, about 1873; both Methodist. Mrs. Yancey was born in Tennessee and is the mother of eight children, six living: James H., Sallie E., the wife of James Thomas, John Rufus, Mary E., now Mrs. Rogers Nolley, William L. and Margaret B. At the age of 16 Mr. Yancey became identified with the M. E. Church, South, and about four years after was licensed to preach. At about 28 he received the ordination of that church, and for over thirty-five years has been actively engaged in the ministry, mostly as a local worker. About three years of his life was spent in the cause of the Confederacy; the
first year and a half in Company G, Fourth Mississippi Cavalry, during which time he fought at Corinth, Iuka, Brentwood Station, Thompson's Station, etc. The remainder of his service was in Company A, Eighteenth Mississippi Cavalry, in North Mississippi, taking part in the fights at Salem, Wyatt and others, He continued his residence in
Mississippi till 1871, when he removed to Woodruff County, Arkansas where he lived seven years. He then removed to Faulkner County, and four years ago came to Conway County and settled in the woods six miles northeast of Plummerville, where he has since made his home. He is the owner of 200 acres in two tracts, the most of which is under a fine state of cultivation, making one of the best farms in the township. Mr. Yancey has led an active, energetic and honest life, and any enterprise that has a tendency toward the elevation of mankind, or
the welfare of the country, meets his hearty support.