Upon completing the course at the old Northwestern College at Naperville, Illinois, L. W. Yaggy went to Chicago, where he became engaged in the publishing business and for twenty-five years was one of the best known publishers in the United States. He was president and chief stockholder in the Great Western Publishing House, which had seventeen branch offices and five thousand agents throughout the United States, the principle work of which was the publication of maps and studies for colleges and high schools, that the company for years having occupied a foremost position in that particular branch of the publishing business in this country. Mr. Yaggy was also quite a mechanical genius and was the patentee of numerous devices of a convenient sort, the first of which was a stubble turner, which yielded him considerable revenue. He also patented an adding machine, advertising devices of different types, a “royal scroll” for the display of pictures, and a Chautauqua desk. For this notable service of preparing a relief map of the United States for the use of the Smithsonian Institute at Washington Mr. Yaggy was created a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society of England and was widely know in general geographic circles.
While on a hunting trip though the section of Kansas in 1888, L. W. Yaggy observed a well being dug on the Thomas Parker ranch just northwest of Hutchinson and noted that the water was only a few feet below the surface of the soil. Recognizing the potentialities of such a such a condition, Mr. Yaggy immediately purchased the entire Parker estate of one thousand three hundred and fifty acres, and planted the same to catalpa and apple trees, the revenue of which since then have amply demonstrated the accuracy of his foresight. The plantation now bears five hundred acres of catalpa trees and eight hundred and eight acres of apples trees, and is one of the most profitably productive plantations of the sort in this country. There are no fewer than one million catalpas growing on the place and fifty thousand apple trees, six hundred acres of which latter are bearing and the rest are coming into bearing. In the season of 1915 two hundred and ten thousand bushels of apples were sold off the Yaggy Plantation, the principle varieties being the popular Jonathan, the Grimes Golden, Wine Sap, Roman Beauty and York Imperial. There is also a considerable acreage of cowpeas, potatoes, sweet potatoes and wheat grown on the plantation and in season three hundred men are employed on the place, while a constant force of more than thirty men is required to operate the plantation. About five hundred gallons of spraying material is used annually on the trees and the great plantation is operated along the latest approved and most up-to-date lines. Mr. Yaggy’s examples and methods have been followed by others in the neighborhood and the Arkansas river valley, as a result, is becoming widely renown as a natural fruit-bearing center. The catalpa industry is growing yearly in importance and is now thoroughly established, these hardy trees becoming more and more into demand, their durable fiber giving them a higher value for the use as fence posts and railroad ties. It has been found that it requires ten years to grow the first crop of catalpas, eight year the second and seven years the third. Some time before his death, L. W. Yaggy, in order to simplify the inheritance of his estate, incorporated, for two hundred thousand dollars, the Yaggy Plantation Company, in favor of his three sons, who now compose the company, its directorate and officiary, as follow: President Edward E. Yaggy; Vice President A. F. Yaggy, of Chicago, and secretary-treasurer, W. E. Yaggy, of Hutchinson. The elder Yaggy died at a sanitarium at Watkins Glen, New York, in October, 1912. His wife long preceded him to the grave, her death having occurred in Chicago.
History of Reno County, Kansas: Its People, Industries and Institutions, Volume 2
By Sheridan Ploughe
Published in 1917 by B .F. Bowen & Company, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana
Sarah Emilie Esher Yaggy
1852–1902 (m. 1875)
Sponsored by Ancestry