Sources on the Life of Coleman Younger


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1876 Jul 29
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel 1876-07-29 2:3

ED. Sentinel:—”All aboard!” shouts the conductor, and at 9:30 A. M. the locomotive and cars of the Santa Cruz Railroad move slowly out of the depot in Santa Cruz on their way to Watsonville. As we pass the round-house we observe workmen busily engaged in building, grading, painting, etc., the various buildings of the Company. Colonel Younger, of San Jose, had a gang of men at work putting on the roofs and sheds of the depot his celebrated “Fire Proof Paint,” impervious alike to fire and water. Slowly we move toward the beach and along past the bath-houses, the cheers and hurrahs of many people coming to our ears as we cross over the trestle-bridge over the San Lorenzo river. Once the bridge crossed away we roll over ravine, across more trestle-bridges, up and down grades, and across valleys. On one side we pass a field of corn, buck-wheat or a field of stubble, the grain having been cut; and anon we stop for wood, where a gang of men are building a permanent bridge for the Pajaro river, the one at present being only temporary. Again we start, and a short way on the whistle sounds and Soquel Beach is reached. Here is all life and animation. Camp Capitola, across the Soquel creek, reminds one of a mining

1876 Jul 15
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel 1876 July 15 3:2 “LOCAL BREVITIES.”
—Hon. C. T. Ryland and Colonel Younger of San Jose, were here the past week.

1876 Aug 5
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel 1876-08-05 2:3

The Board of Supervisors met on the 7th [sic] instant, in the Court House. .....
“A resolution was passed amending the contract for painting the roof of the Court House with two coats of fire-proof paint, to C. S. Younger, for $75.”
[Compiler’s Note: This Younger is believed to be Coleman Smith (Colie) Younger, 29 years old in 1876.]


1881 Aug 6
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel 1881-08-06 3:7
Mrs. Col. Younger, of San Jose, mother of C. B., with her family, is about to move into a Santa Cruz cottage for one month.


1890 Apr 12
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel Saturday Morning, 1890-04-12 1:7
His Sudden Demise From Heart Dis-
ease at San Jose Friday.

Shortly after three o’clock Friday afternoon Coleman Younger (well and familiarly known as Colonel Younger) was seated in a chair at his home near San Jose, when a sudden attack of heart disease came upon him and he dropped dead. His son, C. B. Younger, of this city, who was in San Jose at that time, was immediately notified and hastened to the home of his father. He had left him in the best of health at one o’clock and was painfully startled at the news of his unexpected death.

Colonel Younger was in the eighty-first year of his age, a native of Missouri, and leaves a wife and nine children. He was married three times, four children surviving him from his first wife, one from the second, and four from the last, all but two of whom are residents of California, one daughter residing in Kentucky and a son in New Mexico.

The deceased came to California in the mining days, returning to Missouri soon after, where he was married to his first wife. He again came to this State and took up his permanent residence at Forest Home, about a mile north of Hotel Vendome, San Jose.

Colonel Younger has been a prominent citizen of the Garden City for about forty years, and leaves many friends throughout the State. He was a frequent visitor to Santa Cruz, and had intended to celebrate his birthday anniversary next Thursday.

Mrs. C. B. Younger and family leave this afternoon for San Jose to attend the funeral, which will probably take place to-morrow, and it is expected will be one of the largest ever known there.


1890 Apr 12
Source: Santa Cruz Surf 1890-04-12 1:3 [obit] d. 1890-04-11

Source: Guinn, J. M. (James Miller). History of the State of California

From the time of coming to California in 1851 until his death almost forty years afterward, Colonel Younger was a leading stock-raiser of Santa Clara county and held a prominent position among the stockmen of the Pacific coast. As early at 1858 he sent east for some fine Durham cattle and afterward gave his attention principally to full-blood Shorthorns, of which he was the originator on the coast. The reputation of his stock spread all over this western country. His sales were not limited to the west, but he also made shipments to Central America, British Columbia, Japan and the islands of the Pacific ocean. The Forest Home stock farm [his San Jose residence] comprises eighty acres [Thompson & West’s 1876 Historical Atlas Map of Santa Clara County, California (p. 37) shows Coleman Younger’s acreage as 218.72 acres] adjoining the city of San Jose and since the colonel’s death, under the management of members of the family, has continued to be a headquarters for blooded Shorthorn cattle.

