ROBERT N. YOUNG, or "Uncle Bob" as he is
affectionately known in Benton county, is a pioneer whose associations
with this vicinity are for a longer continuous period than any other
living citizen can claim. He first penetrated the region now known as
Benton county in 1849. Vinton was not a town then, only two log cabins
being on the site, one near the end of the present river bridge, and
the other in what is the northeast part of town.
The little party of pioneers of which he was a member contained also
his brother, J. F. Young, who had been in this vicinity the previous
year, and a Mr. Doane. They had come overland with team and wagon
through Danville and Bloomington, Illinois, and crossed the Mississippi
at Muscatine. Arriving in Benton county they bought a quantity of
timber land and also took claims on the prairie in Big Grove township.
Their nearest market was at Cedar Rapids, twenty-five miles away.
Mr. Young built a cabin on his land, which adjoined the farms of two of
his brothers, and he lived there until he had improved his land and
developed a fine farm. After the war he sold out and moved to Vinton,
where for twenty-five years he was in the boot, shoe and grocery
business, and since then has lived retired.
Robert N. Young was born in Johnson county, Indiana, January 25, 1828.
His parents were Joseph and Nancy (Gilchrist) Young. Mr. Young and Hon.
G. M. Gilchrist are cousins. The parents moved into Benton county in
the latter fifties, and after living several years on a farm in Taylor
township, east of Vinton, moved to town. The mother passed away first,
and the father, who spent the last two years of his life with his son
Robert, was past ninety-three years when he died. Besides Robert, there
is a son, B. D. Young, living in Waterloo, and a daughter, Mrs. Nancy
Freeman, at Bentonville, Arkansas.
"Uncle Bob" has been a member of the Presbyterian church ever since he
was a boy, and has voted Republican tickets since that party first came
He married, in Indiana in 1850, Miss Sarah J. Freeman. She was born in
Union county, Indiana, October 26, 1880, and died April 15, 1909, when
nearly seventy-nine years of age. She was likewise an active
Presbyterian. Seven children were born of their marriage, two of them
dying in infancy. The others are: Miss Sarah Belle, who manages her
father's household; Mrs. W. C. Ellis, of Vinton; Miss Lulu, at home; E.
F., an undertaker at Vinton; Mrs. Werner Stripple, of Vinton