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Peter Youree (April 23, 1843 - July 13, 1914) was a businessman and banker from Shreveport, Louisiana, who in 1910 built his city's first skyscraper, the ten-story Commercial National Bank Building. He also financed the construction of his massive Youree Hotel — later called the Washington Youree Hotel — in downtown Shreveport. He was president of the Louisiana Bankers Association from 1908-1909.
Youree was born in Lafayette County in north central Missouri, to P. E. Youree and the former M. M. Zimmerman. He was locally educated and received mercantile training in his father's store. He served with Missouri Confederate forces during the American Civil War and was wounded at Shiloh, a bloody battle fought near the Tennessee River in southern Tennessee. He rose to the rank of captain of Slayback's Missouri Rifles and surrendered his company at Shreveport.
He decided to settle in Shreveport, the seat of Caddo Parish, and became a mercantile clerk. He opened a mercantile and real estate business. For a time he owned the Shreveport Street Railway and was president of the Shreveport Waterworks Company. In 1888, he was elected president of the Merchants and Farmers Bank, and in 1891, he became president of the Commercial National Bank, a position which he held until his death. Youree's former bank is now a part of AmSouth Bancorporation of Birmingham, Alabama. At the time of his passing, Youree's wealth was estimated at $2 million.
On June 24, 1870, he married the former Mary Elizabeth Scott of Scottsville in Harrison County, Texas, east of Marshall and west of Shreveport. She was the daughter of Colonel W. T. Scott, a member of the Texas State Senate, whose family founded Scottsville. They had a son, William Scott Youree (1872–1904), and a daughter, Susie Rose Youree Lloyd (1881–1974).
Youree was also active in local politics. A Democrat, he was a member of the Caddo Parish Police Jury (county commission in most other states) for twenty-four years. He was a member of the First Methodist Church of Shreveport. Youree Drive in Shreveport is named after him. His home on Fairfield Avenue called "Youreeka" was a Shreveport showplace for many years.
Youree is interred in the Scottsville/Youree Cemetery in Scottsville. The cemetery is known for its acclaimed "Weeping Angel" or "Angel of Grief" statue, originally built to watch over the grave of son William Scott Youree, who was killed in Monterrey, Mexico.
|- style="text-align: center;"
|width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"|Preceded by
Charles Janvier of New Orleans |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="1"|President of the Louisiana Bankers Association Peter Youree
1908–1909 |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"| Succeeded by
R.N. Sims of Donaldsonville of Ascension Parish |- |}
Youree Drive, a major thoroughfare in Shreveport, was named for Captain Youree. Youree Middle School bears his name also. Captain Youree was a member of the General Leroy Stafford Camp #3, United Confederate Veterans in Shreveport. The Confederate monument at Greenwood Cemetery on Stoner Avenue was erected by Youree in honor of his comrades buried there. His wife, Betty Youree, was longtime president of the Shreveport Chapter #237, United Daughters of the Confederacy. A Children of the Confederacy Chapter was named in her honor.
- "Peter Youree", A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography, Vol. 2 (1988) p. 868
- Washington Youree Hotel Shreveport, LA at www.cardcow.com
- Weeping Angel Statues Houston Scottsville and Denison Texas. at www.texasescapes.com
- Scottsville Texas and Scottsville Cemetery. at www.texasescapes.com
- Weeping Angel gravesite at findagrave.com