Jacob Yost (Virginia congressman)

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Jacob Yost
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 10th district
In office
March 4, 1887 – March 3, 1889
Preceded by John R. Tucker
Succeeded by Henry S. Tucker III
In office
March 4, 1897 – March 3, 1899
Preceded by Henry S. Tucker III
Succeeded by Julian M. Quarles
Mayor of Staunton, Virginia
In office
May 1886 – January 1, 1887
Personal details
Born (1853-04-01)April 1, 1853
Staunton, Virginia
Died January 25, 1933(1933-01-25) (aged 79)
Palo Alto, California
Resting place Staunton, Virginia
Political party Republican
Occupation printer, civil engineer
Military service
Allegiance United States of America

Jacob Yost (April 1, 1853 – January 25, 1933) was an American politician who served as mayor of Staunton, as well as twice represented Virginia's Shenandoah Valley in the United States House of Representatives, from 1887–1889 and 1897–1899.[1]

Early and family life[edit]

Yost was born in Staunton, Virginia in 1853 to Major Samuel McPherson Yost (1829-1915) and his wife Henrietta Cushing Yost (1834 - 1856). His father became Indian Agent for New Mexico in 1857, and Quartermaster Major in the Confederate States Army (C.S.A.) during the American Civil War. Branches of the Yost family were active in Shenandoah and Rockingham Counties. A cousin was C.S.A. General John R. Jones (son of Samuel's sister Harriet Yost). Samuel's cousins (with the same grandmother, Catharine Miller (b. Aug. 2, 1778)) included Major Hunter Liggett of the 31st U.S.V. in the Philippine Islands and C.S.A. Lt. Jacob N. Liggett of Harrisonburg, Virginia.[2] He had an elder brother Merrell Cushing Yost (1851 - 1868), a younger brother Isaac Willis Yost (1855 - 1857), younger sister Bettie (b. 1860), and later after his father's remarriage, several half-siblings, including and half sister Alice Yost Pipes (1869 - 1969)[3][4]

Having lost his mother as an infant, young Jacob Yost was raised by his grandmother Kate D. Yost, aunt Mary and cousin Samuel W.P. Yost. He attended the public schools and Jedediah Hotchkiss's Mossy Creek Academy in Augusta County, where he learned about cartography and mining. After the American Civil War, his father Samuel M. Yost lived with his family (including his second wife, Catherine) in Linville, Rockingham County, Virginia.

Jacob Yost married Mary S. Young Yost (1859 - 1930) on January 13, 1881. They had a daughter Mary born in 1882 and who became a teacher in Staunton but still lived with her parents in the 1910 census, and a son Merrill C. Yost (b. 1900) who survived to adulthood.[5]


Yost learned the printing trade from his father and in 1875 purchased the Valley Virginian. The family enterprise also published various books. He also engaged in civil engineering involving iron and coal (traditional industries in Rockingham County).[6]

Although his father Samuel participated in the National Republican Convention of 1880 and served as Staunton's postmaster under Presidents Grant, Hays, Arthur, Harrison and McKinley, Jacob Yost was an unsuccessful Republican candidate for election in 1884 to the Forty-ninth Congress.

HoweverStaunton's voters elected him mayor in May 1886 and he served until January 1887, when he resigned, having been elected to Congress. He was elected as a Republican to the Fiftieth Congress (March 4, 1887 – March 3, 1889) but was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1888 to the Fifty-first Congress. Years later, he was elected to the Fifty-fifth Congress (March 4, 1897 – March 3, 1899) but he declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1898.

Later life and death[edit]

After leaving Congress, Yost engaged in the management and development of iron ore and coal lands. He moved to Palo Alto, California in 1925 and lived there in retirement until his death on January 25, 1933. His body was returned to Staunton for burial in historic Thornrose Cemetery.


  1. ^ CongBio|Y000025
  2. ^ John W. Wayland, A History of Shenandoah County (Shenandoah Publishing House, 1976, reprint of book copywright 1927), pp. 661, 711
  3. ^ Findagrave no. 7685359
  4. ^ 1860 U.S. Census for Staunton, Virginia
  5. ^ 1900, 1910 U.S. census for 114 Sewis Street, Staunton, VA
  6. ^ Encyclopedia of American Biography 1800-1902 p. 1042

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
John R. Tucker
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 10th congressional district

Succeeded by
Henry S. Tucker III
Preceded by
Henry S. Tucker III
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 10th congressional district

Succeeded by
Julian M. Quarles