YOUNG, James
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YOUNG, Col. James, was a grandson of Peter Young, gentleman, who resided near Sinking Springs, Berks county, Pa., during the Revolutionary war, who performed active service during that trying struggle, and whose patriotism was evidenced by the public recognition of the Continental authorities. On December 14, 1776, he was commissioned by the Council of Safety of Philadelphia second lieutenant of the Third battalion of Berks county militia. The commission is signed by David Rittenhouse, vice-president. On May 17, 1777, he was commissioned by the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania second lieutenant of a company of foot in the Fourth battalion of militia, Berks county, and on May 10, 1780, he was commissioned by the same authority lieutenant of a company in the Sixth battalion of militia of the same county. Those were the days in which militiamen fought the battles of their country.

James Youngís maternal grandfather was David Ettla, a native of Germany, who emigrated to this country about 1756 and settled at Middletown, Pa., where he pursued the occupation of a tailor the greater part of his life. He was an important man in the history of the early settlement of that now prosperous borough, and was one of the three commissioners appointed by the King of England to raise the necessary funds for the building of the old St. Peterís church, of Middletown. While in performance of the duties incumbent upon him in that position he on one occasion walked from Middletown to Philadelphia, through what was then a desolate and almost impassable section of the State. He married Magdalena Oldweiler, also a native of Germany, and their children were: David, who married Elizabeth Croll, of Middletown; Philip, who married Sarah Radenbaugh; Conrad, a shoemaker, who married Annie Smuller, of Middletown, and who died in 1836; Jacob, who married Miss Hertz, of Harrisburg, and Sophia, who married Peter Young.

James Young, son of Peter and Sophia Young, was born at Swatara Hill, Pa., July 25, 1820. His father was born November 13,1781, emigrated from Berks county, and passed the greater part of his life in the business of hotel keeping. From 1820 to 1834 he was the proprietor of the stage house on Swatara Hill, and on February 1, 1835, took charge of the Washington House, Middletown, and kept it until his demise on September 29, 1844. He enjoyed a common school education, and passed his earliest years of usefulness in assisting his father in the hotel business. At this early period he evinced a remarkable degree of activity and ambition, and willingly performed the most menial labor if it conduced to his pecuniary advantage. By close economy and a careful and abstemious course of living he had accumulated in 1839 a sum of money sufficient for him to purchase a canal boat, which he run for one year between Hollidaysburg and Philadelphia. In 1840 he established a lumber yard at Middletown, to which he subsequently added the coal business, and for twenty-six years engaged in the successful trade in these lines, at the same time furnishing supplies to the Pennsylvania Railroad Company under contract. He was also the purchasing agent for the Northern Central and Pennsylvania Railroad Company for a number of years, and during the late war engaged in laying a portion of the second track for that company under contract. About 1859 he purchased a valuable lime-stone quarry at Leaman Place, Lancaster county, which the manager of his estate operates, and from which has been furnished large amounts of stone for building the bridges and abutments for the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. James Young was emphatically a self-made man. Though springing from good stock, he started out in life a poor boy, and won a proud place among the representative men of his State by faithful, earnest work and the exercise of indomitable pluck and resolution. He owned a large amount of real estate in Middletown and elsewhere, including the Washington Hotel, in which he began his business life, the opera house, and divers stores and dwelling houses. He took an active interest in local affairs, and was identified with various local institutions and enterprises. He was president of the American Tube and Iron Company, of Middletown, president of the Cameron Furnace, of the same place, and a director of the Commonwealth Guarantee, Trust and Safe Deposit Company of Harrisburg, of the Farmersí Bank of Middletown, of the First National Bank of Lebanon, Pa., of the Lochiel Rolling Mill Company, and was a director of the Harrisburg, Portsmouth, Mount Joy and Lancaster Railroad Company for over twenty years. He was also a member of the State Board of Agriculture of Pennsylvania, by appointment of the Governor, and vice-president of the State Agricultural Society. Though politically a Republican he always declined public position, feeling at the same time a warm interest in State and National politics. He was a regular attendant and supporter of St. Peterís Lutheran church, of Middletown. He married, June 8, 1843, Ann, daughter of Isaac and Catherine Redsecker, and their children were: R. I., residing in Baltimore, Md.; Delanson J., deceased; Catherine S., who married H. P. Dunbar, of Harrisburg; Sarah H., deceased; James S., who was engaged in business with his father; Simon Cameron, who was formerly a civil engineer in the service of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company and is now administrator of his fatherís estate, and Henry P., who resides at Columbia, Pa.


Historical Review of Dauphin County

Transcribed by Angel Gerow for the Dauphin County,

Pennsylvania Genealogy Transcription Project -

Date of Transcription: 8 March 2001

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