When President William McKinley was inaugurated a second time in March 1901, the Illinois State Association held a huge Inauguration party at the Carroll Institute Hall and the guests of honor were Gov. and Mrs. Richard Yates, Jr. Gov. Yates was the son and namesake of a former governor who had served forty years before from 1861 to 1865 during the Civil War and it was the only time in Illinois history that a father and son had both served in the office of governor.
Richard Yates, Jr. was the son of Illinois' thirteenth governor, Richard Yates. He was born in Jacksonville, Illinois, on December 12, 1860. In 1880, he graduated from Illinois College, where he also earned a Master of Arts degree three years later. Yates graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1884, and established a legal career in Jacksonville. In 1878 and 1879, he worked as editor of the Daily Courier, as well as, working at the Daily Journal from 1881 to 1883. Yates entered public service in 1885, serving as city attorney of Jacksonville, an office he held for five years. He also served as judge of Morgan County from 1894 to 1897, and was the U.S. collector of internal revenue at Springfield from 1897 to 1900. Yates won the 1900 Republican gubernatorial nomination and was sworn into office as Illinois' twenty-fourth governor on January 14, 1901. Both Richard Yates Sr. and Jr. also represented southern Illinois in Congress as well as served in other offices.