Transcribed by Teresa Kesterke from: Biographical Review of Des Moines County, Iowa: Containing Biographical and Genealogical Sketches of Many of the Prominent Citizens of To-day and Also of the Past, Hobart Publishing Company, Chicago, 1905.


When the aged fall before the scythe of Time, their end is looked upon as being in a certain sense the culmination and fulfillment of their lives; and while the coming of death is ever an occasion for sorrow, the natural human emotions are softened in such cases by the knowledge that the allotted tale of years has been told, the earthly destiny achieved; but when the grim Reaper invades the greener fields, lays low our best and most promising, cuts off youth and young manhood in the full vigor of its power, the unexpected visitation is peculiarly sad, and we mourn with a sorrow that is not easily consoled.

Horace J. Yaley, son of George Washington and Jane (Harris) Yaley, was born in Burlington, Iowa, May 10, 1871, and it was here in his native city that he received his early education in the public schools. He afterward removed with his parents, however, to Thayer, Kans., where he continued his studies in the high school. Not content with the equipment thus secured, he pursued a course of study in the business college here after his return to this place; and following his graduation he began his active life by engaging in school teaching, first in the public schools of the county, and later in the business college for a period of three years, during which he was highly successful, and accomplished results which were universally commended among educators of note, as well as among practical business men. He then became manager of the Business Exchange for a further term of three years, discharging his new duties with signal ability and adaptability to conditions as he found them, and at the end of this time, feeling that the hour had arrived for him to begin the true work of his life, he resigned his position and entered the law school at Iowa City, from which he was graduated on the fifteenth of June, 1893. He at once entered the law office of ex-Senator Harper, with whom he continued for a year, and then established himself in independent practice for a similar period, with offices, in the Tama Building, where he achieved success from the beginning, and in 1903 became a member of the law firm of Huston, Holstein & Yaley. On the anniversary of this event, and just one year later, occurred his untimely death, on July 29, 1904. Seldom, if ever, has the city of Burlington sustained a more grievous loss or one more generally and deeply realized as a public misfortune.

On Aug. 15, 1893, Mr. Yaley wedded Miss Ella DeHague, daughter of John L. and Elizabeth (Welker) DeHague, and there graced their union one child, Horacena Lenore, born three weeks after the death of her father.

His political affiliation was with the Republican party, in which he was looked upon as a rising man, and one who would in a very short time attain to a position of influence and power by reason of his great talents and the sterling qualities of his character, combined with a genial and unselfish disposition which endeared him to all, and won for him the confidence of whoever came into contact with his engaging personality.

Fraternally, he was already prominent, being a member of Excelsior Lodge and the Encampment of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and of the local lodge of the Independent Order of Foresters, having passed through the chairs of both lodges, and having acted as their representative in their respective grand lodges. He was an attendant of the Methodist Episcopal church, to the support of which he contributed, and was possessed of a keen and active interest in all movements calculated to enhance the general welfare. He was a man of exceptional strength in his profession, an ideal citizen and husband, enjoyed the close friendship of many of the city's leaders in thought and action, was loyal to all his obligations of whatsover nature, and enjoyed great popularity, while among those who knew him well it was universally felt that had he been spared he would have risen to heights of genuine and lasting eminence.

Mrs. Yaley is a woman of true culture and many social graces, and her pleasant home at 717 South Ninth Street is the center of a refined circle.

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