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Old West Kansas

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Kansas Family History


YOUNG Family History


The Heritage server would like to thank Don Castella for providing this information.


Lawrence, Kansas is the birthplace of my great grandfather, William Evan YOUNG and two of his sisters. His father, Nathaniel Eaton YOUNG, and mother, Mary Ann PEELER YOUNG moved their growing family to Douglas County between May, 1865 and September 1866 from Emporia. Nathaniel enlisted in the 17th KS Vol Inf in 1864 at Plymouth, KS. He may have served in other Civil War units, but I have no other service records.

This family first arrived in KS about 1862/3 from Greene County, IL (N of St. Louis). Nathaniel left there because his Republican political views made him very unpopular with his neighbors. He supposedly cast the only Lincoln vote in his township.

I have always been intrigued by his connection to Lawrence, a place that fostered much anti-slavery sentiment. Family tradition has it that earlier generations of the YOUNG family were not slave holders. This may help account for them leaving KY by 1820. Most of the potential YOUNG connections I have looked at in KY were slaveholding Scottish-Irish Jackson Democrats. Nathaniel's father William, who stayed in IL when the family moved west, is my earliest known YOUNG. He was a military man whose politics are unknown. I am trying to learn more about the political, religious, and philosophical side of the family in hopes that these areas will provide clues to earlier generations.

This family moved to Osage County, KS by 1870. When the Sauk & Fox reservation was opened up for settlers, Nathaniel got a land grant there of 160 acres from the US. He built a sawmill and grist mill on the Marais Des Cygnes River near Quenemo that operated for a decade or more. Two of his daughters taught school there. I have tried to document the names of the schools, but have had no luck so far. One daughter married Fred H. Woodbury, state representative and senator from Osage County.

I hope to visit these family homesites myself soon. Some of their descendents still live near the original homestead.

Don Castella, Lincolnshire, IL


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