Jonathan Young, the father of our subject, was born, reared and married in Adair County, Ky., and lived there until 1824, engaged in farming pursuits. That year he determined to seek the West, and accordingly with his wife and five children came to Illinois and settled in that part of Morgan which is now Scott County. He was one of the first men to venture into this region, and taking up a tract of wild land established himself in the wilderness and proceeded to build up a homestead. He endured many hardships and privations, but he possessed that spirit of resolution and perseverance which admitted no such word as fail, and in due time reaped the reward of his toil and sacrifices. He was a man of good judgment and sound common sense, - one who invariably made friends wherever known. After the labors of a long and useful life he died at the old homestead when about seventy-six years old.
Mrs. Elizabeth Young, the mother of our subject, was a native of Virginia, and died prior to the decease of her husband, at the age of seventy-three years. The parental family included nine children, viz: William, Jesse, Chloe, Robert, Ervin, Campbell, Almina, Alexander and Ephraim. Five of these are living and making their homes in Greene and Scott Counties. Alexander, our subject was born at his father's homestead, close to the present site of Winchester, and still remembers very many of the incidents connected with his boyhood days. Wild game was plentiful around the pioneer home, deer, turkeys, geese and ducks abounded. The wolves also made night hideous with their howlings. The Young boys were at an early age taught to make themselves useful, and assisted their parents in opening up the new farm. The nearest school was eight miles distant and consequently our subject, like his brothers and sisters had no educational advantages. They grew up, however, strong in muscle and healthy in mind and amply fitted for the duties of citizenship, having been carefully trained in those principles which made of them good and useful members of the community.
In 1848, at the age of twenty-two years, Alexander young was united in marriage with Miss Emily, daughter of Joseph and Dorsia (Holley) Glasson. The parents of Mrs. Young were natives of Virginia, whence they removed later to Kentucky, where their daughter, Emily, was born Aug. 9, 1828. The family came to Illinois while she was an infant, in 1829, and settled near the present site of Winchester, upon which there was then nothing to mark it as the location of a future town. Mrs. Young was reared under the parental roof and acquired a limited education in the subscription schools. She, however, was a bright and intelligent girl and taking advantage of the few books which came in her way, became quite well informed, and was a great favorite among her young companions. She became acquainted with her future husband when about fifteen years old, in fact they practically grew up together, and at quite an early day there was formed between them the mutual attachment which resulted in their marriage.
Mr. and Mrs. Young commenced their wedded life in a modest manner, in township 13, range 13, and our subject for several years thereafter farmed one of his father's farms. He made his first purchase of land probably in 1852, and he and his estimable wife have labored hand in hand in the accumulation of their property with a common interest for themselves and their children. There were born to them three sons and three daughters the eldest of whom, Mary J., is the wife of Richard Cowen, and they occupy a part of the homestead; they have six children, - Robert, Alex, Emma, Harry, Nellie and Joseph. Oscar married Miss Harriet Langly, rents his father's farm, and has one child, - Alex Jr., named after his grandfather. Ella is the wife of John Longnecker, a prosperous farmer of Scott County, and a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this volume; they have four children, - Carrie, Mabel, Emma and Nancy. Elmer married Miss Anna McLaughlin, and resides three miles west of Winchester; he is occupied as a teacher, and is both successful and popular. Mrs. Young is a member of the United Baptist Church at Glasgow. Our subject cast his first Presidential vote for James K. Polk, and for a long period of forty-two years, has given his undivided support to the Democratic party.