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Posted By: Dana Roquet (email)
Date: 12/2/2010 at 09:53:15

Transcribed from The Biographical and Historical Record of Wayne and Appanoose Counties Iowa
Originally published 1886, Inter-State Publishing Company, Chicago, IL
Merritt Young, one of the prominent and well-known citizens of Wayne County, Iowa, was born in Schenectady County, New York, July 20, 1822, his native town being Rotterdam. When he was four years old his father, Dr. Israel Young, removed his family to Saratoga County. He received a good education in his youth, and subsequently took a course of study in the academy in the city of Albany, after which he was engaged for a number of years in the mercantile business in Sarasota Springs. In 1841 he was appointed by Governor Seward paymaster in the militia of the State of New York, and served in that capacity four or five years, being attached to the Fifty-ninth Regiment of the Fifty-first Brigade of the Fifteenth Division of the New York State Militia. He resided in Saratoga and Albany till 1855, when he came to Iowa, and for a short time was engaged in business in Pierceville and Van Buren County. In the fall of 1855 he came to Wayne County and located in Howard Township, and from 1858 till the breaking out of the war he was engaged in teaching school. In May, 1861, he enlisted in the Eighteenth Missouri Infantry, as principal musician, and was mustered out of the services at Corinth , Mississippi March 23, 1863. During the summer of 1863, he was engaged in the recruiting service, and in February, 1864, re-enlisted in Company E, Third Iowa Cavalry, serving till August, 1865. He was present during the first part of the siege of Island No. 10, but the severest engagement in which he participated was the battle of Shiloh, being present on both days of that memorable struggle. He was at the siege of Corinth, and at the battles of Iuka and Corinth. During the latter part of his service he was stationed at Little Rock, Arkansas, and was on detached service, and also did guard duty at Memphis, Tennessee, for some time. After the war, Major Young, as he is familiarly called, resumed teaching, and also carried on a book-store. In the fall of 1867 he went to Washington, D.C., remaining there one year. He came to Allerton in the year of 1876, and for three years was janitor of the public school, and in 1882 became established as notary public and pension agent, and in the fall of the latter year he was commissioned by the Governor attorney for pension claimants. His card indicates his business as recorder, notary public, general insurance, land, loan and collection agent, but he has become better known perhaps during the past few years by the great success which has attended his efforts in behalf of the soldiers of the late war. In 1886, on recommendation of United States Judge Love, of Iowa, he was authorized by the Hon. Secretary of the Treasury to practice as claim attorney for all the different departments under his jurisdiction at Washington, D.C. This latter authority was to prosecute claims for pay, bounty, commutation of rations for prisoners of war, in fact all claims of every nature incurred during the war. Although Mr. Young had been prosecuting such claims for years Secretary Manning required a higher grade of ability and more experience than had his predecessors. Major Young has been twice married, his first marriage being contracted with Miss Mary Lyon, a native of New York State. His present wife, whose maiden name was Miss Rebecca B. Campbell, is a native of Ohio. He has four sons and one daughter by his first marriage, and three daughters by his second union. Two of his sons served in the war for the Union—Henry C. and Edward D., the former being captured at the battle of Shiloh. Both are now in Colorado. Major Young has been statistical reporter of the Department of Agriculture for the past twenty years. As before stated, he is particularly successful in securing pensions for those entitled to the same, his knowledge of military law and his untiring industry and energy rendering him especially adapted to this branch of business.


Wayne Biographies maintained by Ann Selvig.
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