WIBios - Green County - Young, John A.

Green County, Wisconsin


"John A. Young"

JOHN A. YOUNG, of Brodhead, Green county, is a dealer in fresh-water
pearls, raw furs and ginseng, and in these rather uncommon lines of trade and barter has succeeded in amassing a very comfortable competence. He has had little help from firends or fortune in his life work, and may be written down a a thoroughly self-made man, the architect of his own fortune. He is a man of good heart, generous disposition and kindly feeling, who has combined keen business sense with the utmost integrity of purpose, and is known as a thoroughly honorable and reliable gentleman.
Mr. YOUNG was born in Bern, Albany Co., N.Y., Aug. 5, 1832, a son of
Peter and Rebecca (AUSTIN) YOUNG, natives of New York. They had eleven children, nine of whom are now living: John A.; Charles W., of Whitewater, Wis; William, of Voorheesville, N.Y.; Henry, of Albayn, N.Y.; Govnier, of Whitewater, Wis.; Sarah VAN PATTEN, of Centralia, Kans.; Louis VAN PATTEN of the same place; Maggie GEMLICK of Albany, N.Y.; and Eliza SEVERSON, of Guilderland Center, N.Y. The father was a carpenter and joiner, and in the latter part of his life a farmer in New York, where he died at the age of seventy-eight. His wife survived him dying when about seventy-seven. They were Methodists. He belonged to the State militia. The paternal and maternal grandfathers of John A. Young were of Dutch descent folled farming, and lived to advanced ages. Both reared large families. The latter John AUSTIN, came to Wisconsin in 1844 and located in Rock county. He owned a tract of 1,100 acres.
John A. YOUNG was reared in Albany county, N.Y. where he obtained his early education. His
father, though a man of limited means, gave him his time from the age of ten. John A. learned the carpenter business with his father, but spent his time principally in farming, beginning work as a farm hand in New Yok state at the age of fifteen for a many by the name of Thomas TYGART, with whom he remained something over two years. His wages were $4 per month the first year; the second year he received $8 per month, with the understanding that he should deliver farm produce at Albany, twelve miles distant by early daylight, on account of the cholera scourge in the city. In the third year he was taken sick, and had to return to his father's home for recuperation. In 1858, Mr. Young came to Wisconsin and located on a farm in the town of Lima, Rock county. In 1861 he began the business of keeping hotel at Johnstown Center, Wis., where he spent the next two and one-half years, and in 1863 he went to Brodhead and engaged in the hotel business. Here he has since remained. Continuing the hotel business until 1895, since which time he has given his entire attention to the business of buying and selling fresh-water pearls and raw furs. He is considered an expert in the business and has made it very profitable. He built the “YOUNG House” at Brodhead in 1868-69, a fine building in its day, which still attracts admiration; it is a three-story brick structure 52x62 feet, its entire cost being about $16,000 and in it Mr. YOUNG did a large and profitable business.
Mr. YOUNG and Miss Maria GROAT, daughter of Abraham and Julia Ann (OSTRANDER)
GROAT, were married June 28, 1852, and they have had nine children. Julia A. A.; Rebecca; John F.; Teressa; Alice; Manley; Mary J.; Maud and Florence. Julia A. A. died June 11, 1854, when a child; Teressa died Oct. 20, 1839; John F., May 4, 1864; Rebecca, July 18, 1864; Mary J. Feb. 1, 1867 and Manley, May 18, 1900. The last named married Miss Anny SNYDER who survives him and they had one son, Loyal, who is now five years old. Alice married E. M. Lyons, of Brodhead, and is the mother of five children, Maud, Eddie, Ray, Alice and Genevieve. Maud married F. K. VANCE, of Brodhead. Florence is at home. Mr. and Mrs. YOUNG belong to the Dutch Reformed Church, and he is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in which fraternity he has taken high rank. He has filled all the chairs of the subordinate lodge, is a member of the Patriarch Militant, and has been a member of the grand lodge for many years. Mr. YOUNG is a Republican, has served on the county central committee of the party for several years, and has been a delegate on several occasion to the Republican State Convention. He was mayor of Brodhead two successive terms. Mr. YOUNG is a member of the State municipal League, and believes in public ownership of public utilities.
Mr. YOUNG owns one of the finest residences in the village of Brodhead, built in 1895, and
thoroughly modern and up-to-date in every respect. He also owns considerable residence and business property in the place. There was not a foot of sidewalk in Brodhead when Mr. YOUNG settled there and he has the honor of having taken the initiative in this improvement of the city, having laid the first sidewalk in the place in the spring of 1863.
Mrs.YOUNG's parents were born in the town of Guilderland, N.Y., where she was born in 1833.
Her father always followed the life of a farmer though he became noted throughout New England as the owner of two superior racehorses, “Sorrel Pony” and “Black Maria.” In their old age, Mr. and Mrs. GROAT moved to a new home in Guilderland Center, where he died at the age of seventy-eight years. His widow went to Albany, N.Y. to live with a daughter, and passed away at the age of eighty-six. They belonged to the Dutch Reformed Church. His father Simon GROAT, a soldier of the war of the Revolution, died when seventy five. He was the father of nine children. Mrs. YOUNG's maternal grandfather, John OSTRANDER, was a shoemaker by trade but was keeping hotel at the time of his death. He had eight children. He enlisted in the Rensselaer war. Both her grandparents were of Holland-Dutch descent, natives of Albany county, N.Y. and followed farming.
Taken from "Commemorative Biographical Record of the Counties of Rock, Green, Grant, Iowa and Lafayette Wisconsin," (c)1901 Union Publishing; pp. 496-498.
Courtesy of Carol.

This page last updated March 26, 2005
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