Biography of James W. Young
Winona County, MN Biographies

JAMES W., son of John and Eliza Young, was born in Canada West December 25, 1837. His father emigrated from Vermont and his mother from Maine. His father's family left Canada West when James was a mere child and moved to Detroit, Michigan. He lived in Michigan until his son was about twelve years old when the family moved to Aurora, Illinois, forty miles west of Chicago, on Fox river. He remained here with his father on a farm until he was eighteen years old. His time was divided, similar to that of most farmers' sons, working on the farm in summer and going to school in winter. He received nearly all his education in Illinois. He obtained only a limited education, such as the common schools of Illinois offered in those days, yet it was practical and well adapted to the common business of life. He left Illinois in 1855 and moved to Black River Falls, Wisconsin, with his father. The Black River country was but little settled then; a few bold pioneers had ventured to penetrate the forests of the Badger State; the Indian trail was the only passable route through the mighty forests, now so valuable. James having grown to manhood, and used to all kinds of manual labor, was soon engaged as a teamster in the woods in the winter and rafting lumber during the summer. He remained at Black River Falls about two years, when his father died, at the advanced age of seventy-four years. Soon after the death of his father James was thrown upon his own resources and went forth to brave the storms of life. Having been brought up to all kinds of physical labor he readily found employment wherever he went. He left Wisconsin and returned to Illinois in 1858, where he was employed on a farm near Fulton City. He remained here a few months, when he went to Iowa. Here he again worked on a farm near Sabula. In 1859 he returned to Wisconsin and was employed in getting out logs on the Mississippi bottom, opposite the old village of Dakota. hi the spring of 1860 he traded off some property belonging to his mother in Black River Falls for a house and lot in old Dakota. He remained here until the spring of 1861, when he moved to Dresbach. Mr. Young was married May 29, 1861, to Miss Maria Doughty, daughter of Richard and Lydia Doughty. From the time he was married to the 9th day of December, 1861, Mr. Young was employed in rafting lumber on the Mississippi river, at which tim.e he enlisted in the war in Co. B, 2d Wis. Oav.. commanded by the late C. C. Washburn, of Wisconsin. Spent the winter of 1861-2 drilling at Milwaukee. The spring of 1862 the company went to St. Louis, where they received their horses. While at St. Louis the company was ordered to march to Jefferson City, Missouri, thence through Arkansas to Helena. Eight weeks of this march the company was seldom out of their saddles day or night. The company had an engagement with the rebels at Cotton Plant; several lost on both sides. Remained at Helena, Arkansas, until the latter part of 1862, when the company was ordered to Memphis, Tennessee. In May. 1863, the company was called to Vicksburg to join the besieging army commanded by Gen. U. S. Grant. Remained there and took active part in the capture of Vicksburg, July 3, 1863. After the capture of Vicksburg the company went to Jackson, Mississippi. It was there a short time and from there was ordered back to Vicksburg. Stayed at Vicksburg and vicinity, scouting and doing patrol duty, until the winter of 1864. The following winter the company was again ordered to Memphis, Tennessee, where the company was discharged in January, 1865. After returning home Mr. Young lived on a farm one year in Dakota valley. Sold his farm and moved to Dresbach. Was postmaster at Dresbach; kept hotel, store, and was engaged in various other occupations in the village. His wife died of consumption September 7, 1881, in the village of Dakota, after an illness of over two years. She was buried in Bluff cemetery of Dakota. Mr. and Mrs. Young never had any children. Mr. Young resides now in the village of Dakota, and is the owner of considerable village property.

The History of Winona County
Together with Biographical Matter, Statistics, Etc.
BY: A. T. Andreas
H. H. Hill and Company, Publishers
Chicago 1883.


Winona County, MN
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