Sarah Ellen (Wolfe) Yeakel (1860-1943) Obituary
Newspaper Clipping, undated
Polo Public Library
Sarah Ellen Yeakel
These words are recorded this day with deep respect and admiration to honor the now-closed life of our sister in Christian faith, Mrs. Sarah Ellen Yeakel. She is not here, but her spirit and the quality of her inspired life will bear the semblance of immortality in the daily living of those of us who knew her as our friend and neighbor.
Sarah Ellen Wolfe was born near Brookville on August 9, 1860, almost eighty-three years ago. Her father was Andrew Wolfe and her mother was Sarah Herb, both originating in the State of Pennsylvania, and coming to this community as pioneer farmers. Her brother, Samuel Wolfe, and her sister, Mrs. Mary Brand, like her parents, have preceded her in death. There are four in number who mourn her passing as her close relatives; a niece, Ivy Brand Ingram of Brawley, Calif., a nephew, Alpha W. Brand of San Diego, Calif., and two cousins, Mrs Luella Taylor and Joe Herb of Brookville. There are also numerous nieces, nephews and distant cousins among the sorrowing. Present with us as relatives from her husband’s side are Mr. and Mrs. John Yeakel and family of Polo and Dr. and Mrs W. K. Yeakel of Chicago.
Sarah Wolfe attended school in the village of Brookville until the family moved to Polo in the year 1876. She graduated from the Polo High School in 1881 and immediately took up her work as a school teacher in the community. She taught in the Brand rural school for four terms and then in the Polo Grade School for a period of eleven years.
In October, 1896 she was married to Rev. Edwin K. Yeakel who was then presiding elder in the Naperville District of the Illinois Conference of the Evangelical Church. For almost forty years she worked in cooperation with her itinerant husband. During this time many of her years were spent as Rev. Yeakel filled the office of District Superintendent of the various districts in Illinois. But as pastor and pastor’s wife they served in the following local congregations: Forreston Circuit, Fair Haven, Shannon, Naperville, Grace, Adams Street, Polo, Forreston Circuit, Ashton, Diversey Parkway, Barrington, Groveland.
These churches, in record and influence will continue to show the fruits of this devoted minister and his wife, now taken away. Her spiritual contribution is a blessed memory in every charge so faithfully served.
Mrs. Yeakel also took and active interest in the general work of the church. For 37 years she was active in official and unofficial capacity with the Illinois Branch of the Women’s Missionary Society. For six years she held the position of corresponding secretary with this great organization. As district organizer she took the initial responsibility for the establishment of the rest tent, now the rest cottage for women, at Oakdale Campgrounds. For four years she was District Librarian of the Missionary Reading Circle Library. She was branch superintendent for the Young People’s Missionary Society and was also appointed by the Illinois Branch to membership on the board for the organizing and establishment of the Illinois Training Course, in missionary education. The Women’s Christian Temperance Union also claimed a great deal of her interest and influence, as did the various and countless taught with attention and devotion Sunday School classes which she tion. (sic)
In the year 1934 Rev. and Mrs. Yeakel retired from the active ministry. Her husband passed away in 1937 and since then Mrs. Yeakel has lived in retirement in her home in Polo. From here she carried on an active correspondence with her many friends and associates.. She maintained an active interest and membership in the Polo Evangelical Church. She was faithful at the hour of prayer and loyal to the services and the benevolence of the church she loved. Until the end, she kept a splendid Christian influence in the local Women’s Missionary Society and the Golden Rule Sunday School class. Her passing will leave a noticeable vacancy in the spiritual undergirding of our efforts in Kingdom building here on earth. But her beautiful testimony to the glory of Christian living and the power of the living God will continue to inspire us in the paths of righteousness and salvation.
The funeral was held in Polo Evangelical Church at 2:00 p,m, on July 5, 1943. Rev. Willis Plapp was the pastor in charge. Burial was in Fairmount Cemetery, Polo —
Contributed by Peg Allen Arnold