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Fayette County, Iowa
Portrait & Biographical Album of Fayette County Iowa
Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of
Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County
Lake City Publishing Co., Chicago
Robert J. Young
Robert J. Young, a farmer, stock-raiser, insurance agent and progressive citizen of Oran Township who, since 1856, has made his home n this county, now resides on section 23. He purchased his present farm in 1881 -- a highly improved tract of eighty acres which pays tribute to his care and cultivation. The history of the life of Mr. Young is as follows: He was born n London, England, November 15, 1844, and is a son of Richard N. and Sarah (Butler) Young. His father was born n London on Christmas Day of 1820, and became a gas fitter, which business he followed for many years. He married Miss Butler, who was born in Berkshire in 1820, and in 1848 they boarded an American-bound vessel at Liverpool, crossing the board Atlantic to New York. They settled in Brooklyn, where Mr. Young found work at his trade. His wife died n that city September 29, 1854, and the following year he removed to Chicago, where he resided until 1857, when he became a resident of Hazelton, Buchanan County, Iowa. He now makes his home in Jefferson Township, this county. In their family were only two children -- the sister, Sarah Jane, having died in Brooklyn September 30, 1854, at the age of eight years.
After his mother's death Robert J. Young lived with an uncle until he had attained to fourteen years, when he struck out to shift for himself. He was educated in the schools of Brooklyn and also pursued his studies in this county, but much of his knowledge has been acquired through reading in leisure hours. He is now a well-informed man, owing to his improving the time which many another would have spent in idleness or recreation. At the age of twelve years he became a resident of Buchanan County, and when a young man of nineteen enlisted at Independence, Iowa, in 1863, for three years' service. He was assigned to Company F, First Iowa Cavalry, and mustered in at Dubuque, the regiment joining the Army of the West. He took part in the battles of Princeton, Camden, Spoonvlle, Little Rock, Elkins Ford, Moreau River, Jenkins Ferry and others, and also the Red River expedition, and at the close of the war went with Gen. Custer to Alexandria, La., and thence into Austin, Tex., in March, 1866, took passage on a steamer for New Orleans, and was discharged at Davenport a few days later, after having faithfully followed the old flag through three years of warfare.
When peace was once more restored Mr. Young returned to this county and again engaged in farming. In 1873 he married Belle Ross, a native of Indiana and a daughter of Samuel A.K. and Angeline (Malott) Ross, the former a native of New York, born December 27, 1825, and the latter born the same year on the 4th of May. Their marriage was celebrated in Ripley County, Ind., whence they emigrated to Oran Township, this county, in 1867. On both sides the families are Scotch origin. Mr. and Mrs. Young began their domestic life in Oran Township, where have been born unto them four children and the family circle yet remains unbroken. In the order of birth they are: Amelia E., born December 21, 1874; George W., May 12, 1878; Clarence B., January 9, 1880; and Robert L., July 21, 1888.
We find in our subject an enterprising citizen who takes a deep interest in everything pertaining to the welfare of the community and the advancement of its best interests. He votes with the Republican party and has held the office of Justice of the Peace and Township Clerk, while for fourteen years he did effective service for the cause of education as a member of the School Board. He is now serving his second term as Commander of Griffith Post, No. 134, G.A.R., of which he was also Adjutant for a number of years. He holds membership with Fairbanks Lodge, No. 148, A.F. & A.M. and with Oelwein Lodge, No. 294. I.O.O.F. He has passed all the chairs in this order and served as District Deputy Grand Master in 1876 and 1877. His wife is a member of the Free-Will Baptist Church of Oelwein, and the worthy couple are held in universal esteem. Our subject served five years in the State Militia, and rose from Corporal to Second Lieutenant. He was also Census Enumerator for 1880 and 1890. He represents the following insurance companies: The Hawkeye, of Des Moines, The Iowa State Wind Storm and Cyclone Association, The Security, of Davenport and The Fayette County Mutual Fire Insurance Company, our subject being one of the directors and was elected in June, 1890, as Treasurer. Richard N. Young served in the late war in Company G, Sixth Iowa Cavalry, for three years. Samuel A.K. Ross, the father of Mrs. Young, also served in defense of his country, in Company 11, Fortieth Indiana Infantry.
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