Charles Abraham Yancey

A Memorial and biographical history of the counties of Fresno, Tulare and Kern, California page 785

C. A. YANCEY, rancher and hotel-keeper at Toll House, was born in Albemarle County, Virginia, in 1833. His father, R. H. Yancey was for many years the Sheriff of same County, and also operated the well-known Yancey Mill. He emigrated to Joe Daviess County, Illinois in 1835, and then carried on general farming. Young Yancey was educated at the public schools, and lived at home until 1850, when he came across the plains to California. He came with the Miller & Harper Emigrant Train, who charged for transportation one-half of first year's receipts. The company was quite large, and they divided at the junction of the Fort Hall and Salt Lake route, and after traveling over 1,000 miles - as a singular coincidence - the trains again united with the union of the two trails. and arrived at Hangtown, September 22,1850. Young Yancey then followed mining in Amador County about one year, and in 1852 bought a team and began freighting from Stockton to the mining districts, which he followed until 1856, and then bought a ranch and ran a hotel on the north side of the San Joaquin river. He followed ranching until 1858 and then went into the stock business, which he followed until 1868. He then came to Toll House and bought a claim of about 900 acres and built a hotel 18 x 90 feet, with a dining room 20 x 40 feet, and he has since built up the town around him-consisting of six dwellings, box factory 30 x 80 feet, blacksmith shop, store and the necessary barns and outbuildings, all of which he owns and rents. He is ever ready to build for a renter, but says he has nothing to sell.

Mr. Yancey went there without a dollar in ready cash, and the results speak volumes for his enterprise and business sagacity. He carries on general farming and all the decidious fruits grow to advantage.

Mr. Yancey was, married at Millerton in 1860 to Mrs. Black, a widow with two children, a daughter of Judge Gillum Baley. Mr. and Mrs. Yancey have had nine children, but three only survive. They lost five children inside of eleven days in a terrible epidemic of diphtheria [in 1878].

Mr. Yancey was appointed postmaster of Toll House under the administration of President Hayes in 1876.

He was a charter member of the first Odd Fellow Lodge established at Millerton.

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This is a picture of the Yancey family posed in front of the Tollhouse Hotel. Abe Yancey is seated on the far right and his wife Frances (Baley) Yancey is seated holding the baby. I think the couple standing on the right is Virginia Mills and her husband. After Mrs. Yancey's first husband, August Block, died she married Abe Yancey and Frances had two children. Her son, Max Yancey, is standing on the left with his wife. I think the children are Millses, with exception of the baby, Georgia Yancey.



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This is the Yancey family and others on the porch of the hotel. Standing on the left is Max Yancey. To his right are the Chinese cook and his father, Abe Yancey, seated. I think the man with great mustache on the right is Mr. Mills, Max's brother in law. The other people are unidentified. Tollhouse was started and mostly owned by Abe and Frances Yancey and has remained in the family until today. The hotel was a dust- covered white in color. Note the horseshoe over the door.

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The Tollhouse Hotel had a smoking room where, traditionally, only men were allowed. It had a large kitchen and regularly served meals. Several rooms were available to those in need. The hotel was not a five star facility but it was functional and useful. It was owned by the Yancey family and was run at various times by Yancey relatives, the Mills and Dean families.


Grave Sites found at TollHouse Cemetery




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