Popular Science Monthly/Volume 59/May 1901/Obituary of William Jay Youmans
The death of Dr. William Jay Youmans is a personal loss not only to his many friends, but also to the thousands of those who knew him only as editor of this journal. Youmans was born near Saratoga on October 14, 1838, and the boyhood on his father's farm gave him the training which has so often led to the elevation of public and professional life in this country. He was descended, as his name witnesses, from the British Yeomanry, and the sterling stock that settled in New England was typified in his person and character. He loved his home in the country, and had purchased a farm nearby, to which it was his intention to retire to pass the years of rest that he had so well earned. After leaving the home farm at the age of seventeen, Youmans studied under his brother, the late Dr. E. L. Youmans, and later at Yale, Columbia and New York Universities, and in London under Huxley. He practised medicine for several years in Minnesota, and in 1872 joined his brother in New York to establish the Popular Science Monthly. For twenty-eight years his life was devoted to this journal, first in association with his brother—who was seventeen years the older, and died in 1887—and afterwards as editor-in-chief. The two brothers not only edited the journal, but as advisers of the house of Appleton, gave them their high standing as publishers of scientific books in the renaissance of science based on the doctrine of evolution. The teachings of Spencer, Darwin and other great leaders were for them a religion to which their lives were consecrated. Their influence through this journal and other publications of the Appletons was great and permanent. Youmans died at Mount Vernon on April 10 from typhoid fever, after a ten days' illness. His life was devoted with rare singleness of purpose to the diffusion of science; it was a privilege to know him; he was gentle, kind and noble.