The subject of this biographical review is among the pioneer farmers of
Iuka township, Marion county, where he has long maintained his home, being
one of the native sons of the county who have done so much to develop Marion
in all her phases until she ranks with the leading counties of the great
Prairie state, and now in the golden evening of his life this venerable
citizen is enjoying the fruits of a well spent life and the esteem of a wide
circle of friends.
William Jasper Young was born in Marion county, Illinois, June 21, 1826, in Centralia township, the son of Edward and Sarah C. (Duncan) Young, the former a native of Virginia and the latter of Tennessee. Edward Young grew up in Virginia, and when he reached maturity he moved to Kentucky, later came to Indiana and prior to 1826 settled in Marion county, Illinois. He was a plasterer and bricklayer, and he made his home in several different places after coming to Illinois, among them being Alton, St. Louis, Belleville, Centralia and Salem. Later in life he settled on the farm. Edward Young was born June 8, 1803, and died June 9, 1876. He was a soldier in the Black Hawk war. He was, early in life, a Democrat, and he cut down the first Whig pole ever erected in Salem. However, he later became a Republican. These children were born to Edward Young and wife, as follows: Lysander Franklin, William Jasper, our subject; Julia Ann, deceased; Letta Jane, deceased; James, deceased; Harriet, deceased; Edward, living in Minnesota; Sarah also lives in Minnesota.
Sarah C. Duncan, mother of the subject, was born July 22, 1808, and died November 9, 1886. She was a woman of many beautiful traits of character.
The subject of this sketch worked on his father's farm from the time he was old enough to work, and he has followed farming all his life. In 1852 he came to his present farm in Iuka township, Marion county, having bought a part of it from the government or state. At that time the forests abounded in much wild game, such as deer, wolves, wild turkey. He has seen many a herd of deer from his cabin door. He cleared up the land and now has a model farm and modern farm buildings, all well kept, and his home is nicely and comfortably furnished. A glance over his well-tilled and well-fenced fields is sufficient to show that he is a man of thrift and rare soundness of judgment. He has in all about three hundred acres, but he now rents out the land and is practically retired. He handles some good stock of various varieties.
April 13, 1847, Mr. Young was united in marriage with Sarah J. Songer, who was born: in Washington county, Indiana, August 7, 1828, the daughter of Frederick and Jane (Helm) Songer, natives of Virginia, but they came to Washington county, Indiana, when young and married there, and in 1828 came to Clay county, Illinois, where they lived for a time. In 1835 they came to Marion county, settling in Omega township, where they farmed and where they died. They were members of the Methodist Episcopal church.
Eleven children have been born to the subject and wife, namely: Amanda Elmira died in childhood; Marcus D. married Sarah Bobbett and they have two children, Franklin and Ada; Mary E. is the wife of George Cox, of Salem, Illinois; Emily Elvina is the wife of William Robinson, a farmer living in Iuka township, and she is the mother of two children, Ernest Roy and Flo; Eliza Alice, deceased, was the wife of Perry Cox and she left two children, William Jasper and George; Jennie is the wife of Grant Bumgarner, who lives in Texas; Douglas married Irena Buffington and they have two children, Charles and Ruth; Paul married Martha Criffield; Fred married Elva Wooden and they have three children, Pearl, Winafred and Verl; the tenth and eleventh children of the subject died unnamed.
Our subject has three great-grandchildren. He and his good wife are now both more than eighty years old and are remarkably bright and active people for their years and considering the long years of hard work they both have done. Their happy, prosperous and harmonious wedded life extends over sixty years of time and they have celebrated their golden wedding anniversary. They are among the highly respected and prominent citizens of the county and greatly admired and beloved by everyone who knows them. Our subject is a loyal Democrat. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church at Iuka. They have always contributed liberally to church work, also have helped out school work and all kinds of public enterprises. Fraternally Mr. Young has belonged to the Masons since 1863.
Mr. Young was one of the brave and patriotic supporters of the Union who offered his services and his life in its defense during the War of the Rebellion, having enlisted in Company E, One Hundred and Eleventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry, August 8, 1862, and served in a most gallant manner until the close of the war. He was mustered in at Salem, Illinois, and mustered out in Washington, District of Columbia, and discharged at Springfield, Illinois. He was in the Second Brigade, Second Division, Fifteenth Army Corps, under General John A. Logan. He first did post duty at Columbus, Ohio, awhile, and then, in 1864, joined Sherman in his campaign about Atlanta, and was in the first battle of Resaca and in the last battle of Shiloh. He also fought at Dallas, Kenesaw Mountain and Atlanta; in fact, he was in all the fighting around Atlanta. The last hard fight he was in was at Atlanta, Georgia. He was taken prisoner in front of Atlanta July 22, 1864, and after being transferred to various prisons in the South for a period of seven months, was finally paroled and later exchanged at Wilmington, North Carolina.
Mr. Young has always been a man of industry and he has honestly made what he has, having been a hard worker and a good manager. He has led a life of which no one might be ashamed in any way, for it has been one of sobriety and filled with good deeds.
Extracted 03 Nov 2017 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 157-159.