St. Clair County Remnants Of The Past


St. Clair County
Remnants Of The Past

The History of St. Clair Co., Mo, Volume 1
St. Clair County, Missouri Historical Society

Simpson Younger

The following information on Simpson Younger comes from an interview with Younger in 1937 as part of a W.P.A. Collection Project. Source: Western Historical Manuscripts Collection, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO.
"My father was Charles Younger, the originator of the Younger family in Missouri, and grandfather of Cole, Bob and Jim Younger. My father was my mother's master. She was a Simpson. I knew Cole Younger well."
The Younger brothers, Cole, Bob and Jim, were notorious outlaws. It is recorded that Sim's father was the Younger who operated a canoe ferry across the Missouri at Chouteau's Landing.
"My father died when I was five years old, and left Mother a farm on which my brothers and sisters are still living. Father arranged for my education and, by the terms of his will, I was sent to Oberlin, Ohio, where I was reared by Delia Sheppard, in whose care I was placed."
Sim Younger attended Oberlin College, graduated in 1870. He did not see his mother from the time he was five until he was the age of twenty-one.
"I was born in slavery and I enlisted in the Union Army January 1, 1864, at Oberlin, Ohio, and, according to the National Tribune, I was one of the youngest soldiers in the ranks."
"I was present at the battle of Petersburg, Va., July, 1864, one of the disasters to the Northern forces of the War; and present on June 15, 1864, at the initiatory battle of Deep Bottom and also at Cold Harbor."
"I was in the Ninth Army Corps, under Burnside, and was transferred around in front of Richmond, Va."
"General Butler went down to Fort Fisher and failed, which was the last open port of the Confederacy. Another expedition was organized and General Terry given command. We embarked on the night of 31-Dec.-1864, landed the morning of 13-Jan.-1865, on the peninsula. On the night of 15-Jan.-1865, we captured Fort Fisher."
"We had a terrible, terrible time landing! There was an awful storm! I was told to jump overboard and oh my! I swallowed a good deal of the Atlantic!"
"I want to tell you of one of the tragic things that happened during the war, I was there and saw it."
"It was at the Southside Railroad at Petersburg, on 27-Sept.-1865. I was put on picket duty. The "Rebs" had built a fire and the wind was driving it toward us. They began to holler and cheer, very happy over the fact."
"All at once we could hear someone coming toward us. The pickets opened fire on what they thought were "Rebs" and found out, to their distress, that it was a bunch of recruits from our own lines. Many were killed."
"If I could choose my weapons for the next war, I would choose doughnuts, to be thrown at each other across the Atlantic!"
At the time of this interview, Sim Younger was living in a modest two-story frame home, located at 400 North Moniteau St., Sedalia, Missouri.
There was a quiet soldierly dignity about the old Negro that was striking and impressive. At 87 years of age, his keen eyes needed no glasses. The impress of his college education and soldierly training were evident in his bearing and conservation.