Biography of Hon. John Young
Indiana County, PA Biographies

HON. JOHN YOUNG, after whom Young township was named, was the first president judge of the conrts of Indiana county. He was horn in the city of Glasgow, Scotland, July 12, 1762, and was a member of an ancient Scottish family, distinguished fbr its wealth, learning and high rank, branches of it having been ennobled before the reign of the unhappy Mary, Queen of Scott His father, Jàhn Young, was a wealthy merchant of Glasgow, and gained a reputation for great liberality and kindness of heart, which qualities his son, Judge Young, inherited in an eminent degree. John Young bailed his brother for a large amount, for which debt his property was all sold, and be died in ten days afterwards in consequence of the anxiety of mind which that event caused him. He bad five children: Judge John, Thomas, Douglas, William and Mary.

At the time of his father's death, Judge Young was a student at law and clerk in the office of Sir Walter Scott's father. After procuring places for his younger brotherg, he came to Philadelphia, where he read law with Judge Wilson, and was admitted to the bar January 8, 1786. The high character of the Scotch and Scotch Irish settlements in this part of the State and their great prosperity induced Judge Young, in 1789, to leave his practice in Philadelphia and open an office at Greensburg, Westmoreland county. He soon gained a large practice in that and adjoining counties by reason of his ability as a lawyer and his absolute integrity of character. His participation in the negotiations between tile contesting parties in the "Whiskey Insurrection" added largely to his popularity and materially increased his chi entage. In 1791 he served as captain of a company that was raised to protect the western frontier from Indian raids; but when the danger was past he declined all further offer of military command, and returned to the practice of his profession, which he pursued with eminent success until 1805. In that year a vacancy occurred in the president judgeship of the Tenth Judicial District of Pennsylvania, then composed of the counties of Somerset, Cam bria, Indiana, Armstrong and Westmorelaud, and Guy. McKean appointed Mr. Young to fill that vacancy on March 1, 1806. Judge Young held the office until the latter part of 1837, when, admonished by bodily infirmities, he resigned and retired to private life, to enjoy the repose appropriate to advanced age, and sweetened by the retrospections of a long and successful career of distinguished activity and usefulness. He survived his resignation but a little over three years. He died October 6, 1840, and his remains lie entombed in the old St. Clair cemetery at Greensbnrg, Pa.

In 1794 he married Maria Barclay, by whom he had eight children: Hetty, who married E. N. Clopper, and whose daughter is the wife of William M. Stewart, of Philadelphia (see his sketch); Frank B., Ellen M., wife of Ephraim Douglass, of Uniontown, Pa.; Statira, Joseph J.; Elizabeth Forrester, wife of J. F. Woods; Mary Y., wife of R. C. Burgess; Edward D., and a daughter who died in infancy. Mrs. Young died in 1811, and Judge Young married, some two years later, Statira Barclay, who bore him two children: Mary J., wife of Hon. Henry D. Foster, and Stephen B.

Judge Young was well versed in many languages, speaking some seven tongues, one of which he acquired after retiring from the bench. Of him are existing many pleasing legends, going to demonstrate his possession of the attributes of an Unusually lofty and tender character. After coming to this country, Judge Young became the hereditary laird of Forrester, succeeding to the entailed estate of Ester Culmore, in the county of Stirling, Scotland, and thereafter in that country was known as Hon. John 'Young Forrester, while in the United States he was Hon. John Young. A romantic interest is attached to the story of this inheritance, uniting as it does in the same individual the republican simplicity of a new world and the ancestral pride of the old, and thus John Young was an American judge and Scottish laird at the same time.


From:
Biographical and Historical Cyclopedia
of Indiana and Armstrong Counties, Pennsylvania
Samuel T. Wiley, Historian & Editor
John M. Greshan & Co.
Philadelphia, 1891

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