YAPLE, MATT. - Since the year 1886, Matt YALE has been identified with the banking firm of Petefish, Skiles & Company, of Virginia, and prior to this time had had ten years' experience in banking at Virginia, so that his entire career has been passed in the atmosphere of finance. He was born at Chenoa, McLean county, Ill., February 12, 1858, and is a son of Matthew W. and Julia Ann (Eador) Yaple.
It is a family tradition that the Yaples and Demonds, Dutch Protestants of the Calvanistic Sect, originated in that part of Germany near the border line of France, Alsace-Lorraine, from whence they were forced to flee because of religious persecution to Holland, coming from that country to America. Philip Henry Yaple, the only one of the name to come to this country with his family, arrived prior to the year 1750, one of his brothers having died in a dungeon during the days of the Spanish Inquisition. The name during early times was variously spelled: Japel, Jabel, Yable, Yeaple and finally Yaple in colonial times in this country, although the spelling of the original name was Japel, pronounced Yahple.
Philip Henry Yaple settled on the Susquehanna River, near the town of Wyoming, Pa., then little better than a wilderness, where he carried on the vocation of clock maker until the year 1878, when, during the Revolutionary war and the Wyoming massacre, his house was burned by the Indians, perhaps assisted by the Tories. The family escaped, however, having been warned by a friendly Indian, and made their way to Virginia. As told by a negro boy, who had been left behind, the Indians took down the last large clock which had been made by Mr. Yaple, and, breaking it to pieces, used it to start the fire which destroyed the pioneer home. Later the family returned to Pennsylvania, and there Philip Henry Yaple continued to spend the remainder of his life, surviving to the remarkable age of 108 years. He was the father of Adam, Harry and Mary, by his first marriage, and by his last wife, of Jacob, Nicholas, John, Christian and Philip. Of these Jacob Yaple was a Revolutionary soldier and the founder of Ithaca, N.Y.
Christian Yaple, son of Philip Henry, was the father of Jane Ann, Mary, Catherine, Capt. Jacob, John, Eleanor, Rachel, William, David, Henry, Christian, Jr., Cornelius and Anson. Christian, Jr., son of Christian, was the father of Matthew W., Ira, Sarah Eliza and Emery, and of these, Matthew W. was the father of Matt Yaple of this review. The Yaple family have always been patriotic citizens of America, having fought in the Revolution, the War of 1812 and the Civil war, and five brothers fought side by side during the winning of American Independence, the only record of its kind in the history of the country. The men bearing this name have also been prominent in public life, several having served in Congress, while they have always been well represented in the professions and in business and financial affairs.
Matthew W. Yaple, father of Matt Yaple, was born at West Green, Erie County, Pa., May 19, 1833, and in his youth learned the trade of carpenter. He was twenty years of age when he migrated to Illinois, and at the time of the death of his wife, in 1864, went to the West. During the past thirteen years he has been a resident of California, where he is now living, hale and hearty, at the age of eighty-three years. Mrs. Yaple was born in Cass County, Ill., January 16, 1836.
Matt Yaple was about five years old when his mother died and at that time he went to live with his guardian, J. A. Petefish, on whose farm he resided until attaining the age of thirteen years. In 1871 he moved to Virginia, and that city has continued to be his home to the present time. Mr. Yaple's education was secured in the public schools, and during his last year at the Virginia High School he was employed in the Centennial National Bank of Virginia, as bookkeeper, and remained with that institution for ten years. In the year 1886 he became a member of the private banking house of Petefish, Skiles & Company, and in 1902, when that fir incorporated under the banking laws of Illinois, he was elected cashier of the bank, a position which he has held to the present time. He bears an excellent reputation in banking circles, and is accounted an astute conservative and far-seeing financier, whose well known personal integrity has done much to instil confidence in the people of this locality and to attract business to the institution with which he is connected. While he has not sought preferment in public life, he has always been interested in helping to advance enterprises for the welfare of the city. He is a charter member of the lodge of the Modern Woodmen of America, of which he was the first clerk, in 1888. His political belief in that of the Democratic party, while his religious affiliation is with the Methodist Episcopal church.
Mr. Yaple was married at Virginia, Ill., May 31, 1883, to Miss Hattie L. Skiles, who was born near Virginia, March 7, 1862, a daughter of Ignatius and Mary Jane (Thompson) Skiles, the former born in Ohio, August 10, 1827, and the latter in Cass county, Ill., January 19, 1833. Mr. Skiles was an active business man, farmer and stockman, accumulated considerable property, and died in his forty-sixth year. Two sons have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Yaple: Ignatius S., born December 21, 1885, assistant cashier of the bank of Petefish, Skiles & Company; and George S., born January 8, 1890, who is secretary of the boys' division of the Young Men's Christian Association at Newark, N.J.