HON. ISAAC PERKINS YANCEY
Source: Library of American Lives - Tennessee Edition. By Gus W. Dyer. 1949
One of the outstanding figures in Fayette County today is Isaac Perkins Yancey, Chevrolet Sales Manager and partner, garage operator, Pan-Am gasoline and oil distributor and Mayor of the county seat, Somerville. He is prominent in the Masonic fraternity, Lions International, the Methodist Church and the Democratic Party. He is also well known among the numerous Chevrolet dealers of the United States and to the Chevrolet home office in Detroit.
.Mr. Yancey wax born in Fayette County -at Oakland-on October 25, 1904. His parents are H. P. and Susan (Adams: Yancey, the former also a native of Fayette County, the latter of Haywood County, Tennessee. The father is a former merchant whose own father, L F. Yancey, was also born in Fayette County. The Yancey family originated in Virginia, from which state it came to Tennessee. Isaac Perkins Yancey is the eldest of five children born to his parents, the others being Mrs. Ethel McCarty, now living at Helena, Arkansas; H. A. Yancey, of Atlanta, Georgia; Sirs. Elizabeth Griffin, of Brunswick, Tennessee, and L F. Yancey, who in 1948 was attending Memphis State College but whose home is in Oakland. Somerville's Mayor was educated in Fayette County. After attending the local schools he went to and was graduated from the Oakland High School. In 1922, he took a business course at J. W. Macon's Business College in Central High School, Memphis, Tennessee. Mr. Yancey has been in the automobile business since 1925, when he started selling cars for Russell Reeves, Ford dealer in Somerville. He remained with Mr. Reeves' firm for two years and then took over the management of the Burnett Chevrolet Company of Somerville. As manager of this company Mr. Yancey sells Chevrolet passenger can and tracks as well as spare parts. Also he has a complete garage and repair service and is the Pan-Am gasoline and oil distributor for all of Fayette County. He is, in addition, a member of the board of directors of the Somerville Bank and Trust Company. Long active in civic and political affairs he was elected Mayor of Somerville in 1940, and retains this office today. He is a member of the Democratic Committee of Fayette County.
On Jane 14, 1931, Mayor Yancey married Laura G. Drake, a native of Lauderdale County, Tennessee, and daughter of the Reverend W. L. Drake, Methodist preacher. Mr. and Mrs. Yancey are the parents of two children: Betty Ann, who was born on July 17, 1933 and in 1948 was attending the public schools of Somerville, and Billy Perkins Yancey, who was born on February 28, 1941, and who in 1948 was in the first grade of elementary school.
Mr. Yancey's hobby is his work. He is so prominent with Chevrolet that in 1939 he was one of a small number selected to attend the Chevrolet Post-Graduate School of Merchandising and Management at Detroit. Of the ten thousand Chevrolet dealers, only thirtyone were selected to attend this school in 1939, and three of them were from other countries. Mr. Yancey is also a member of the Tennessee and National Automobile Dealers Association.. In the Masonic fraternity, he is a member cat the Blue Lodge, being past Worshipful Master of Somerville Lodge No. 73, Somerville, Tennessee, as well as the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine and the Order of the Eastern Star. He has twice served as Worthy patron of the Somerville Chapter of the Eastern Star. In the Lions Club of Somerville he has held every office through president and has also been one chairman, district chairman and district governor of Lions International. In the Methodist Church, he is a Sunday School teacher and secretary of the board of stewards. Mrs. Yancey is also active in that church. She is a past worthy matron of the Eastern Star. As Mayor, Mr. Yancey is guiding the City of Somerville through a various series of programs aimed at community betterment and has won wide popularity for his administration. But whether as Mayor or as business man, he has had much to do with community growth and prosperity.