Biography of Alexander J. Young
San Francisco, CA Biographies





ALEXANDER JOSHUA YOUNG
No finer representative of the cosmopolitan citizenship of San Francisco could be named than the late Alexander Joshua Young, who was secretary to Sanford Sachs for many years and was also affiliated with the Stringer Storage Company. He was a native of Southampton, England, where his birth occurred September 5, 1862, and he was a son of Alexander J. and Elizabeth (Sherman) Young.

Alexander J. Young, the father, was born in Scotland. He was noted as an engineer, and served the royal government under both Queen Victoria and King Edward VII. He served in India, and died en voyage while crossing the Red sea, his burial having been made at sea. His wife, who was born in England, died when the subject of this biography was but four years of age. The father then moved with the surviving members of the family to Glasgow, Scotland, where an aunt lived. A. J. Young, Sr., held the position of burgess of the city of Glasgow.

Alexander Joshua Young and his two brothers were educated in a Glasgow school which was supported by the burgesses of the city. At the age of twelve years, he entered an apprenticeship for the purpose of becoming a registered accountant. He was a proficient athlete during his youth, and he won recognition as a cross country runner and a bicycle racer, using the high wheel. He worked with the old Howe sewing machine organization, and in the performance of his duties he always rode his high bicycle. When he was twenty six years old, he left England with Australia as his intended destination. En route he and two friends tarried in San Francisco, to see the interesting sights of this city. The result was that his trip to Australia was ended at this point. The romantic, colorful community appealed to him, and to make the matter stronger a position as accountant was offered to him, which he accepted. He remained in this job for one year, during which interval he became connected with other business enterprises which enabled him to open an office in the Mills building. About 1891, he became associated with Sanford Sachs as his private secretary, and later he formed connections with the Stringer Storage Company. Mr. Young was widely known as a deep student of finance, and was adviser to many important firms in San Francisco and vicinity, also managed several estates, and was superintendent of the building of many noted properties in the city. His conduct of his business affairs and those of others was never subjected to adverse criticism or unfavorable comment. He was straightforward, efficient and wise in his methods of dealing with his fellowmen.

In San Francisco, on April 27, 1898, Mr. Young was married to Mary E. McCarthy, a native of California, and daughter of Daniel William and Honora (Barry) McCarthy. Her father came to California in 1866, and first settled in Napa and in Lake counties. Three children were born to the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Young, namely: Alexander Joseph, an accountant; Paul B., a contractor, who married Helen Jackson, and is the father of two children, Helen and Audrey; and Mary C., who is the wife of Gordon Murray and the mother of a daughter, Jane. Mr. Young was extremely devoted to his family, and his greatest pleasure in life was to be in their company.

Mr. Young was a member of the Scotch Presbyterian Church. He was commodore of the Corinthian Yacht Club, yachting having been one of his favorite diversions, and also belonged to the Olympic Club and the Family Club. Walking was another hobby which interested him, and he frequently made the journey to Tamalpais and Muir Woods on foot. He gave his support to the republican party after he had taken out his citizenship papers in 1896.

The death of Alexander J. Young occurred in San Francisco, February 24, 1930, when he was in the sixty eighth year of his age. He left a substantial record of accomplishment which well merits a place in San Francisco history. He was of the dignified, cultured type of Englishman, and during his active career never sought undue publicity, his greatest desires having been to see his family happy and prosperous and his business successful.

From:
The History of San Francisco, California
Lewis Francis Byington, Supervising Editor
Oscar Lewis, Associate Editor
The S. J. Clark Publishing Company
Chicago-San Francisco 1931


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