What's New

Photo of the Month

Minerd.com Blog


National Reunion


Cousin Voices

Honor Roll

In Lasting Memory

In the News

Our Mission and Values

Annual Review

Favorite Links

Contact Us


Joseph Younkin


Ohio River flatboat heading west
Ballou's Pictorial, 1856

Joseph Younkin was born on Aug. 24, 1806 in Lovettsville, Loudoun County, VA, the son of Rudolph "Ralph" and Elizabeth (Hockman) Younkin. His birthplace was described by family years later as "near Fortress Monroe," a famed Civil War supply installation.

As an infant, with his name spelled "Junkin," he was christened on Oct. 2, 1806 in the nearby New Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church. His sponsors were Conrad and Elisabeth Roller.

Joseph moved with his parents to Ohio, and in 1830 he purchased acreage in Muskingum County.

At the age of 26, on Aug. 18, 1833, Joseph wedded Susan Meek (March 20, 1810-1876). The Younkins initially made a home in the mid-1830s in Gratiot, a village straddling the border of Licking/Muskingum Counties, OH.

The couple bore eight known children -- Erastus Scott Younkin, Rufus Henry Younkin, Samuel Glass Younkin, David Chambers Younkin, Moses Meek Younkin, Joseph Younkin, Edward C. Younkin and Caroline Matilda Younkin.

The family was plunged into grief when losing five children age six or under during the span of years 1840 to 1853. Sons Erastus (1840) and David (1844) died during their years in Gratiot.


Obituary, 1899

In 1846, the Younkins relocated to Iowa, "most of the journey being made by boat by way of St. Louis and Peoria, Illinois," said the 1914 book Story of Lee County, Iowa, by Nelson Cummins Roberts and Samuel W. Moorhead. Their first home was in Farmington, Van Buren County, circa 1848, where they stayed for 15 years. During that period, sons Moses (1847), Joseph Jr. (1849) and Edward (1853) died in young childhood.

Then in 1864, the family pulled up stakes and made a move to a farm in Montrose, Lee County, IA.

Susan died in Montrose at the age of 65 on Feb. 1, 1876.

Joseph outlived his bride by 23 years. He retired from farming and moved into the town of Keokuk, where he spent about seven years. Burdened by Iowa's hard winters and their effect on his health, he migrated to Southern California in about 1892 and made a home in Los Angeles.

He died there at the age of 92 on Feb. 8, 1899. His remains were shipped back to Iowa to rest in Montrose. An obituary in the the Gate City said that he "was one of the pioneers of Lee county.... He was a man of sterling character and was possessed of good business ability. His many years of life far exceeding the number allotted to man were but the harvest of his spent days."

Joseph's baptismal records today are on deposit in the Lutheran Theological Seminary Library in Gettysburg, PA.


~ Son Rufus Henry Younkin ~

Son Rufus Henry Younkin (1836-1928) was born on Aug. 15 or 17, 1836 in Gratiot, Licking/Muskingum Counties, OH.

He was profiled in the book Story of Lee County, Iowa, by Nelson Cummins Roberts and Samuel W. Moorhead, which said that he "began his education in one of the old-time log schoolhouses common in frontier districts. When ten years of age he accompanied his parents to Iowa, most of the journey being made by boat by way of St. Louis and Peoria, Illinois." Their first home was in Farmington, Van Buren County, where they stayed for 15 years. Said the Story, "He completed his education in the public schools of Farmington, which he attended through the winter seasons to the age of nineteen years, devoting the summer months to work in the fields upon his father's farm." Then in 1864, Rufus joined his parents in another move to Montrose, Lee County, IA.

While in Montrose, on March 31, 1870, the 33-year-old Rufus was joined in wedlock with Blanche A. Sawyer ( ? - ? ), daughter of Thomas and Eliza (Snodgrass) Sawyer of Montroe.

The couple's five children were Joseph Samuel Younkin, Thomas S. Younkin, Katy Younkin, Ralph A. Younkin and Susan "Susie" Younkin.


Rufus' profile in the 1914 book, Story of Lee County, Iowa


"Following their marriage," the Story said, "the young couple began their domestic life upon a farm in Montrose township and for thirty-five years Mr. Younkin continued to devote his energies to general agricultural pursuits and became the owner of an excellent farm of two hundred acres, which is still in his possession. He brought the fields to a high state of cultivation and added all modern accessorities and equipments to his farm." In 1902, he helped organize the Montrose Savings Bank and eventually was elected president. It was founded with $10,000 in capital which by 1911 increased to $20,000. The Story said that the bank "is now in a flourishing condition and is regarded as one of the strong financial enterprises in the county."

He also owned property in Los Angeles and is known to have visited the Southern California property in July 1901 as chronicled in the Los Angeles Herald. Rufus also was a town councilman and was Republican in his politics. He also was an active leader with the local Presbyterian Church. Rufus retired in 1905, and he and Blanche moved into the town of Montrose.

He passed away in Montrose on June 5, 1928. In summing up Rufus' profile, the Story said that "His life has been guided by high and honorable principles, and upon his industry and his pereseverance he has builded the success which now crowns his efforts."

Son Joseph Samuel Younkin (1871- ? ) was born in 1871.Joseph married Katherine A. (1873-1941). They were the parents of Margaret Younkin, Herbert Younkin, Allan Younkin, Chester Younkin and Gavin Younkin. In 1910-1914, their home was in Arkansas City, KS. When he and his family traveled to visit his parents in July 1910, the news was printed in the gossip columns of the Keokuk Daily Gate City. The Younkins left Arkansas City and moved to Wichita in 1925. They were members of the Wichita Presbyterian Church. In 1941, their address was 908 Spaulding. Katherine passed away in Wichita on March 7, 1941, with burial in Wichita Park Cemetery. Her obituary was printed in the final edition of the Younkin Family News Bulletin in 1941.

