It took them nearly 170 years, but two men have paid off their great-great-great uncle's debt in Yellville, Arkansas.
Their ancestor, Archibald Yell, told leaders of Shawneetown, Ark., that he would give them $50 if they named the town after him. They did, and Shawneetown became Yellville. But Yell never paid.
Descendants David Yell of Lapeer, Mich., and William Yell of Monticello, Ga., were researching their family history when they found out. The Yell cousins traveled to Yellville last week to settle the debt.
The mayor of Yellville was kind enough to waive interest on the debt, or the Yells' payment would have totaled $803,000.
My thanks to Susan Goerke for telling me about this story.