GOODLOE HARPER YANCEY, JR.

Source: History of Georgia
S.J. Clarke Publishing, 1926 - Vol 2 Page 324

Goodloe Harper Yancey, of the firm of Yancey Bros. of Atlanta, distributors of tractors and roadmaking machinery, is a native son of Georgia and a member of one of the oldest and most distinguished families in this state. His grandfather was William Lowndes Yancey, whose name is indelibly inscribed on the annals of this proud commonwealth. The Yanceys of this line have been represented in America since the year 1642, when four brothers of that name, Charles, William, Joel and Robert, left their home in Wales and became members of the Virginia colony. Lewis Davis Yancey, a son of one of these sturdy Welsh immigrants, became proprietor of a landed estate in Culpeper county, Virginia, about 1710. James Yancey, his sixth son, was an officer of the Virginia line during the Revolutionary war and afterward settled at Charleston, South Carolina, where he married a Miss Cudworth, one of the Massachusetts Cudworths, and became engaged in the practice of law in association with Robert Goodloe Harper. Benjamin Cudworth Yancey, eldest of the three sons of James Yancey, served as a midshipman in the United States Navy, later became a lawyer in Charleston and was serving as a member of the South Carolina legislature, chairman of the judiciary committee of the house, at the time of his death in the fall of 1817, when in his thirty-fourth year. He had married Caroline Bird, daughter of William and Catherine (Dalton) Bird of Virginia, and one of their sons was William Lowndes Yancey, grandfather of the subject of this review.

William Lowndes Yancey was born in August, 1814, and was but three years of age when his father died. He was well reared and after finishing his studies in Williams College was admitted to the bar at Abbeville, South Carolina, and in 1837 settled in Alabama. He rendered service _ in the legislature of that state in both the house and the senate and in 1844 was elected to congress. In 1848 he was a delegate to the national democratic convention, vigorously opposed the compromise resolutions offered by Clay in .1850, and was an elector in 1856. He believed with all his heart in the distinctive institutions of the south and from the time of the formation of the republican party, if not before, anticipated the coming conflict and prepared to meet, or, as he thought, avoid it by secession, early becoming an active, zealous and efficient agent of the movement looking to that solution of the problem confronting the states. His view", diligently preached at caucuses, conventions and private interviews, were adopted by many of the leaders in his section and brought about, in part, the end at which"he aimed. At the Alabama convention in January, 1860, he laid down a plan of action for the coming national convention of the party. "The states-rights men shtiuf~ present their demands," he maintained; "if denied, they should secede from the convention, appeal to the whole people of the south and organize another party." He also insisted that in case of the success of the republican ticket in November, "the legislature should by law require the governor to call a state convention before March 4, 1861. Failing to get their demands, the south should seek her independence out of the Union." This program was carried out to the letter. Yancey was the chief manager of the Charleston convention of April, 1860, and one of its most brilliant and persuasive speakers. Being outvoted, the Alabama delegation retired and were followed by the other cotton states. The split in the party was made complete at the Baltimore convention in June, at which Yancey was present and active. He overbore opposition by threatening "the penalties of treason" at the Alabama convention in January, 1861, and was burned in effigy by the unionists. He sailed for Europe in March as an agent to seek foreign recognition for the Confederacy and returned unsuccessful in February, 1862. He was elected to represent his state in the senate of the Confederate States of America and while thus serving died, July 28, 1863, near Montgomery, Alabama.

The late Goodloe Harper Yancey, son of William Lowndes Yancey and father of the subject of this sketch, was born at Montgomery and after his marriage established his home at Athens in this state, where he became prominently identified with the business interests of that place and also took an active and influential part in general public affairs, being for some time secretary of the Georgia state prison commission, making his home in Atlanta, where his last days were spent, his death occurring there in 1924. His wife had long predeceased him, her death having occurred at Athens, Georgia, in 1893. In her maidenhood she was Lucy G. Dupree, born at Lexington, Oglethorpe county, this state, and was a member of the Dupree family which also has exerted a wide influence in the social and civic life of this state. To Goodloe H. and Lucy G. (Dupree) Yancey were born four sons and two daughters: Goodloe Harper: B. Earl, who is mentioned elsewhere in this work; L. D., connected with the firm of Yancey Brothers; W. L., of Jacksonville, Florida; Mrs. Howell Cobb Erwin, of Athens, Georgia; and Marie Ella, of Atlanta.

Goodloe Harper Yancey, Jr., was born in Athens, Georgia, May 14, 1884, receiving his early education in the public schools of that city, later attending the Peacock School for Boys at Atlanta and concluded his educational training at the Georgia School of Technology, attending the latter institution during the years 1902-03. He began his business career at the age of seventeen in Atlanta, and when twenty-one took a position in the employ of the Baird Hardware Company at Gainesville, Florida, and remained in that connection for several years, or until he went into the hardware business for himself in Atlanta. For four years Mr. Yancey carried on a general hardware business in this city, and in 1912 the firm of Yancey Brothers was formed. The growth and expansion of their business has been remarkable and the firm now ranks with the foremost of its kind in the south, as distributors of contractors equipment, road building machinery and county supplies. It is also distributors .for Georgia, Florida and South Carolina of the "Caterpillar" tractor line.

On the 16th of January, 1908, in Atlanta, Mr. Yancey was married to Miss Charm Oliver and they reside at No. 131 Springdale road. He is a member of the Atlanta Athletic Club, the Capital City Club and the Druid Hills Golf Club, and is a Mason of high degree and a Shriner.

Mr. Yancey is an excellent example of the type of business man developed in the present age, being quick to perceive an emergency and equally ready in devising a plan to meet it. He is not only successful in business but is a man of high ideals whose personal worth is recognized by hosts of friends, many of whom have known him from youth. His activities have been a distinct contribution to Atlanta's commercial progress.