JEFFERSON COUNTY ILLINOIS
BIOGRAPHIES

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, 
M. A. VOLUME I - III ILLUSTRATED 
THE LEWIS PUBLISHING COMPANY CHICAGO AND NEW YORK 1912
Page 1338 - 1339

Submitted by Robert W. Loman 


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