Samuel Benjamin YOW
Samuel Benjamin YOW, merchant, farmer, banker and manufacturer, was born on his fatherâ€™s plantation near Lavonia in Franklin county, Georgia, November 23, 1872. His earliest known ancestors, Christopher YOW and wife, Christian, came from Germany and settled in North Carolina in the year 1753. Mr. YOWâ€™s father, Richard Dempsey YOW, was a prominent merchant, banker and planter, who at different times held the positions of County School Commissioner, State Representative and State Senator. Senator YOWâ€™s marked characteristics were, energy, economy, integrity and hospitality.
As a youth, Mr. YOW worked faithfully and constantly on the farm. This proved beneficial to his health and prevented the evils of idleness. He attended school at Martin, and afterwards, in 1895, graduated with honor at the University of Georgia. Later he attended New York University and Bellevue Hospital Medical College, graduating with his M.D. degree in 1898. Soon after his return to Georgia, the death of his father caused him to give up the practice of medicine to take charge of the estate. He thus began the active work of life as a merchant at Avalon in 1898. His thorough education was of immense value to him. The business prospered in his hands, and he branched out into banking, the oil mill and cotton mill business, and farming.
From 1899 to 1904 he was president of the Toccoa Banking Company, of Taccoa, succeeding to this position on the death of his father. In 1903 he was elected president of the Martin (Georgia) Oil Mill, and, in 1904, president of the Bank of Lavonia. He is also president of the Lavonia Publishing Company and the Lavonia Board of Trade, and vice-president of the Taccoa Cotton Mills and Lavonia Cotton Mills. Mr. YOW is a Shriner, and a member of the Elks, Knights of Pythias, and Odd Fellows. In college, he belonged to the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He is also a member of the Democratic party.
Though an exceedingly busy man, Mr. YOW finds time to do considerable reading. He is very fond of the study of philosophy. He also continues to read the classic novels, especially those of his favorites, DICKENS and SCOTT. His other favorite recreation is flower gardening.
Mr. YOWâ€™s whole career was changed by the death of this father. He had completed his education with the intention of practicing medicine, but was obliged to relinquish that purpose when the new and larger responsibility devolved upon him of looking after the business interests left by his father. Senator YOW had been honored throughout the State for his ability and integrity, and loved by those near to him for still nobler qualities. His life was an inspiration to his son and to many other young men.
Mr. YOW was married November 9, 1898, to Miss Mary Faith DORSEY, a daughter of Judge Rufus Thomas DORSEY, of Atlanta. Their marriage has been blessed with two beautiful children, both of whom are living.
The following excellent advice is given by Mr. YOW to young men ambitious to succeed in life: â€œAvoid idleness above all things. Do that which you can do best, and stick to it. Donâ€™t get excited; it will wear you out. Be confident, and go ahead.â€ â€“A. B. CALDWELL
[From â€œMen of Mark in Georgia,â€ edited by William J. NORTHEN, LL.D. (Atlanta, GA: A. B. CALDWELL, 1910), v. IV, pp. 147-48. Samuel Benjamin was the son of Richard Dempsey & Mary E. (ADERHOLD) YOW, who married 08 DEC 1870 in Franklin Co, GA.]