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Uriah Younkin
(1828-1904)

 

Uriah Younkin was born on Nov. 15, 1828 in Milford Township, Somerset County, PA, the son of Dr. Jonas and Martha (Pringey) Younkin.

As a youth of 18, he began to learn the blacksmith's trade and did this type of work for a dozen years, until he was about age 30. He also studied primitive country medicine at the hands of his father.

Uriah joined his parents and younger siblings when they left Somerset County and moved to Illinois and Iowa circa 1850-1851. He seems to have returned to Pennsylvania in 1852 to become married, with plans to establish a life in Henry County, IL.

On Nov. 27, 1852, at the age of 24, he was joined in marriage with Lydia "Ellen" Spaugh (1830- ? ), also spelled "Spark," with the ceremony taking place in nearby Fayette County, PA. Justice of the peace John McCollough officiated. Lydia Ellen was a native of Preston County, VA (later West Virginia). News of the union was published in a Fayette County newspaper.

 

Directory of Keokuk County, Iowa

The newlyweds traveled to rejoin the family in Illinois about 1853 and in 1860 moved to a farm in Pleasant Valley Township, Johnson County, IA, with Iowa City as their post office. Uriah's parents lived just two farmhouses away.

They eventually produced four children -- Orlando Franklin Younkin, Orin F. Younkin, Winfield Scott Younkin and Chester W. Younkin.

Upon arrival in Iowa, Uriah earned a living as a blacksmith and also began to function as a physician, using learning he had obtained from his father. He continued to do so for six years until a paralyzing illness of some sort forced him to stop.

He then took on a new position as proprietor of the National Hotel in South English in English River Township, Keokuk County, IA. When profiled in the Directory of Keokuk County, he was described as "a gentleman well adapted to please the public, and is a courteous and genial landlord," but his birthplace erroneously was listed as "Summerset county, Virginia." When the federal census enumeration was made in 1870, Uriah and the family lived in a hotel in Tama, Tama County, IA, where he was keeper of the establishment.

In 1872, the Younkins relocated to Keokuk County, IA, making a new home along the South English River. There, in 1880, Uriah and his sons ran a hotel. The federal census-taker noted in 1880 that Lydia suffered from "phistula" -- today spelled "fistula" -- an abnormal connection between two organs that can result in painful infections, often in the genitals.

Lydia Ellen's fate is unknown, but evidence hints that she died before August 1884.

Uriah married a second time to Lucinda "Lou" (Aug. 1844- ? ). Their nuptials took place in Keokuk County. He was 16 years older than his second wife.

Their two daughters, born in Nebraska, were Nettie Younkin (in 1884) and Laura Younkin (1886).

By 1900, the family had migrated again, to Nebraska, establishing a residence in Beatrice, Gage County, where Uriah earned a living as a laborer.

Uriah died at the age of 75 on Aug. 27, 1904. He is buried in Evergreen Home Cemetery in Beatrice, the same grounds holding the remains of his mother and son Winfield.

 

View from South Sixth Street, Beatrice, NE. Published by Paul Springer & Son.

 

~ Son Orlando Franklin Younkin ~

 

West Liberty (IA) Index, 1921

Son Orlando Franklin Younkin (1854-1921) was born on Oct. 9, 1854 in Henry County, IL.

As an adult, he earned a living as a brakeman and conductor along the Eastern Iowa to Omaha corridor, working for the Rock Island Railroad.

Orlando was twice married. His first bride was Sarah Katherine "Kittie" Weymer (Aug. 1, 1854-1944), daughter of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Weiscover) Weymer. The nuptials took place in Maysville, Scott County, IA on Oct. 14, 1875, when Orlando was age 21 and Sarah Katherine was 21.

They produced a son, Edmund Franklin "Eddie" Younkin.

After about two decades of marriage, Orlando left their home, and Sarah Katherine pursued divorce proceedings. Within a few years, by 1899, Orlando had begun an affair with Margaret Delilah "Lilla" Greer (or "Grier") (March 10, 1874-1949), daughter of Andrew and Mary Jean (Daugherty) Grier of Towshiek, IA. They apparently did not marry but lived together and bore a daughter, Marguerite E. Wade.

Circa 1900, Orlando and his second family dwelled together in Rock Island, Rock Island County, IL, boarding in the home of Orvall H. Kennedy at 3012 Fifth Avenue. For many years, Orlando was a member of the Order of Railway Conductors. He was hurt in some unknown incident in the dead of winter of 1900, with the Rock Island Argus and Daily Union reporting that he was "laid up with an injured back." In about 1902, the family relocated to Moline, Rock Island County. The divorce from the first marriage was granted on or about Oct. 6, 1908 in Maysville, Scott County, IA.

Then in July 1913, living in Moline, Orlando and Margaret secured a marriage license in Moline, with the news published in the Moline Dispatch, Rock Island Argus and Daily Union and Davenport (IA) Daily Times.Margaret was a member of the Order of Railway Conductors Auxiliary in Moline and the Royal Neighbors Camp in West Liberty.

Orlando contracted a deadly case of strep infection in December 1920. While staying at the home of his brother in law J.T. Grier, three miles northwest of West Liberty, Muscatine County, IA, Orlando died at the age of 56 on Feb. 12, 1921.An obituary in the Davenport Daily Times, misspelling his name "C.F. Younkin," noted that he "was a veteran railroad man having been in the service of the Rock Island lines for 23 years" and that his brother Winfield lived in Chicago. Burial was in Oak Ridge Cemetery in West Liberty, with the Order of Railway Conductors leading the funeral service.