Son Thomas S. Younkin (1874- ? ) was born in 1874. He was deceased by 1914.

Daughter Katy Younkin (1876- ? ) was born in 1876. She was deceased by 1914.

Son Ralph A. Younkin (1881- ? ) was born in 1881. He migrated to the Pacific Northwest and in 1914 was in Tacoma, WA.

Daughter Susan "Susie" Younkin (1883- ? ) was born in 1883. She was united in matrimony with Harry Wardlaw ( ? - ? ). They dwelled in 1914 in Montrose.


~ Son Samuel Glass Younkin ~

Son Samuel Glass Younkin (1839-1919) was born on Sept. 11, 1839 in Gratiot, a village straddling the border of Licking/Muskingum Counties, OH. He was age seven when he accompanied his parents and siblings to Iowa.

On Nov. 29, 1866, at the age of 27, he was joined in wedlock with Lucretia Curtis (July 12, 1840-1927), a native of Flint, Genessee County, MI and the daughter of Daniel and Emily (Woodford) Curtis of Montrose, Lee County, IA.

The couple produced four offspring -- Henry Albert Younkin, Cora Belle Fisher, Samuel Curtis Younkin and William Younkin.


Portrait and Biographical Album of Lee County

Heartache blanketed the family in 1872 when eldest son Henry died at the age of about one on March 16, 1872.

When the 1887 book Portrait and Biographical Album of Lee County was published, Samuel was featured in a lengthy biographical profile. The bio noted that he was "an honored pioneer of the Hawkeye State [and] is a prominent and successful farmer and stock-breeder, and occupies a fine homestead on section 4, Montrose Township."

He came to the State of Iowa when it was in its infancy, and has marked its development and progress with gratified interest. He has also aided materially in the opening up of this section, having been one of its most energetic and enterprising settlers. His own early example of industry and economy not only stimulated his neighbors to their best exertions, but he has given cheerfully and liberally of his time and means for the encouragement of every good work and purpose whose object has been to advance the interests of his county and township. He has met with difficulties and discouragements like most other men, but has suffered nothing to move him from his purpose of becoming a man among men and a useful and worthy citizen. That he has succeeded in this is clearly indicated by the esteem in which he is held among his fellow-citizens.

The family homestead is one of the attractive spots of Lee County. Mr. Younkin is quite extensively engaged in the breeding of high-grade stock, consisting of Short-horn cattle and Berkshire hogs. He occupies a fine farm dwelling, has a good barn, and everythign necessary for the convenient storing of grain, and the shelter of stock.


Obituary, 1919

Samuel was elected to several offices in the Montrose Township governance body. He and Lucretia were active members of the local Presbyterian Church.

Samuel passed away in Montrose at the age of 80 on Sept. 14, 1919. His remains were interred in Montrose Cemetery, with Rev. Alva S. Covert officiating. An obituary was printed in the local newspaper, which said that "Mr. Younkin was of that class of men who make communities worth while and who are the strength of the state and the nation and who stabilize society. He was honest and straightforward. he believed in men and in the best things and he went about the tasks of life with such heartiness that it gave him success. While never physically strong, yet he so managed his farming as to keep always ahead of the job. He was therefore one of the model farmers of the community. No boy or young man ever came in touch with him that if they took the advice kindly given were better for it. Mr. Younkin was a model husband and father, for his insight into the needs of his family, made him very attentive to every obligation of the home, and his home was one of the happy ones in which it visit to live and grow up. Mr. Younkin will be missed in the church. While not on the church roll yet he read and believed his bible, he trusted in the atonement Jesus the Christ has made and was one of those who gave the larger gifts. He will be missed in the business life of the community and especially in his home and by his large circle of relatives and intimate friends."

Lucretia survived as a widow for eight years. She died in Montrose at age 86 on July 7, 1927.

Daughter Cora Belle Younkin (1876-1937) was born on Oct. 5, 1876 in Montrose. In Sept. 1900, when she was 23 years of age, she was joined in marriage with New York native Rev. William Edward Fisher 1872 1937 ), who at the time was pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Montrose. News of the marriage was reported in the Montrose (IA) Journal. The couple made a home in 1919 in Ackley, IA.

Son Samuel "Curtis" Younkin (1878-1967) was born on Sept. 11, 1878 in Montrose. On Dec. 27, 1900, in nuptials held at the bride's residence in Montrose, he wedded Ruth Grimes ( ? - ? ). A story about the wedding in the Montrose (IA) Journal said that the couple would live on the farm of Curtis' father. Circa 1919, their home was in Montrose. He died in 1967

Son William Younkin (1880-1947) was born on March 28, 1880 in Montrose. He appears to have spent most or all of his life in the town where he was birthed. On June 5, 1907, William was united in wedlock with Mary Elizabeth Carrick ( ? - ? ). They produced three known offspring -- Glenn Younkin, Stuart G. Younkin and Ida Ruth Miller. He died in Montrose on March 14, 1947. Mary Elizabeth outlived her husband by 35 years. She passed into eternity in Montrose on Aug. 30, 1982. Their son Stuart, a longtime employee of Campbell Soup company and vice president of its agricultural research was profiled in Who's Who in America (1978-1979).


~ Daughter Caroline Matilda Younkin ~

Daughter Caroline Matilda Younkin (1852-1898) was born on Christmas Day 1852, likely in Farmington, Van Buren County, IA. She is known to have died at the age of 45 on Sept. 14, 1898.


Copyright 2019 Mark A. Miner

Research for this page graciously shared by the late Donna (Younkin) Logan.