JOHN G. YOUNG,
county clerk of Jefferson county, has been active in the politics of his county ever since he was old enough to understand the intricacies of this phase of public life, for his father was an influential figure in politics and the lad absorbed it with the very air he breathed. He has been both a business man and a farmer, and has carried the success which he had in these two branches of industry into his present position. He is widely known and liked throughout the county.
The father of John O. Young is William L. Young, a prominent business man and farmer of Farrington. He was born in Mississippi, in December, 1842, the son of Robert S. Young. When he was but a boy he migrated to Southern Illinois, locating in Farrington township. Since 1880 he has conducted a merchandise store at Farrington, and in addition has extensive farming interests. In the northeast part of Jefferson county he owns over six hundred and forty acres, which, taken as a whole, forms one of the richest tracts of land in Southern Illinois, and owing to the care that is used in its cultivation, and the scientific manner in which this is carried on, the yearly crop is uniformly large. Mr. Young was married in about 1870 to Laura C. Byard, who died in August, 1901. She and her husband were the parents of seven children, four of whom are now living. Two of these died in infancy, and James E., who was next to the eldest son, is deceased. John G. is the eldest, and the three girls of the family are all married. Cora is Mrs. Gibson, Rachel A. is Mrs. Ganaway and Winnie became Mrs. Price.
John G. Young was born on the 30th of July, 1871, on a farm in Farrington township. He was reared on the farm and attended the
common schools until it was time for him to go away to college. Ewing College was the institution of his choice, and he spent the school year of 1889-1890 studying there. Then, having come to believe that a business education would be more useful to him than a purely academic one, he entered Bryant and Stratton's Business College in St. Louis, where he completed the course offered. On his return home no favorable opening appearing in the business world, he turned to the first thing that turned up and began teaching school. He entered this profession when he was twenty-two and taught in Jefferson county until 1899, spending his summers farming. In this way he managed to accumulate considerable capital, and moving to Mount Vernon he invested in the mercantile business. He continued in this field until 1905, when he returned to his farm. Here on his beautiful farm in Farrington township he spent the next six years of his life. His election as county clerk in November, 1910, forced him to give up the agricultural life for a time. He was elected for a term of four years. Mr. Young has always been a factor in securing victories for his party, which is the Democratic, and previous to his election as county clerk had held various township offices. A taste for administering public affairs seems to run in the family, for in addition to his father's activities his uncle, W. T. Summer, was superintendent of the county schools for a period of twelve years.
Mr. Young is very active in the various fraternal orders to which he belongs. He is a loyal and firm supporter of the tenets of Masonry, being a member of the blue lodge and of the chapter at Mount Vernon, as well as being a Royal Arch Mason. The other orders with which he is associated are the Knights of Pythias and the Red Men of Mount Vernon.
In May, 1897, Mr. Young was married to Miss Minnie J. Cox, who was born in Williamson county, Illinois. Her father was Thomas A. Cox and her mother was Kate Rendleman, who was a member of one of the largest and oldest of the pioneer families of Southern Illinois. Mrs. Young was reared on the old home near Carbondale, and has spent all of her life in this section. Two sons and two daughters constitute the family of Mr. and Mrs. Young, Edward Bernays, James, Helen and little Katherine, aged four.