(Jan. 28, 1793-June 10, 1878). Born in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, Daniel Yandes served in the War of 1812 under General William Henry Harrison. Following his marriage in 1815, he engaged in coal mining and the operation of a flour mill. In 1818, Yandes and his family moved to Connersville, Indiana, and then to Indianapolis in 1821.

Over the next 40 years, Yandes participated in several major economic ventures in Indianapolis. For instance, in partnership with his brother-in-law, Yandes erected the first saw and grist mill in the new capital city. In partnership with John Wilkins, he opened the city’s first tannery in 1823. Next, in 1825, Yandes and Franklin Merrill, brother of state treasurer Samuel Merrill, opened a general store. Yandes then opened another store in partnership with Edward T. Porter in 1831.

Two years later, Yandes went into partnership with Samuel Merrill and built a grist mill, a sawmill, and the first cotton spinning factory in the region. Shortly thereafter, he built the first paper mill in the county, with William Sheets (a cousin of future President Benjamin Harrison), on the canal just west of the State House grounds.

Despite this building spree, Yandes faced several years of financial difficulties, only emerging out of this slump to build 10 miles of the Madison And Indianapolis Railroad in 1847. In 1852, he and Alfred Harrison built 30 miles of the eastern end of the Bellefontaine Railroad in Indiana, and, in partnership with Edward T. Sinker, Yandes opened the Westem Machine Works of Indianapolis in 1860. In addition to his business concerns in Marion County, Yandes also owned and operated stores, mills, and factories throughout the state.

Throughout his life, Yandes made substantial contributions to various charities in Indianapolis. The most notable of these gifts was a large donation to aid in the construction of First Presbyterian Church, one of the first churches in the city. Politically, Yandes was a supporter of first the Whig and then the Republican Parties. Although he did not actively seek office, Yandes served as the first treasurer of Marion County, and, in 1838, he served on the State Internal Improvements Board at the request of Governor Noah Noble.

Revised March 2021

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