Ephraim was the 4th of 10 children of Joseph Yerion and Permelia Clark. He came with his family from Virginia to Illinois about 1847-1848, and is listed at home in Peoria County in 1850, age 10 (spelled "Yearning"). He married about 1861 to Ionia Huff. They appear in the 1880 census of Palestine Township, Woodford County, Illinois. He was a farmer. In 1900 they were in Chicago, Illinois. He was a candy peddlar.