From A Biographical History of Central
Kansas, Vol. I, p. 675
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902
Francis L. Youngs
Among those in Rice County, Kansas, who have been instrumental in advancing agricultural interests, one of the most prominent is Francis L Youngs, of Little River township. Mr. Youngs was born in Broome County, New York, October 2, 1853, a son of John and Dotia (Silliman) Youngs, who were born and married in the state of New York. John Youngs was born February 18, 1809, was a prominent farmer and died on his homestead in the state of New York on March 17, 1878, and his wife survived him until January 16, 1879. He was a plain, unassuming man without political aspiration, a patriotic citizen and a faithful husband and parent. Dotia Silliman, the mother of the subject of this sketch, was a daughter of Jonathan Silliman, a farmer, who served his country in the war of 1812, moved to Wisconsin in 1860, was a farmer in Rock County and died there past ninety years of age. He had children named Dotia, Pollie, Hiram, Benjamin, Marcia and Caroline. John Youngs had brothers named William, Ira, George, Frederick and Griggs Youngs, the last mentioned of whom was a soldier in the Federal army in the Civil war, and sisters Jane and Margaret. The mother of the subject of this sketch was an earnest and active member of the Methodist Episcopal church, a model wife and mother, who bore her husband children as follows: Jennie, not married; Ettie M, born January 27, 1852, and married George Jewell; Sarah, who died young; Charles, who lives at Binghamton, New York; Francis L, who is the subject of this sketch; Hibbard, who lives in the west, is Arkansas; Edward D, who is in Alaska; Benjamin, who is a Methodist minister and lives in Michigan; Flora and Ella.
The subject of this sketch was at the age of nine years taken to Wisconsin by his uncle, B J Silliman, to live with his grandparents there until he was fourteen years old, when he took up the battle of life for himself, working through the spring, summer and fall as a farm hand for such pay as he could get and working for his board and attending school during winter months, and so diligent was he as a student that he obtained a fair practical education. In 1869 he went to Illinois, where he secured employment as a farm hand and where he made his headquarters while traveling extensively in Illinois, Dakota and other western states. Eventually he rented a farm in Illinois and farmed there successively until the fall of 1878, when in company with others he went to Kansas and settled in Rice County, where he yet lives. In partnership with another he made the purchase of a claim from Charles Brown, on which there were some poor improvements and on which they filed homestead papers. They began active operations by building a small house. The following year Mr. Youngs’ partner became dissatisfied and decided to return east, and in order to buy his share in the claim Mr. Youngs was obliged to borrow money, at four per cent per month. It was a dubious proposition, but his motto was “Make or break,” and he believed that he could solve the problem by hard labor and in time proved himself master of the situation.
In 1880 Mr. Youngs married, and from that time on his good wife stood with him shoulder to shoulder, helping him most valiantly to wage the battle of life. They fought a good fight and victory perched on their banner. They improved a good farm, erected a substantial dwelling, barns and other necessary outbuildings and at last knew themselves to be free from debt and prosperous. Mr. Youngs’ honest, manly course during that period of trials and struggles commended him strongly to the good opinion of his fellow citizens. He had added to his original holdings until he now owns two hundred and forty acres of land as good as lies within the borders of Rice County, divided by beautiful hedge fences into fields devoted to various branches of agriculture and beautified with groves and shade trees. The location of this model farm is a very convenient one, in the Little River valley, six miles southeast of Little River. Mr. Youngs has given his attention to general farming and stock-raising, and he has been very successful in raising and feeding Poland China hogs. He is in the best sense of the term a self-made man, of whom it may be truly said that “he is the architect of his own fortune.” Inheriting from his forefathers a goodly stock of Yankee energy and perseverance, he has made it available to him in his struggles for success, and it has enabled him to advance to a position in which he is regarded as one of the leading men in the county, and by his triumph over many obstacles to demonstrate in a measure the possibilities which Kansas holds out to men of enterprise who are willing to venture and to labor. He is a public-spirited citizen, who is helpful to all promising general interests. He is a member of the Masonic order who has taken the Mark Master’s degree, the Past Master’s degree and the Most Excellent Master’s degree of capitular Masonry and been exalted to the august degree of Royal Arch Mason.
In 1880 Mr. Youngs married Mary J Galpin, who was born in Knox County, Illinois, July 10, 1860, a daughter of John and Augusta (Curtis) Galpin, who were born in Indiana and Ohio, respectively, and were early settlers in Knox County, Illinois, where John Galpin is a man of prominence. Mrs. Galpin was a daughter of Paul D Curtis, who went from Ohio to Galena, Illinois, where he engaged in lead-mining and was at one time the associate of the late General and President US Grant. Later in life Mr. Curtis was a prosperous farmer in Illinois, whence he removed to Rice County, Kansas, where he died. He had children named as follows: Diantha, Jerome, Joseph, Louisa, Helena and Augusta. John and Augusta (Curtis) Galpin had children named as follows: Thomas, who lives in Galesburg, Illinois: Sadie, who married E Case; Mary J, who is Mrs. Francis L Youngs; Wesley, Henry and Fred, who live in Illinois; and Rose, who married Clarence Sherman. Mr. and Mrs. Galpin were consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal church.
Francis L and Mary J (Galpin) Youngs have nine children, who were born at the dates which follow their respective names: LeRoy, November 19, 1880; Sadie, January 3, 1882; Carrie, April 2, 1884; Hugh, April 24, 1886; John, October 23, 1887; Rufus, May 18, 1889; Mary, July 18, 1891; Frank, June 7, 1893; and Willie, September 20, 1895.