General Lafayette's Half Dollar
By Dan Knecht
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In 1824 General Lafayette, the French hero of the American Revolution, was making a grand tour of the United States, having been invited by the President of the United States. General Lafayette was greatly loved by the American citizens and everywhere he went he was honored.
It is reported that in May of 1825, while traveling through Kentucky from Georgetown to Covington, General Lafayette dined at an inn and stage stop in Florence, Kentucky, operated by the Williams family. The inn was on Main Street opposite Girrard Street.
The story is told in A. M. Yealey autobiography, that General Lafayette paid for his meal and rest with a half dollar minted in 1820.
Mr. A.M. Yealey, former Mayor of Florence, came into position of this coin in 1900 through heirs of the Williams family.
In the 1950's the coin was known to be in the possession of Dr. George Robert Tanner, a grandson of Mr. Yealey. The half dollar is now (2013) in the possession of a great grandchild of A. M. Yealey.