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Dewitt C. Youngblood

 "An honest man is able to speak for himself, when a knave is not," so, 
according to the Bard of Avon, Dewitt C. Youngblood should be allowed 
to tell his own story, for honesty is the keynote of his character, and 
realizing this his fellow citizens have done him the honor of electing 
him county treasurer, but since his modesty is too great to permit him 
to give a fair idea of what he has accomplished, the task must fall to 
another. All of his life save the time that he has spent in the service 
of his friends and neighbors in some political capacity has been devoted 
to farming in Jefferson county and his relations with the life of the 
county have been of the closest. 

Dewitt C. Youngblood was born en the 15th of February, 1849, on a farm 
near Crab Orchard in Williamson county. He was the son of John J. 
Youngblood, who was born in Tennessee, in 1827. The paternal grandfather 
of Dewitt was James Youngblood, who settled in Williamson county when 
it was still practically a wilderness and when clearing the land was 
one of the heaviest tasks that fell to his lot as a farmer. During a 
deer drive he was accidentally shot, and though he apparently recovered 
he died a few years later from the effects of the wound, and he now lies 
buried about six miles southeast of Marion. John J. Youngblood was yet 
a boy when his father came to Southern Illinois, this migration taking 
place somewhere in the thirties. Until near the middle of the century 
he was content to stay on the home farm and assist his father. During 
the early fifties, however, he decided to strike out for himself and 
settled on a farm in Elk Prairie. 

In 1854, growing restless, he took a trip through the northwest, which 
at that time was the haunt of the Indian, the buffalo and the fur trader. 
He was gone about five years, returning home by way of the southwest. 
Before settling down to a farmer's life he had served in the Mexican 
war, from 1846 to 1848, under General Zachary Taylor, therefore he 
was particularly interested in the country through which he passed on 
the latter part of his journey, for much of it had been won for the 
United States during the Mexican war, and when he realized the vast 
extent of the country and the riches which could be only guessed, he 
was more than ever proud that he had helped to secure this great area 
for the country of his birth. The wife of John J. Youngblood was Miss 
Mary Ann Fisher, the daughter of Jason C. Fisher, who was a native of 
North Carolina and one of the earliest settlers in Williamson county. 

In the spring of 1855, following the example of his son-in-law, he set 
out for a trip through the northwest, going by boat to St. Paul, but 
he did not proceed far on his journey before death overtook him and he 
passed away in Iowa in May of that year. John J. was the father of 
six sons and four daughters: John J., who died in Missouri; Dewitt C.; 
Elizabeth, who became Mrs. Robinson and resides in California; James M., 
who died in 1880; Parlee, now Mrs. Hudson, of Oklahoma; Albert, who died 
in his youth; Mary Jane (Buoy), who lives in Iowa; Ransom A., also 
living in Iowa; Milley L., who died at the age of four years; and Henry 
who also died, in southwestern Missouri. Mr. Youngblood himself did not 
live to reach his prime, dying in 1873, on the 7th of December. 

Dewitt C. Youngblood was reared on the farm and received his education 
in the district schools. When he was twenty-one years of age he left 
home and began to work for himself. He married and took his bride to a 
little log cabin on a farm in Spring Garden township, where he began 
as a tenant farmer. The young couple put away every penny and resorted 
to every manner of self sacrifice until finally they had saved up enough 
to buy a farm of their own. The first farm consisted of seventy acres, 
but by dint of careful management they succeeded in accumulating two 
hundred and forty acres, which has since been divided among the children, 
Mr. Youngblood having reserved only eighty-seven acres for himself. 
This farm lies in Spring Garden township, where he first started out, 
and it is all under a high state of cultivation. 

In politics Mr. Youngblood is a Democrat, and he has served his party 
many times in different capacities. He acted as highway commissioner 
in 1891, served as township assessor and has filled numerous township 
offices, such as township supervisor, which post he held for two terms. 
In 1910 he was elected to the office which he now holds, that of county 
treasurer, his term to expire in 1914. His marriage to Parlee Harmon 
took place in October, 1871. She was the daughter of Littleton Harmon, 
of Jefferson county, and died on the 20th of January, 1894. She was the 
mother of seven children, most of whom are married and have families 
of their own. Ida May (Holeman), who lives in Arkansas, is the mother 
of eight children; Mary J., who is Mrs. Gibson, and lives in California; 
Alice, now Mrs. Rankin, is living in Jefferson county; Rosa, who married 
Mr. Boyle, has one child; Ollie, is Mrs. Fitzgerald; Myrtle, now Mrs. 
Claude Nelson, lives in Colorado; and Jessie, who is teaching school 
at Windfield, Illinois.

Source: History of Southern Illinois George Washington Smith, 
Page 1338 - 1339

Submitted by Robert W. Loman 

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