St. Louis Post-Dispatch: William Yohe claims to be the champion jack-knife artist of the day, although he was born in St. Louis and not Yankeedom. A reporter heard of this professional lacerator of pine sticks and sought him out. It was not until the inside of an unused Methodist church at Kirkwood, this county, was reached that Mr. Yohe and his knife was cornered. The knife was slashing cigar-boxes to pieces at railway speed when the reporter opened up with: "Are you the man who makes an automatic world's fair and St. Louis Exposition with a knife?"
"No, that isn't what I call it. I am making what I call the Missouri Pacific and Strasburg Cathedral Automatic Wonder, with the Golden Ark of the Covenant. It will contain over 180,000 pieces and will have 1,100 moving and working figures."
All around the gaunt and dismantled church were piles of cigar-boxes and laths and myriads of nicely-carved pieces of wood, apparently portions of models of buildings. The whittler was a small man, with keen eyes and ready tongue and about thirty-six years of age. In the course of an hour's conversation he said in substance: "I didn't know that I was anything extra of a whittler until about 1869, when, in a small way, I made some models. I was in Texas working at millwrighting. The first large piece I ever made was a model of a Bermuda castle. Afterward I made Balmoral Castle, Bingen Castle, Miramar Castle, and the Texas State Capitol at Austin. Solomon's Temple contained 12,268 pieces and had 1,369 windows. It is now on exhibition in Texas. The Austin Capitol Building has 62,844 pieces and 561 moving people. Every room and department in the building was given, with all the officers and legislators. Everybody was represented, down to the man sawing wood in the basement for the furnaces. All the figures were moved by a wooden engine, which was run by sand falling on an overshot wheel. I made this piece at odd moments in 1881.
"I have just hired this church and begun steady work. I shall sleep and eat in this church until about May 1, next. The material? Yes, it does take considerable. I have already used up 967 cigar boxes and 300 laths. It will take in all 1,800 cigar boxes, 500 laths, and 500 feet of lumber. The cigar boxes I get for one cent each. I used no tools except my knife."