Young, George W. 1845-1915

Judge George W. Young, of Marion Illinois, was born January 8, 1845. His parents died during his infancy, and he was bound to Geo. W. Binkley, who was a farmer living on the farm where the plat of Whiteash is now located, four miles north of Marion, Mr. Binkley died when George Young was but fourteen years old. He was then bound by indenture to the widow, Mrs. Maria Binkley, but only lived with her about one year, when he left his native home and went south, stopping at Cairo, remaining there a few days, enlisted on a steamboat, plying between St. Louis and New Orleans, as a deck sweeper, afterwards became a cabin boy and Texas tender (steamboat waiter).This position he occupied until the winter of 1861, when he went ashore at Columbus, Kentucky, and hired to work on a farm at five dollars per month.

Before his preceptor, Mr. Binkley died, he had learned to read and write by attending subscription schools. He was living in Kentucky at the time the Civil War broke out, and as the storm of secession and disunion swept over Kentucky, it became necessary for everybody to takes sides.

Judge Young cast his lot with the cause of the Union, and became attached to the Union Army in 1862, but on account of his age, was not mustered into the service until July, 1862, when he was mustered as a Private in Co. “L” of the 8th Ky. Cav., Col. James M. Shackleford commanding the regiment.

He served in this regiment until September, 1863, when he was sent to Western Kentucky on a recruiting detail, where he recruited a Company of men in Graves, Ballard and Carlisle Counties, and was mustered as First Lieutenant of Co. “E,” 30th Ky. Mounted Inf. Vol., Colonel F. N. Alexander commanding.

At the battle of Saltville, Virginia, October 6, 1864, his Captain was severely wounded and rendered unable for duty. This placed Lieutenant Young in command of the Company, and the Second Lieutenant being absent on detached service, left him the only commissioned officer of the Company, which he continued to command until the close of the Civil War, June, 1865, when he was mustered out as Captain commanding the Company, receiving an honorable discharge, and settled all of his accounts with the Government.

He came back to Williamson County in July, 1865, and started to attend a District School at Spillertown, run by Matthew I. Wrotan, which he attended two months, and afterwards attended the following fall and winter six months. In 1867 and 1868, he attended the City University at St. Louis. Mo. In 1868 and 1869, he attended the Law Department of the University of Chicago, after which he attended the Benton Law Institute conducted by the late Judge Andrew D. Duff. He opened up a law office in the city of Marion for the practice of law, in partnership with Judge L. D. Hartwell, in July, 1870.

Judge Young was married to Miss Martha A. Spiller, daughter of Elijah N. Spiller (founder of Spillertown) , September 24, 1871. They have three children living, two of whom are married, Ora Young became the wife of Richard Trevor and Ida Young married W. B. Rochester, two of Marion’s most successful and prominent business men, and Miss Eva Young, who is still single, and assists her father in his law office, being a very talented and expert stenographer.

Judge Young became interested in politics a short time after he came home from the army, and at that time the Republicans had no party organization in the County, and the returned soldiers were anxious to get Republicans on the ticket to be voted for to fill the respective County offices at the coming November election.

On the 30th day of September, 1865, there was a caucus of thirteen Republicans met in the drug store of Isaac M. Lewis, on the south side of the public square in Marion, being the place where Dr. Casey’s building is now located, and selected candidates to run on the Republican ticket for the various offices to be voted for at the coming election.

This was the first Republican caucus and the first Republican ticket that was ever selected as a ticket by the Republicans of the County. He was a candidate for State’s Attorney in 1872, but was defeated. He was elected Justice of the Peace for Marion Precinct in 1873; was elected County Judge in November, 1877, which office he held for five years, until 1882. He was next elected State’s Attorney in 1884; was elected Circuit Judge in 1888.  In 1879, he was appointed Colonel and Aide-Camp on the Staff of Governor Shelby M. Cullom under the military code of the State for the 22nd Congressional District; and was afterwards re-appointed on the Staff of Governor John M. Hamilton with the rank of Colonel.

