William Mckinley Yost

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Tina Hursh
January 10, 2000

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.
Chicago and New York, Volume II
pg. 76 & 77

William McKinley Yost. Among the offices which call for the demonstration of
ability, judgement and clear-headed courage by the incumbents, one that in
particular demends the possession of these qualities is that of sheriff. The
shrievalty is generally conferred upon an individual who in the past has
demonstrated his fitness for the handling of the grave responsibilities, for
the duties of the office include the possibility of necessity for quick
thinking and immediate action in times of crisis. Monongalia County is favored
in having as the incumbent of the office of sheriff so capable and energetic a
young official as William McKinley Yost, an overseas veteran of the World war
and a native son of Monongalia County, where he is greatly popular.

Sheriff Yost was born on the home farm at Coal Spring, Monongalia County, July
1, 1894, a son of Thomas and Mary (Mason) Yost, natives of the same county. His
paternal grandfather, Jacob Yost, was an early farmer of this county, as was also
his maternal grandfather, John W. Mason. Thomas Yost, father of the Sheriff,
followed agricultural pursuits until 1911, in which year he removed to
Morgantown, this city now being the family place of residence.

William McKinley Yost was reared on the home farm, and as a lad attended the
public schools. When his parents removed to Morgantown he remained on the home
farm, where he was still carrying on operations at the time the United States
entered the World war. With youthful enthusiasm and patriotism young Yost
decided that his country was in need of his services, and accordingly left the
farm and went to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where, December 20, 1917, he
enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Subsequently he was sent to the
Paris island, South Carolina, training camp, and after eleven weeks of
intensive training was sent overseas. On May 6, 1918, he disembarked at Brest,
France, from which point he and his comrades were ordered to St. Aignan. Five
days later he was in a training camp at Grandchamps, whence after two weeks of
further training he was sent to the front, where he was assigned to the
Seventy-ninth Company, Sixth Regiment, Second Division of United States Marines.
He arrived at the Chateau-Thierry front June 8 of that year and remained there
from that date until July 4, when he was ordered to the reserve in the rear.
On the 14th of the same month he was ordered to Soissons, where he was in the
thick of the fighting on the 18th and 19th, and from which desperate
engagement his battalion came out numbering less than a full company. He was
then returned to Mantreul, on the Marne, where, August 1, he subtrained for
Nancy, from which point a few days later he went to the Marbach sector,
directly in front of the Metz. Mr. Yost was in the fighting on the front
August 7, 8 and 9, and on the morning of the last-named day was wounded by a
high explosive and sent to the Base Hospital No. 3 at Montpont, France, where
he remained utnil November 1, 1918. On that date he was ordered to the
replacement camp at LeMans, reaching that camp on the 4th of the same month
and was still located there when the armistice was signed. He was then
ordered to join his company in Belgium, and with it marched to the front of the
German lines at Luxembourg. On December 13, 1918, they came to the Rhine at
Brohl, and on the following day crossed that historic stream. They were
stationed at Rheinbrohl, Germany, until June 18, 1919, at which time they
marched to within approximatley two miles of the neutral zone, and there
remained until the peace treaty was signed June 18. Mr. Yost started for home
July 18, 1919, embarked at Brest on the 25th, and reached New York City August
3. The company was then ordered to Camp Mills, but on the morning of the 9th
the entire division paraded in the streets of New York City, and in the evening
of the same day was on its way to the Quantico, South Carolina, Marine
Training Station. On the 12th of that month Mr. Yost took part in the parade
at Washington, D.C., and on the following day, August 13, 1919, was honorable
discharged at Quantico.

Returning to his old home, Mr. Yost resumed farming and was thus engaged when,
May 25, 1920, he received the republican nomination for the office of sheriff
of Monongalia County in the primaries. In the ensuing election he was placed
in office by an approximate majority of 1,800 votes a gain over the normal
republican vote of nearly 1,000. He assumed the duties of the sheriff’s
office January 1, 1921, and in that position is as faithfully serving Monongalia
County as he faithfully served his country overseas.

Sheriff Yost is a member of the American Legion and of the Veterans of Foreign
Wars, and as a fraternalist is affiliated with the Improved Order of Red Men
and the Junior Order United American Mechanics. He belongs to the Methodist
Protestant Church and to Baraca Sunday school class. He is unmarried.