Yeatman, James Erwin
- Bernard A. Cook
Yeatman, James Erwin (27 August 1818–07 July 1901), banker and philanthropist, was born in Bedford County, Tennessee, the son of Thomas Yeatman, a well-to-do banker and foundry owner, and Jane Patton Erwin. Yeatman attended the New Haven Commercial School and made a tour of Europe. He first worked in his father’s business in Cumberland, Tennessee, but in 1842 went to St. Louis as the representative of this business. Yeatman quickly became a leader in the St. Louis business community. In 1850 he was a founder of the Merchants’ Bank. In 1860, when the bank was reorganized as the Merchants’ National Bank, he became its president, a post he held for thirty-five years. On 12 March 1849 he became one of the nine organizers and directors of the Missouri Pacific Railroad. Deeply involved in civic projects, he was a founder and the first president of the St. Louis Mercantile Library, which was established in 1846....