Biography of Clarion Augustine Youmans

Biography of Clarion Augustine Youmans

This biography appears on pages 462-463 in
"Men of Progress. Wisconsin. A selected list of biographical sketches and portraits of the leaders in business, professional and official life. Together with short notes on the history and character of Wisconsin."

YOUMANS, Clarion Augustine, a lawyer, farmer and public man of Neillsville, is a native of Wisconsin, having been born in Kenosha, October 14th, 1847. He is the son of Jonas Hamilton Youmans, a cousin of the late Prof. E. L. Youmans, who established the Popular Science Monthly, and of Win. Jay Youmans, its present editor. The family prepared a history of the Youmans family, but it is not at hand, and its facts are not, therefore, available for this sketch. C. A. Youmans' father was born in Coeymans, Albany county, N. Y., June 17th, 1817, and is by occupation a carpenter and farmer. Mr. Youmans' mother, whose maiden name was Adeline Sill, was born in Bethany, Genesee county, N. Y. August 10th, 1821, and died in 1888. There is a genealogical history of the Sill family in the library of the State Historical society, at Madison. Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Youmans removed from Buffalo, N. Y., to Kenosha, in 1847, thence, in 1852, to Arlington Columbia county, where they experienced the privations and hardships of pioneer settlers, but where they did their share in the development of the new country.

C. A. Youmans' early education was such as the ordinary farmer's boy gets at the district school--which he attends in winters only after he has reached an age when his work is of value on the farm. After attendance at the district school he had the opportunity of supplementing his acquirements there by attendance at the village school of Poynette. Leaving school he went to work in a general store in Poynette, and afterward was engaged in farming in Iowa for a year. At the end of that time he returned to Poynette and re-entered the store where he had formerly been employed, remaining there until 1872, when he went to Neillsville to accept a position in a store there, which he held until he entered the law school in 1875. Returning to Neillsville in 1876, he began the practice of law in partnership with M. C. Ring, which partnership continued until January, 1891. The practice of the firm of Ring & Youmans was a general law practice but during its continuance the firm became largely interested in other matters, mainly pine land and lumbering.

Mr. Youmans is a Republican, and has never voted any other ticket. He held the office of county judge in 1877, by appointment of the governor to fill a vacancy. He was elected district attorney of Clark county in 1881, and held that office for one term. In 1894 he was elected to the state senate from the Twenty-fifth district, composed of the counties of Clark and Eau Claire. In the session of 1895 he was a member of the judiciary and railroad committees and was chairman of the committee on roads and bridges, and in the session of 1897 he was on the following committees: Judiciary, manufacturers, roads and bridges, and chairman of the committee on town and county organizations. Mr. Youmans has owned and operated one of the largest farms in Clark county for the past ten years; and, as it is only two and a half miles from Neillsville, he lived thereon for seven years, and drove to his office daily. In 1892 he again made his home in Neillsville for the better education of his children. His interest in farming made him a very capable president of the Clark County Agricultural society, and that office he held from 1890 to 1893.

He is a member of the Masonic lodge-- is a Knight Templar, has held several offices in the Blue Lodge and was master of Neillsville Lodge in 1884. He is not a member of any church, but attends the Unitarian, and is in hearty sympathy with Unitarian thought.

Mr. Youmans was married January 10th, 1877, to Miss Nettie French, eldest daughter of B. F. French, who at that time was one of the oldest residents of Clark county. Mr. and Mrs. Youmans have three children: Guy Clarion, Viola French and Adda Beth.

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