Biographical Sketches.
"Y - Z"

from Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota
(Chicago, Geo. A Ogle & Co., 1904).


Carl Yarl was known for many years as a prosperous farmer of Traverse county, Minnesota, and has recently moved to Annandale, Wright county. He has persevered through many trials and discouragements and now enjoys a good competence.

Mr. Yarl was born in Sweden, in 1837. His father was a soldier of that country and served in the standing army for nearly fifty years, and saw active service. He died in Sweden in 1885. Of a family of three children our subject was the second in order of birth. He was reared in his native land and attended the common schools there, and at the age of ten years was apprenticed to learn the shoemaker's trade. He followed this trade in Sweden until 1872, when he came to America. From New York City he went to Minnesota and there was engaged in shoemaking for four years and spent six years more at the trade in Cokato. He came to Traverse county in 1881 and entered a homestead claim to land there. He built a small shanty and lived therein about a year and a half, when the building was destroyed by fire, and he then erected a larger dwelling. His nearest market at that time was Herman, and he made a trip there about once a week, but had no roads to follow and no bridges for convenience in crossing streams. He placed his land under high cultivation and placed valuable improvements on the same and became the owner of a fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres, and one of the substantial and solid farmers of that locality. He planted a grove on his farm which has flourished. He has recently moved to Annandale, Wright county, Minnesota.

Mr. Yarl was married in 1855 to Miss Charlotte Peterson, who was born in Sweden and came to America two years after her husband came. Her father was a farmer in Sweden and died there about 1860. Of this marriage the following children were born: Charles, Fred, William, Herman and Anna. The family residence was struck by lightning in 1886 and two of the children were killed. Mr. Yarl was married to Miss Emma Johnson in 1891. Mrs. Yarl was a native of Sweden and her father was a carpenter in that country. To Mr. and Mrs. Yarl four children have been born, namely: Eddie, Christina, Frank and Ethel, all of whom were born on the home farm in Traverse county. Mr. Yarl is a man of good principles and is awake to the interests of his community. He is identified with the Republican party politically.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 767-68.


Probably no one of the citizens of Columbus township, Anoka county, has shown a more active public spirit, or done more for the upbuilding of the better interests of his community, than the gentleman whose name heads this review. Mr. Yost has resided in Anoka county for nearly half a century, and he has formed a wide acquaintance and is held in the highest esteem as an agriculturist and worthy citizen. He is a man of unquestionable character, and well merits his success and enviable reputation.

Mr. Yost was born in Switzerland, November 19, 1829. His father, Jacob Yost, was a nail-maker, and our subject learned the same trade in his native land. He came to America in 1853, and in New York state, near Rochester, learned the blacksmith's trade. He resided in the state of New York about three years and in the fall of 1856 removed to Minnesota, locating in Columbus township, Anoka county. He followed his trade six months and in the spring of the following year settled on his present home farm. He built a log house 14 by 16 feet, in which he lived for several years. He had no team and for some years used oxen. In 1864 he enlisted in the United States Cavalry and saw two years of active service. He was west among the Indians in Dakota, and was at Big Stone Lake and Lake Traverse. He returned to his farm in 1866 and for some time made his living by hunting and trapping. He built up a good farm and enjoys a good competence. The farm consists of four hundred and forty acres, over one hundred acres acres [sic] of which is under cultivation. His son John conducts the farm and the land is now owned by the sons of our subject, Mr. Yost having retired from active labors.

Our subject was married in the state of New York in July, 1855, to Agatha Gossman. Mrs. Yost was born in Switzerland, and came to America in 1854. To Mr. and Mrs. Yost seven children have been born, who are named as follows: Mary, Ada, Joseph, Josephine, John, Anna, and Rosa. Mr. Yost takes a very active and leading part in township affairs and has held all the township offices at different times. He was a stanch Democrat until 1896, since which time he has been identified with the Republican party politically.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 603.


G. August Zell, a leading pioneer of Traverse county, resides on his valuable estate in Walls township.

Mr. Zell was born in Lubton, Germany, in 1843. His parents died in Germany when he was eleven years of age, and he lived with a farmer until he was fourteen years of age, when he started for himself. He worked at farm labor and later entered the army and served during the war of 1866. He came to America in 1867 and came to Fremont, Illinois, where he secured employment at farm work for $10 per month. In 1875 he came to Waseca county, Minnesota, and soon afterward to Deerfield, where he worked out for others. He went to Big Stone county, in 1882, and after living two years on a rented farm came to Traverse coutny [sic] and "squatted" on land in section 7 of Croke township. He built a claim shanty and a small barn, and had one cow, three horses and a colt to begin farming with. He lived alone for several years and his nearest neighbor was a mile away. His first crop was so poor that he only succeeded in getting his seed back, and he was obliged to work for others. In 1897 he had a good crop standing and laid his plans to add valuable improvements to the place, when hail destroyed the crop, and again in 1899 he lost his crop. He has persevered despite these losses and discouragements and now has a farm of one hundred and sixty acres and intends adding to his possessions in the near future. On his home farm he has a flowing well of soft water, and he has erected good buildings and has a well-improved estate.

Mr. Zell was married October 3, 1888, at Owatonna, Minnesota, to Miss Caroline Stark, a native of Germany. Mr. and Mrs. Zell are the parents of five children, namely: Ida, born May 26, 1889; Albine, born September 3, 1890; Edwin, born February 10, 1895; Lydia, born March 10, 1897; and Rosa, born September 3, 1902. Mr. Zell is a man of active public spirit and is a Democrat in political sentiment.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 797.


Abraham Zimmerman, deceased, was for many years prior to his demise one of the leading agriculturists and citizens of Wilkin county. His estate is in Akron township and Mrs. Zimmerman, since the death of her husband, has managed the farm and has a well improved property. The family is well known in Wilkin county and is highly respected.

Mr. Zimmerman was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1861. He was reared in Hennepin county and received his education in the common schools there. He went to Ottertail county in 1884 and rented a farm and later purchased a farm near Rothsay. He continued on this farm for two years and in 1887 bought land in section 18, of Akron township, Wilkin county. He built a shanty which served for the family home for some time. He had horses with which to start the farm work and broke his land with horses, thus gaining a start in less time than many who went to the country in earlier days and used oxen. He was always progressive, industrious and enterprising, and met with marked success in his farm work. Mrs. Zimmerman now operates four hundred and six acres of land, of which nearly all is under cultivation, and a small percentage is given to grass and pasture. A set of good farm buildings provide a comfortable home for the family, and the stock is well cared for in commodious quarters. A good well with windmill attached and all necessary farm machinery facilitate the work of the place and every appointment bespeaks thrift and prosperity.

Mr. Zimmerman was married in 1885 to Miss Sophia Washmuth. Mrs. Zimmerman was born in Germany in 1861 and was reared in that country and educated there. She came to America in 1883, landing in New York city and from there came to Elizabeth, Ottertail county, Minnesota. Her father, Conrad Washmuth, followed farming in Germany. He died in 1881. To Mr. and Mrs. Zimmerman four children were born, namely: Edward F., born February 14, 1886; John, born October 4, 1889; Benjamin, born February 22, 1890; and Mary, born August 5, 1891. The eldest was born in Ottertail county and the other children were born in Wilkin county, Minnesota. Mr. Zimmerman died October 17, 1891, and was deeply mourned by his family and a large circle of friends, as he was an exemplary husband, father, citizen and neighbor.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 643.

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