About the Younger Letters

Correspondence of Charles B. Younger Sr., and Charles B. Younger Jr.

75 Years of Legal Practice in Santa Cruz County by Two Generations of the Younger Family, 1857 - 1935

The Correspondence of Charles B. Younger Sr. and Charles B. Younger Jr., spans more than forty years, from September 1, 1892, through May 12, 1935, the day that Charles B. Younger Jr. died.

Although there is a scattering of items addressed to, or sent by, C.B.Y. Sr., the number of items identified as his dwindled after his illness in 1905. He died in March 1907. Charles Bruce Younger, Senior, was born on December 10, 1831, at Liberty Missouri. He was a son of Coleman Younger, a pioneer of Santa Clara County.

C.B.Y. Sr. practiced law for fifty years in Santa Cruz, since April of 1857. His impact on land ownership, especially as the Referee in the partitioning of the Soquel Augmentation Rancho, is considered one of his most important legacies. He died in Santa Cruz, on March 22,1907, at the age of 75.

Charles Bruce Younger, Junior, was born in Santa Cruz on December 28, 1873. He died in Santa Cruz at the age of 61 on May 12, 1935. He had practiced law in Santa Cruz for 37 years and was the dean of the Santa Cruz bar and was President of the Santa Cruz County Bar Association at the time of his death. At his death, the Superior Court of Santa Cruz County adjourned in tribute to him, and the Court House flag flew at half-mast in his honor.

"A hush fell over an entire city and it seemed as if people moved on tip-toe throughout the Santa Cruz business section this morning as the great bell of Holy Cross church tolled the funeral hour of Charles B. Younger, masterful attorney and tolerant man. Foremost members of the state and county bench and bar, civic officials, business leaders, prominent men and women from this city and afar, mingled with said visaged dairy and ranch fold down from the mountains, all to pay a touching final tribute to their friend, counsellor and benefactor."

Santa Cruz Evening News - May 14, 1935

Both C.B.Y. Senior, and Junior, represented the legal interests of Frederick Augustus Hihn, and the F. A. Hihn Company.

A German immigrant to California's Gold Rush, F. A. Hihn is considered by many as the County's most influential entrepreneur, from arrival in Santa Cruz (1851) to his death (1913). The two families were united by the marriage of Agnes Hihn, youngest daughter of Therese and F. A. Hihn, and C. B. Younger Jr.

There are, therefore, many letters to and from F. A. Hihn, including personal notes of both F. A. Hihn, his wife Therese, and other members of the Hihn Family - and, of course, between members of the Younger family and their friends, university acquaintances, etc.

The wife of C.B.Y. Jr., Agnes Hihn Younger (1874-1956), was also educated as an attorney, although if she practiced at all it was before their marriage. Two of their three children, Donald Younger (1903-1976), and Bruce Hihn Younger (1907-1938), were also Santa Cruz attorneys.

For 33 years Donald Younger served as a member of the county Democratic Central Committee. He was chairman of the committee off and on for 20 years. Donald and his wife Marion Younger donated Younger Lagoon and 40 acres of land for the site of the University of California-Santa Cruz's Long Marine Laboratory.

The Donald Younger Collection, which includes the coorespondence of his father and grandfather, was a gift to the University Library by his widow, Marion Stowell Younger (1906-1995).

Stanley D. Stevens, November 10 1998