He organized three Grand Army of the Republic Posts in Williamson County in 1866; has been a continuous member of this organization ever since serving as officer in Marion Post 319. He is also Division Commander of the Union Veterans’ Union; was candidate for Congress before the Republican Convention in 1882. He became an Odd Fellow in July, 1869, and has been a continuous member of Williamson Lodge No. 392 ever since; has been a member of the Grand Lodge of the State for thirty two years; has held various important positions in the Grand Lodge. He is now Senior Vice Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, Department of Illinois, which is the second highest officer in the State. At this time he is engaged in the practice of law, which has been his study and field of operation for thirty-five years.

From 1900 till after his death the family would occupy their family home located at 303 E. Marion Street. The house number appears to have been renumbered to 305 in 1920 for some reason. While practicing law, George maintained a law office for decades at 901 Public Square. I am certain this would have been a second floor office on the south side of the square at the east corner of S. Market Street. His ads from the day specify legal, notary, abstract of titles & real estate and real estate loans.

On February 15, 1915, Judge George W. Young died at 70 followed by his wife Martha February 15, 1925, both are buried at Rose Hill Cemetery.

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(Data extracted from the 1905 Souvenir History, WCHS; Marion City Directories; Marion City Cemetery Records; compiled by Sam Lattuca on 03/22/2013)

Sam’s Notes:

Ora Young, the oldest daughter, was married in 1896 to Richard Trevor. Ora was about 22 and Richard was 53. He was actually older than her father. Richard was an Irish immigrant and merchant who had served in the Civil War and obtained a pension thereof.

The couple had two girls. The first was Marie Young Trevor born in 1897 and the second was Eva Louise Trevor born May 24 1899. In 1907, Richard died leaving Ora a fairly young widow. At his death, they were living at 503 E. Marion, only a short distance from her parents at 303 E. Marion.

On November 23, 1921 the youngest daughter Eva Louise is married to Paul Grady in Marion, after which they moved out of state. Apparently seeking a smaller home, mother Ora and her remaining daughter Marie Y. move to 207 S. Askew Street.

In 1922, the lone daughter Marie married Clarence C. Cox.  Clarence had been living at 1016 N. Van Buren St., which was his childhood home, and his brother Harry L. Cox was living at 304 E. College Street. The two brothers collectively were running the business of Cox Hardware and Furniture at 907 Public Square.

 After the marriage, the Cox couple appear to have moved in with Marie’s mother Ora at 207 S. Askew and continued living there until around 1929 when the couple purchased 512 S. Market St. When the couple occupied the home, Marie’s mother, Ora Y. Trevor went to live with them. Clarence and Marie Cox had two children, Thomas born in 1927 and Gordon born in 1929.

Clarence Cox passed away in 1937, leaving his widowed wife, two sons and his mother-in-law occupying the home on S. Market. By the mid 1940’s Marie and her mother had moved out of the home on S. Market.

Marie Cox passed away in 1955 and her mother lived until February 1960. All are interred at Rose Hill. Eva Louise Grady had moved to Florida and died in Boca Ratan on October 18, 1985.

Ida Young, the middle daughter, married William B. Rochester, a hardware merchant, October 31, 1908.  On August 29, 1899, the couple had a son named George W. Rochester. Around 1907, the couple appears to have moved to Michigan while he worked as a travel agent and leaving son George behind in Marion where he is during the 1910 census living with grandparents George and Martha Young. William B. Rochester died in 1911 and is buried at Rose Hill. I suspect Ida remarried, because I could no longer find her under the name Rochester after this. The son George W. Rochester passed away in Los Angeles, California on September 17, 1984.

Eva Young, the youngest daughter, never married. She lived her life living with her parents till mother Martha passed away at their home on E. Marion Street in 1925 after which she moved. Eva devoted herself to her occupation as court stenographer and being a professional woman. She was extremely active during WWI and helped form up the Williamson County Red Cross organization. In 1915, she served as president of the Business Women’s Club. She passed away in September of 1965 and is buried at Rose Hill.

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(Data from Federal Census Records,, Marion City Cemetery Records, Marion City Directories; compiled by Sam Lattuca on 03/22/2013)

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