MRS. JOSEPHINE SILONE YATES
youngest daughter of Alexander and Parthenia Reeve-Silone, was born in Mattiluck, Suffolk County, N. Y., where her parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were long and favorably known as individuals of sterling worth, morally, intellectually and physically speaking. On the maternal side Mrs. Yates is a niece of the Rev. J. B. Reeve, D. D., of Philadelphia.
Mrs. Silone, a woman of education and great refinement of character, began the work of educating this daughter in her quiet, Christian home, and both parents hoping that she might develop into a useful woman spared no pains in endeavoring to secure for her the education the child very early showed a desire to obtain; and with this end in view she was sent to Newport, R. I., in her fourteenth year, having already spent one year at the Institute for Colored Youth in Philadelphia, and Mrs. Coppin, then Miss Fannie Jackson, with her vigorous intellect, aided the inspiration the mother had begun. In 1877 Miss Silone graduated as valedictorian of a large class from Rogers High School of Newport; and although the only Colored member of her class, and the first graduate of color, invariably she was treated with the utmost courtesy by teachers, scholars and such members of the School Board as Thomas Wentworth Higginson, T. Coggeshall, and others.
Two years later she graduated from the Rhode Island State Normal School in Providence, and soon began her life work as a teacher. During the eight years spent in Lincoln Institute, Jefferson City, Mo., she had charge of the Department of Natural Science, and was the first woman to be elected to a professorship in that institution.
In 1889 Miss Silone was married to Prof. W. W. Yates, principal of Phillips School, Kansas City, Mo., and removed to that city, where since she has been engaged in either public or private school work.
From the age of nine years she has been writing for the press, and her articles have appeared in many leading periodicals—for a long time under the signature “R. K. Potter.” Mrs. Yates has long been a zealous club worker and is well known as a lecturer East and West. She was one of the organizers and the first President of the Kansas City Woman’s League; and in the summer of 1901 was elected President of the National Association of Colored Women, which organization she had already served as Treasurer for a period of four years.
Mrs. Yates is the mother of two children, whose education she carefully superintends, and is ever ready to comfort the sick or to stop her round of duties to give counsel or render help along any line possible to the many young people and others who seek her door.