Ohio Biographies

Jacob Young

Jacob Young, of Orange, was born in Hardy County, Virginia, January 1, 1773. His parents were natives of Bavaria, Germany, and immigrated to America about the year 1743. The Youngs settled in Virginia, and the father and mother of Jacob Young (the mother's name was Cox) landed in New York, and subsequently settled in Virginia, where Andrew Young, father of Jacob, married into the Cox family. When Jacob was four or five years old his father removed to Washington County, Pennsylvania, then considered part of Virginia, and located near Ten Mile Creek. He subsequently served two years as teamster in the Revolutionary Army, and died on his homestead about the year 1807, at an advanced age. Jacob grew to manhood in Washington County, and married Mary Mason, of Fayette County, Pa., June 7, 1795, and in 1804 removed to and located in Columbiana County, in the newly admitted State of Ohio, where he remained until October, 1814, when he removed to Orange township, then in Richland, but now in Ashland County, Ohio, where he had erected a cabin the preceding year. Prior to his removal he had entered at the office at New Lisbon a number of tracts of land, one of which is now owned (1878) by John Crivelin, one by the heirs of the late George Hall, one by Isaac Mason, one by William Rhone, and another by Rev. William Sattler. His route to his new home was by the old army trail to Wooster, thence by Beall's trail to Jerome's Place and Blockhouse, now Jeromesville, and thence up to Mohican, by a new path passing near where Andrew Mason now resides, and thence to his cabin on the present Sattler farm. But few settlers had preceded him, and his cabin was in the midst of an almost unbroken forest. It was a lonely home, and he was soon serenaded by wolves and the screams of wild animals. As soon as he had arranged for winter he set to work upon the rich alluvial bottoms to prepare ground for culture the next year. The forests were of stupendous growth, and required much toil to cut and remove them. During the winter his family lived upon corn bread, milk and such wild meat as he could secure by means of his trusty rifle. The hominy block was brought into requisition, and such corn as could be procured in Columbiana County and in the vicinity of Wooster was prepared for use. His nearest neighbors were Solomon Urie, Vachel, Metcalf, Amos Norris, Patrick Murray and Jacob Crouse, to whose number others were soon added. An old Delaware and Wyandot trail ran near his cabin, and Indians from Sandusky frequently passed along with furs and skins to Pittsburgh and returned with new blankets, ammunition and such other articles as they had received in exchange for peltry; but were then quite civil. They occasionally called at his cabin, in small numbers, for something to eat, and always were served by Mrs. Young when she had anything to allay their hunger. After 1817 they rarely visited the cabin, when off of their reservation, which was situated in what is now Marion County, Ohio. They generally hunted in the forests along Black River and in Huron, Loraine (sic.) and Medina counties. They finally disappeared about 1824, and went west in 1829. In his hunting excursions, he often met small parties of Delawares in the northern forests. On one occasion, in attempting to pass silently to a resort for deer -- a sort of lick -- he came quietly upon an old Delaware seated upon a log, soundly asleep, and apparently very much exhausted from fatigue and want of food. Upon his sudden approach, the Indian was very much frightened, but Mr. Young advanced, showing by signs that he intended no harm, and, upon discovering the real situation of the Indian, drew from the pocket of his hunting shirt a corn cake which he tendered to his red friend, which was eagerly accepted. The Indian kneeled down in token of thankfulness, at the same time pointing toward the heavens, as if to intimate that the Great Spirit would reward him for generously feeing the hungry. In 1863 when the great stellar shower took place, when it seemed as if the universe were coming to an end, Mr. Young was hunting in the north woods along the banks of the Black River, and slept of nights in a rude hut or wigwam covered with bark. The singular appearance of the heavens amazed him, and fear that some great evil might befall his family seized upon him; but upon his return he was happy to discover that his apprehensions were baseless. The heavens had again become calm, and the fiery torches that blazed through the limitless region of space had disappeared, and all nature seamed at rest. It was not a matter of surprise that he should have been alarmed, for philosopher and divine alike trembled at beholding the phenomenon, and were uncertain as to its final termination. Mr. Young succeeded in raising a few acres of corn the first year; but was compelled to depend largely upon the chase for meat. His neighbors were few and far between and he was often requested to assist in erecting cabins for new settlers, to roll logs and do other acts of good neighborhood to all of which he responded, often boarding himself in addition to the service rendered, and at the same time furnishing seed corn to the new-comer. Indeed, though industrious, economical and careful, he found it difficult to protect himself and family from suffering, until he had succeeded in raising a few crops. Nevertheless, short as was his home supply, he was noted for his generous aid to all comers, even to squandering his own profits by helping parties who were subsequently unable or unwilling to pay him in return. His wife often related that they had not unfrequently (sic.) been so short of meat for the first year or two that Mr. Young depended almost wholly upon his gun from day to day for a supply; and often returned, hungry and weary without game, and made a supper upon milk and pone! In his hunting excursions, during his earlier years, he often met in the northern forests that skillful and successful woodman and hunter, Solomon Urie. He often found signs of bear and frequently succeeded in capturing Bruin, of whose flesh he was very fond. Deer was very common, and turkeys often made havoc with corn-fields in the fall of the year. Wolves were also numerous and very destructive on sheep. Their scalps commanded a fair price in money. Mrs. James Kerr, daughter of Jacob Young, has in her possession a family Bible purchased by her father, with wolf scalps in Columbiana County over sixty-five years ago. It was a book duly venerated by Mr. Young, during his life. He made a conscientious effort to follow its precepts. In July, 1815, John Whittaker, a surveyor of Columbiana county, was employed by William Montgomery to survey the original plat of the village of Uniontown, now Ashland, Ohio, and boarded at the cabin of Jacob Young while so doing; for the site of the new village was covered by the original forest, and had no boarding houses or hotels for the accommodation of travelers. In 1815 he helped erect the first school-house in Orange Township, near his residence, in which John Swigart taught the first school in the winter of 1815-1816 and married Barbara Young, about the close of his school, which is supposed to have been the first wedding in Orange Township, at the cabin of Jacob Young. Mr. Young became a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church at the age of seventeen years in Washington County, Pennsylvania, and continued faithful until his decease, which occurred in 1861, at the age of eighty-one years. It is sufficient panegyric upon the life and character of Mr. Young to say that he never had a quarrel with any man; that he never sued any man; that he was never a defendant in a law suit; that he was generous to all men; and that while he was born under the dominion of King George III he lived to see the independence of the American Republic, the establishment of the Union, and the prosperity and greatness of the States. His wife, Mrs. Mary Mason Young, was a member of the same church from 1800 until her decease in 1865, being about ninety years and six months old. The family of Mr. Young consisted of twelve children, two boys, John, who died in Van Wert County, Ohio, in 1851, and Abraham who died in Missouri in 1877; and ten girls -- Elizabeth, wife of the late Joseph Bishop; Barbara, wife of John Swigart; Mary, wife of John Swineford; Christianna, wife of Samuel Baughman; Phebe, wife of Rhrinehart Allaphela (sic.); Sarah, wife of Abraham Marks; Amy, wife of John C. Kerr; Hannah, wife of Robert McKee; Nancy, wife of Jacob Marietta; and Margaret, wife of James Kerr. All survive but Mrs. Bishop. The entire family learned at an early day lessons of industry, economy and morality, and lived to honor the parents that gave them birth. The loom was their parlor organ and the busy hum of the spinning wheel kept time with the music of the shuttle as it shot to and fro among the warp. All made intelligent, exemplary mothers and faithful wives.


From The Ohio Liberal, May 15, 1878