The history of the Younger family shows that seven brothers of that name bore a part in the Revolutionary war. Colonel Younger, whose title came to him through service on the staff of the governor of Missouri, was born in St. Charles, Mo., in 1809. His father, Charles Younger, a native of North Carolina, settled in Kentucky and from there moved to St. Charles, Mo., but the Indians were so hostile that he went back to Kentucky; returning later, however, to Missouri, and settling on a farm near Liberty, Clay county. The boyhood years of Colonel Younger were passed on the farm in Clay county after arriving at man’s estate he took up agricultural pursuits in the same county. With general farming he successfully combined stockraising. During the existence of the Whig party he supported its tenets and upon its disintegration allied himself with the Democrats. His high standing as a citizen led to his election as a member of the Missouri legislature, where he rendered capable service to his constituents.

May 7, 1851, Colonel Younger left New Orleans en route to California. He crossed the Gulf of Mexico and the country of that name, then proceeded up the Pacific, paying $150 for the passage of himself and servant to San Jose. While on the way here he stopped in the city of Mexico and was there offered an excellent position by the president of Mexico, but he declined, preferring to remain in the United States. In 1849 his wife’s father, Major William Smith, had come to California, and the colonel therefore did not find himself entirely among strangers. Settling in San Jose, he served as deputy county recorder under John Murphy and about the same time purchased the property where much of his subsequent life was spent [Forest Home, near today’s San Jose City Hall and Younger Avenue]. Here he established his home in 1856 and took up farming and stock pursuits. The property comprised two hundred and eleven acres, all practically in the original condition of nature. Not a tree could be seen on the entire tract, and the other indications were those of the frontier.

By his first marriage Colonel Younger had the following-named sons and daughters: Mrs. Ruth Jane Coffin, of San Francisco; Charles Bruce [Younger Sr.], an attorney in Santa Cruz; Mrs. Helen Evans, wife of a minister at Millersburg, Ky.; Mrs. Frances Williams, who died in Kentucky; Andrew, a prominent attorney, who died in California; and Coleman, who is engaged in the stock business in Mexico. In 1852 Colonel Younger returned to Missouri and at Liberty, March 17, 1853, was united in marriage with Mrs. Augusta (Peters) Inskeep, who was born in Versailles, Woodford county, Ky. Her father, John R. Peters, was born in Norfolk, Va., and married Frances Simms, who was born in Stafford, Va. During the Revolutionary war her grandfather, Richard Simms, bore an active part in the struggle for independence. From the Old Dominion he removed to Kentucky and thence to Clay county, Mo., where his life terminated at the great age of one hundred and two years. The paternal grandfather of Mrs. Younger was Ashby Peters, a planter living first in Virginia and afterward in Kentucky. In a family of five daughters, Mrs. Younger was next to the oldest and is now the sole survivor. From childhood she made her home in Liberty, Mo. At an early age she became the wife of Rev. James Inskeep, a Virginian, who died in 1849 while holding the pastorate of the Presbyterian Church in St. Joseph, Mo. Two children were born of that union, of whom Florence alone survives.

May 18, 1853, Colonel and Mrs. Younger, with the latter’s daughter Florence, started across the plains. With them came Mr. Wells, the colonel’s partner, also a party of thirty men. They brought five wagons, five hundred head of Missouri cattle, thirty horses, and the largest mules ever brought to California, these latter bringing a very high price when sold. The trip was made without any incident of importance until they had crossed the border into California, when they were attacked by Indians on the present site of Bodie. Mrs. Younger accidentally fell and dislocated her hip, so that she was obliged to use crutches for a year. The family reached San Jose in November, 1853, and at first settled in town, later removing to the farm in the suburbs. They soon became prominent in the Roman Catholic Church, of which Mrs. Younger is a member, and she is further identified with the Santa Clara County Pioneers’ Association [at one-time Coleman Younger was its President]. She has witnessed the development of this valley from its early days and has taken a warm interest in all enterprises benefiting the community. With other pioneers she cheerfully endured the hardships of the ‘50s, and it has been her good fortune to survive to enjoy the comforts of twentieth century civilization. The first apple that she ate in California was sent to her by Benjamin Holliday, an old acquaintance from Missouri, and cost $1.50. Of her marriage to Colonel Younger five children were born, namely: Edward, who is engaged in farm pursuits and stock-raising at Forest Home stock farm; Mrs. Alice Lee Gally, of San Jose; Augusta, also of San Jose; Mrs. Rosalea Irvine, of San Francisco; and Harry Lee, who died in boyhood.

Source: Guinn, J. M. (James Miller), 1834-1918.
History of the State of California and biographical record of coast
counties : an historical story of the state’s marvelous growth from its
earliest settlement to the present time / by J.M. Guinn. Chicago : Chapman Pub. Co., 1904. p. 326-327 UCSC Spec Coll F868.A18G9