Margaret lived for another 28 years. She died in West Liberty at the age of 75 on March 16, 1949. She rests in the same plot of graves as Orlando, as well as an apparent relative, Mary Ellen Grier (died Oct. 17, 1942, age 74).

First wife Sarah Katherine succumbed at the age of 90, in Davenport, Scott County, IA on Sept. 3, 1944.

Son Edmund Franklin "Eddie" Younkin (1876-1939) was born on Sept. 8, 1876 in Wilton Junction, IA. He was about 18 years of age when his father abandoned the family. When he was 23 years of age, the day after Christmas 1899, Edmund was united in holy matrimony with Olivette B. Hartman (Aug. 29, 1884-1965). The ceremony was held in Maysville, Scott County, IA. They went on to have seven children -- Katherine Edina Oaks Utzig, Weymer "Speedy" Younkin, Rene Wilford Younkin, Orrell Altenberg Harmon Clark, Beatrice Olivette Younkin, Lionel "Nooks" Younkin and Grace Raap. The family bore heartache when daughter Beatrice died at the age of 19 months. Sadly, Edmund passed into eternity at the age of 62 on Jan. 3, 1939, in Davenport, Scott County. Olivette survived him by more than a quarter of a century. She joined him in death at the age of 80 on Aug. 6, 1965.

Daughter Marguerite E. Younkin (1896-1972) was born in 1896, a full two decades younger than her half-brother. She grew up in Rock Island and Moline, Rock Island County, IL. Her first husband is believed to have been C.R. Mayne ( ? - ? ). In 1921, their home was in West Liberty, IA. Later, by 1949, she was wedded to (?) Wade ( ? - ? ) and made her home in Pontiac, MI. Suffering from medullary failure, she died in Pontiac at the age of 76 on Nov. 24, 1972. Her remains were returned to West Liberty to rest in the family plot of graves in Oak Ridge Cemetery.

 

~ Son Orin Younkin ~

Son Orin Younkin (1856- ? ) was born in August 1856 in Iowa.

On Feb. 1, 1877, when he was age 20, he was joined in wedlock with 15-year-old Matilda Summit (Nov. 1861- ? ), in a ceremony held in Keokuk County, IA.

They were the parents of Mollie Younkin, Dellie Younkin and Minnie B. Younkin.

Nothing more about Orin and Matilda is known.

Daughter Mollie Younkin (1880- ? ) was born in May 1880 in English River, Keokuk County, IA. More will be added here once learned.

Daughter Dellie Younkin (1883- ? ) was born in December 1883 in English River, Keokuk County, IA.

Daughter Minnie B. Younkin (1885- ? ) was born in May 1885 in English River, Keokuk County, IA.

 

Court Street Bridge and mill, Beatrice, Nebraska

 

~ Son Winfield Scott Younkin ~

Son Winfield Scott Younkin (1861-1926) was born in July 1861 in Iowa and likely named for famed Civil War general Winfield Scott.

At the age of 18, in 1880, he helped his father run a hotel in South English Township, Keokuk County, IA. In about 1895, at age 33, Winfield was wedded to 20-year-old Wisconsin native Elizabeth "Lizzie" (July 1875- ? ).

United States Census records for 1900 show the couple in Chicago's 31st Street, boarding in the home of traveling salesman Frank Frog and his wife Edna, and with Winfield working as a restaurant clerk.

Sadly, Winfield died in Chicago at the age of 63 on or about June 18, 1926. An obituary in the Lincoln Star noted that he was a former resident of Beatrice, NE and that his remains were returned there to be placed into eternal rest in Evergreen Home Cemetery. The Star also said he was the son of "Mrs. Lou Younkin of this city who, with her two daughters, Loretta and Janette, survive."

 

~ Son Chester W. Younkin ~

Son Chester W. Younkin (1866-1914) was born in July 1866 in Iowa. In 1880, at age 15, he worked as a clerk in his father's hotel in South English Township, Keokuk County, IA. He remained unmarried in 1900, at age 33, when he earned wages as a "drayman" -- a horse-and-wagon delivery driver. Sadly, Chester died in June 1914, with burial in the Evergreen Home Cemetery in Beatrice.

 

~ Daughter Janet "Nettie" Younkin ~

Daughter Janet "Nettie" Younkin (1883-1982) was born on Aug. 29, 1883 in Nebraska. She appears to have never married. She and her sister Laura were very social and hosted dinners for teachers and church friends in their home in Beatrice, NE. They were active with the Dr. Mary Longdon Guild in Beatrice in the 1940s. She outlived her sister and passed away in late October 1982, at the age of 98. Interment was in Evergreen Home Cemetery in Beatrice.

 

~ Daughter Loretta "Laura" Younkin ~

Daughter Loretta "Laura" Younkin (1886-1980) was born on July 31, 1886 in Nebraska. She remained single during her lifetime, preferring a working career as a telephone operator (circa 1912-1939) with the Lincoln Telegraph and Telephone Company. Among her responsibilities was selling telephones, and she reached her quota every month in 1938, earning her a special trip to Lincoln. In 1940, she shared a home with her sister Janet, and had their home razed at 416 North Nine Street with a new one constructed for them by contractor Howard Souder. She and Janet dwelled in Beatrice, NE for the balance of their lives. She succumbed at the age of 93 in late February 1980. She rests in Beatrice's Evergreen Home Cemetery.

 

Copyright 2016-2018 Mark A. Miner

Research for this page graciously shared by the late Olive (Rowan) Duff, the late Donna (Younkin) Logan and Robert LeFevre Younkin working with Robert J. Libby