Search billions of records on


Source: Album of Genealogy and Biography, Cook County, Illinois with Portraits 3rd. ed. revised and extended (Chicago: Calumet Book & Engraving Co., 1895), pp. 500-501.

JOSHUA PALMER YOUNG, an honored I pioneer of Chicago and Blue Island, was born (2) in Brockport, Monroe County, N. Y., on the 18th of March, 1818, and is a son of Eli M. and Temperance (Palmer) Young. Their family numbered four children: Eli, a resident farmer of Brockport, N. Y.; William, who died in Morganville, N. Y.; Joshua P. of this sketch; and Reuben, who died in Williamston, Mich. The father of this family was killed by a falling tree, when Joshua was about six years old, and his wife died several years later.

Soon after the father's death the family became scattered. Joshua was adopted by a Mr. Staples, a farmer residing near Brockport, who treated him kindly and gave him fair educational advantages. When he had attained his majority he began life for himself as clerk in a store in his native town, and later engaged in teaching school.

On the 15th of January, 1845, Mr. Young was united in marriage with Miss Louisa J. Spencer, daughter of Oliver and Electa Spencer, of Sweden, N. Y. The grandfather of the subject of this sketch and the grandfather of Mrs. Young were Revolutionary soldiers, and were quartered at New London, Conn., at the time that place was sacked by Gen. Arnold; but having been sent out on an expedition some distance from the town, they escaped capture. The young couple began their domestic life upon a farm near Sweden, N. Y., where they resided until 1848, which year witnessed their removal westward. Taking up their residence in Chicago, Mr. Young here embarked in business. He built the first house on the West Side, south of Polk Street, and in 1856 he purchased eighty acres of land, comprising a part of the present site of Blue Island, which tract lay between Western and Maple Avenues, and included the most valuable portions of the present village, extending from Vermont to Burr Oak Streets. During the next four years he made his home thereon, devoting his time and attention to the improvement of his purchase, after which he returned to Chicago and engaged in the produce commission business at Market and Lake Streets, being thus employed until after the death of his wife.

Mrs. Young passed away in Chicago in October, 1863. She was a member of the Congregational Church, and was highly esteemed for her many excellencies of character. She left two children, and one had died in infancy. The surviving sons, Charles S. and Frank O., are both prominent residents of Blue Island.

On the 7th of February, 1866, Mr. Young was again married, his second union being with Minerva P., daughter of Sweet and Eliza Brayton, of Blue Island. The lady was born in Marion, Wayne County, N. Y., and still resides in Blue Island. She has one son, Chauncey Brayton Young.

In 1866, Joshua P. Young returned to Blue Island, erected a fine residence and began dealing in real estate in Chicago, handling both city and suburban property. In company with John K. Rowley, he laid out the south part of Englewood, between Sixty-third and Sixty-eighth Streets, and subsequently they platted the town of South Lawn, now Harvey. Mr. Young continued to engage in the real-estate business until his death, which occurred on the 26th of May, 1889. From the age of sixteen years he was identified with the Congregational Church. In Blue Island he organized the society, and contributed liberally toward the erection of the house of worship. He served as Deacon of that church until called to the home beyond, and was ever one of its most faithful members. He cast his first Presidential vote for William Henry Harrison, and his last vote for Benjamin Harrison. He was a member of the Tippecanoe Club, and filled several local offices, discharging his duties with promptness and fidelity. He was a man of unquestioned integrity and lofty, noble-minded principles. He was not partisan or sectarian, but advocated human rights in politics, righteousness and temperance in society, and Christianity in the church. He was ever progressive, and gave much thought to social and theological questions, though constantly engaged in active business. The influence of his exemplary life will be long felt wherever he was known.


– Submitted by Sherri Hessick on November 23, 2008.


DISCLAIMER:  The submitter is not related to the subject of this biography nor is she related to anyone mentioned in the biography.