William Alexander Yancey
of West Virginia

information from a descendant


William Alexander Yancey was born on Oct 27, 1850 and died in 1936. His parents
were William Layton Yancey and Silvia Taylor.
His first wife was Mary Upton. They had two children, John and Louvenia.
His second wife was Catherine Wills. They were married on Feb 3, 1878. They
had 7 children, Charles Edgar Yancey who married Minta Ella Bennett
Stephen Yancey who married Cliora Bennett (sister of Minta Ella Bennett)
William Emmette Yancey who married Bessie Lucas
Grover Yancey who married Janey
Robert Yancey who married Lynn
James Yancey who married Lena Deaver
Lilly Yancey who married Clarence Hogan

Here is a letter written about William Alexander Yancey. It was written to my
great grandmother, Ella Virginia (Yancey) Elliott.

To whom it may concerned: The following is not research but is stories told to
me by my Grandfather William Alexander Yancey and thing I personall knew about
him during his many years of living at our home on Madams Creek.

According to what I have heard him say many times, I was borned on the half
century, 1850. According to his story, I was standing on the bridge at Yanceys
Mills Va when a horseman came by saying that Lee had surrendered. He left the
state of Virginia at the age of 21. And, so far as I know he was never back in
the state of Virginia.

He had at least two sisters and one brother Aunt Louvenia Yancey *Bennett told
me that one sister came out here died and was buried here in the Upton
Cemetery. (This according to Aunt Louvenia Bennett) He was a dyed in the wool
Democrat I doubt if he would have voted for his Grandma had she been running on
the Republican ticket. He had another sister named Martha (Aunt Mitt we always
called her) He also had a brother Stephen Yancey that came out here but
returned to his native state Va.

He married Mary Upton. To this union was borned two children John Alexander and
Louvenia Yancey. My Grandmother died when both were small and aunt Louisa (Aunt
Luda we calle her) Raised both children to adulthood. Grandfather worked on
sawmills, Cut timber in the forests, Rafted logs on the Greenbrier river, and
worked on the Clark James sawmills where now is called Country Roads Shopping
center. His farm was on Madamscreek and according to his story, He walked from
the farm to the upper ferry (Close to whee Simmons Foodland now operates) worked
11 hours and walked home for a hefty sumn of $1.10 cents. He was also a
sawfiler by trade this was in the days of the old Cross Cut Saw. He filed saws
at various places his last work was Blujay Lumber Co at Blujay West Va. Raleigh
County. In his older days he stayed around Home and helped in the crops cutting
wood etc. He had a q23 jeweled watch at dinnertime he would have us all to
watch him blow the Round House at Hinton and when he pulled the string and and
you would hear the whistle. When he got short on cash he would pawn the watch
for some money they he would get it back. But one time he pawned it and as far
as I know he never redeemed it. I often wondered who he got the money from or,
whether he sold it the last time. He spent most of hs working days as above
mentioned at sawmills cutting timber etc. Except a short time as brakeman on
the yard and 11 years as policeman some of which he was Chief. He was a hot
tempered man he could cuss like a sailor and, if someone wanted a fight he
didn't have to look no farther. After he was converted I never heard him swear
again. The 11 years he served on the police force he never got a scratch.
However 4 days after he left the force he was shot through the hand. Mistaken
Identity. The man -  a Mr Humphreys was drinking heavily and they met on the
street when the man began to curs him calling him another name but, in his
words, I saw he was going for a gun and I nailed him and in the scuffle the gun
went off shooting me through the hand. (He was shot between the thumb and fore
finger.) While he was not a alcholic, he liked to get on a bender once in a
great while. He told me many storied of his escapades when he was City
Officer. He said the city had 13 saloons and two police officers on duty at a
time and, they didn't have a car, they walked. He was a man of brute strength
and he said he never handcuffed a man unless he was transporting him on a
train. He always placed his fingers between the prisnors from the top and in
his words by jolley they never tried to get away but once when I put the
pressure on them fingers. He never mentioned his father of mothers name. He
always referred to them a Father or Mother. Well, if I had ask questions then I
would have known more now.
And finally, he was a man that never gave up. After he was bedfast he would
say, If it wasn’t for the bum knee I would be just as good as ever not
withstanding he was in his eighties. So goes the story of William Alexander
Yancey. Who passed away at the ripe old age of 85
NOTE: Virginia I left off the second marriage since I'm sure you know more
about it than I do. He was a grand old man one we all loved and respected.
Hope this will be of some help to you

With best wishes

Oscar B. Yancey