Robert Edward Yancey (1862-1930)
Source: The History of Virginia
Robert Edward Yancey has been in business as a merchant at South Hill for a third of a century. He is credited by his associates as being a man of exceptional ability in handling many diverse affairs. He owns a number of farms, and is also President of the Bank of South Hill. The founder of the Yanceys in Mecklenburg County was his grandfather Richard Yancey, who came to [from] England as a young man with two brothers and in subsequent years acquired a large plantation in Mecklenburg Co. He died on his farm near Buffalo Springs in this county.
John R. Yancey, father of the South Hill Banker, was born near Buffalo Springs in 1820, and lived a long and active life, nearly all of it spent in his native county. He was engaged in farming and in 1858 he bought a farm 5 miles north of Clarksville and lived there nearly half a century, until his death in 1907. He operated this place of 500 acres until advanced years overtook him. He was a democrat, a liberal member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and he served all through the war as a Confederate Soldier. Just two days before Lee surrendered he was mad a prisoner at Burkville, Va. John R. Yancey married Miss Virginia Jones White, who was born in Mecklenburg Co., in 1826 and died in 1909. They had a family of seven children; Rosa, deceased; Emma, deceased; John J., born 1859, a farmer who died in Mecklenburg Co. in 1905; Robert Edward; Miss Laura V, born in 1864 and died in 1906; Miss Ella W. who owns the old homestead; and Hugh W., born in 1872, a farmer in Mecklenburg County.
Robert E. Yancey was born on the old homestead near Clarksville, October 4th 1862. He lived there with his parents until he was 19. In the meantime he was educated in public schools and for one year attended a private school. On leaving home Mr. Yancey clerked in the store of Isaac Overby at Randolph in Charlotte County 1 year, and for 2 years drove a wagon hauling goods and grain to such inland town as Randolph, Drakes Branch, and Keysville. That was before these communities had any railroad service. Following that he was in the mercantile business with J. A. Gregory at Skipwith, Va. Mr. Yancey became identified with South Hill on December 25th, 1890 and established the business that has steadily grown and expanded under his direction until it is the leading department store in the county. He is its sole proprietor and the store is conducted in a large brick building on Mecklenburg Ave. He erected this store building in 1906. He has property interests which included also a fine home on Franklin Street; a half interest in another store building, four dwelling houses in South Hill, four farms totalling 740 acres in Mecklenburg Co., a farm of 100 acres in Lunenburg Co., and 307 acres in Caswell Co., NC. He is half owner in two tobacco ware houses at South Hill.
Mr. Yancey was one of the organizers of the Bank of South Hill n 1901, was the first vice president and from 1920 has been its president. He is also president of the South Hill Mfg Co., a branch for the manufacture of box checks. He is director in the South Hill and Henderson Bridge Co.
Ever since the town of South Hill was incorporated in 1908, Mr. Yancey has served in its council. He is a steward in the South Hill Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. On January 6, 1891 at South Hill he married Miss Otelia V. Harris, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William H. Harris, now deceased. Her father was a farmer in Mecklenburg Co. Olive, the oldest child, of Mr. and Mrs. Yancey is the wife of Clarence Edward Vassar, who manages the Yancey Dept Store at South Hill. Mary Edward married Marion S. Allen, a professor in the Deleware County Acadamy at Delhi, New York. Louise is the wife of Robert H. Dugger, assistant cashier of the Hanover Bank at Ashland. Robert H, the only son, is a student at Randolph-Macon College at Ashland. Gladys W. is attending the University of Richmond and Frances is in the South Hill High School.