A second Yates leaves his mark on Illinois’ history

Like his famous father, the younger Richard Yates was blessed with an orator’s voice and, like his father, he would go on to serve as governor of Illinois.

Yates had the distinction of being Illinois’ first native-born governor. However, there is little else that is remembered about his unremarkable single term as the state’s chief executive.

Born in Jacksonville on Dec. 12, 1860, Yates was raised in the shadow of his dominating father. He first considered a military career, but that ended when he could not secure an appointment to West Point. Instead, he attended Illinois College and was a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School.

Though he did serve as Jacksonville’s city attorney for a time, Yates never appeared to have a real interest in building a legal career. The young man had his eye on politics and discovered he could use his considerable oratorical skills to build a constituency among Civil War veterans by reminding them of his famous name. He also had a knack for winning influential friends. &nbsp;&nbsp;<ahref="http://etypeservices.com/Cass%20County%20Star%20GazetteID497/"><spanstyl... 13px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">To view more, please log in or subscribe to the digital edition.</span></a></p>