Biography of George Yule

Highly esteemed by all his friends and neighbors and the citizens of Garfield county generally as one of the best and most useful citizens, with breadth of view and public-spirit in reference to all public enterprises, and diligent and aggressive in the management of his private affairs, George Yule, of near Newcastle, has been a potent factor in building up the section in which he lives and a faithful servant of its interests in local offices of trust and importance. During his long residence of nearly forty years in the state he has been tried by many adversities, has faced many dangers, has won many triumphs for himself and others, and has ever performed with capacity and cheerfulness the duty which seemed nearest at hand regardless of personal consequence. He was born on June 20, 1835, in Banffshire, Scotland, and is the son of John and Jeannette (Thompson) Yule, descendants of long lines of ancestry connected with the history of that country. They left their native land when he was five years old and emigrated to the United States, settling in Ashland county, Ohio, where they remained until 1840, when they moved to Keokuk county, Iowa. The father was a stone and brick mason but devoted the greater part of his time in this country to farming and prospered in the industry. Both were originally members of the Presbyterian church, but after locating in Iowa they affiliated with the Congregationalists, there being no organization of their church in their neighborhood. Ten children were born to them, only five of whom are living: George, Margaret (Mrs. Baughey), Ellen (Mrs. Andrew Ramsey), Samuel and Joseph, the first and last named being residents of this state and the others of Iowa. The father died in 1886 and the mother in 1899. Their son George had the usual experience of country boys in the West, attending the public schools when he could and assisting his parents on the farm, until he reached the age of twenty-one. In 1858 he moved to Mound City, Kansas, where for two years he worked on a ranch, his compensation being fifteen dollars a month and his board. He was in that state when much of its surface was burned over and the crops were destroyed, and being dissatisfied with the outlook, he returned to Iowa. In 1862 he enlisted in the Union army for the Civil war as a member of the Fortieth Iowa infantry, going in as a private and being discharged as a second lieutenant at Davenport in August, 1865. Wishing to try his fortune in Colorado, he left Keokuk, Iowa, on October 10, 1865, and journeyed overland to Omaha, where he joined a train for Denver, and arrived in that city, or hamlet as it was then, on December 2d. The train had some difficulty with hostile Indians on the way, the savages making an unsuccessful attempt to steal its cattle. On arriving in this state he formed a partnership with his brother William, who had purchased a ranch near Denver. Soon afterward the grasshoppers ate up all their crops and they turned their attention to mining. George mined at Rubi Camp and discovered the Bullion King, which proved a fruitful property. In 1870 he sold his interest in the ranch, and four years later moved to Gunnison county, where he was engaged in ranching and mining until 1881. He then migrated to what is now Garfield county and purchased a ranch on Garfield creek which he named in honor of the martyred President. This is the ranch he now owns and works. It comprises four hundred and eighty acres of land, two hundred and seventy-five of which he cultivates, raising the usual crops of the region and large quantities of fruit. He is widely known as the grower of the largest pears in the state. Of his other products hay and cattle are the leading reliance, and they are produced in abundance and are excellent in quality. In 1903 he assisted in the organization of the Citizens’ National Bank of Glenwood Springs, being one of the principal stockholders and serving as its vice-president and also a member of its directorate. Mr. Yule is a prominent member of the Grand Army of the Republic and for a number of years has served as commander of the General Shields Post at New Castle. In political allegiance he is a Republican, and as such has rendered valued service to the people in various local offices. He was the first sheriff of Gunnison county, and in his present district has been for many years president of the school board. On January 15, 1896, he was married to Miss Lizzie A. McBurney, a native of Pennsylvania, born in Cumberland county, the daughter of Hugh and Elizabeth McBurney, who were born and reared in Ireland and emigrated to America soon after their marriage, locating in Pennsylvania, and after a residence of some years there moving to New Jersey, where they farmed and raised fruit extensively. In 1893 they moved to New Castle, Colorado, where the mother ended her days on November 11, 1899. The father is living on Garfield Creek. In this state he was a merchant and both were Presbyterians from early life. He is a Republican in politics and a Freemason in fraternal life. They had five children, four of whom are living: Mary J., wife of William Gant, of New Castle; John T., living in New Jersey; Mrs. Yule and her brother Joseph T., dwelling on Garfield creek. A son named Arthur is deceased.

Source: Bowen, A. W. Progressive Men of Western Colorado. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., Publishers. 1905.

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