Youngsville namesake is remembered

Most of the names attributed to places in Warren County are logical.

But this one is a little ironic — the tenant farmer is named after a town larger than town of his overseer’s namesake.

What town? Youngsville.

A prior Times Observer story indicates that Gen. William Irvine was given 3,000 acres at the mouth of the Brokenstraw and Allegheny, among other land holdings, as his payment for surveying the area.

But the land grant had to be developed, settled and cleared or the federal government could take it back. So a man by the name of Matthew Young was hired to oversee the farm.

Young had also served in the militia during the Revolutionary War and received 400 acres as a result.

Schenck’s History of Warren County notes that Young came to the area in 1796 “and began a career which justly entitled him to the distinction of bequeathing his name to the beautiful and prosperous village that sprang up around him.”

Schenck details that Young lived “for many years the life of his recluse,” either living with a John McKinney Sr. or in a small log cabin.

“He taught school frequently in town, a calling for which he was well adapted, being well educated, and a friend and general favorite of children, Schenck continued. “He is described, by one who well remembers his appearance, as being tall, slender, and erect, with very light complexion and (in later years) with white hair. ‘He was simple in his character, earnest in his purposes, and eccentric in his habits, with a kind heart for all, and an integrity that was never tarnished.'”

He owned the first sawmill in the area, building it in 1807 and was also the county’s second treasurer, serving in that capacity from 1821-1823.

The borough bearing his name wasn’t incorporated until 1849.

He died in August 1825 in Deerfield Township while visiting a friend and was reinterred at the Youngsville Cemetery when it was formed.


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