Ivan Yakovlevich graduated from Voronezh real school.
Ivan Yakovlevich engaged in literary activities under the influence of M.A. Dikarev and Ukrainian theater troupes who have toured in Voronezh. The author of the vaudeville "Chornomorets". On the advice of M.A. Dikareva subsidized the publication of books in Ukrainian. More than 50 books with a total circulation of about 200,000 copies were published at the expense of Ivan Yakovlevich in 1894-1900. Later, the funds of the Cherevatenko Foundation were used to award authors of the best popular science books for the people.