Biography of Joseph C. Young

Joseph C. Young, born in March 1853 in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, was a versatile businessman and civil servant in Springfield, South Dakota. Son of Noah W. and Mary (Purrinton) Young, Joseph moved to Bon Homme County in 1878, initially farming before shifting to carpentry and contracting. In 1890, he acquired the Springfield Times, later selling it to return to contracting. In 1901, he co-purchased a harness and furniture store, and in 1902, he became Bon Homme County’s official surveyor. Married to Florence Britton since 1875, they had four children. Joseph was active in politics, fraternal organizations, and the Congregational Church.

Joseph C. Young.—The subject of this review has had a varied business experience and his career demonstrates the fact that a man of intelligence and well-balanced judgment may achieve success in more than one sphere of endeavor. Joseph C. Young, of Springfield, is a native of Waukesha County, Wisconsin, and the son of Noah W. and Mary (Purrinton) Young, the father born in New York, the mother in the state of New Hampshire. The Purrintons are one of the oldest and best-known families of New England, being directly descended in one line from the Tabors who came over on the Mayflower, and they have figured in the annals of New Hampshire and other states since the early dawn of American history. Noah Young was a carpenter by trade and when a young man helped build the locks on the Erie Canal, besides doing other mechanical work in various parts of his native state. In an early day, he and his wife migrated to Wisconsin and were among the pioneer settlers of Waukesha County. After living in that part of the state until 1854, he moved to Fond du Lac County, of which he was also a pioneer, locating at Brandon, where he worked at his trade until 1861, when he changed his abode to Iowa County. After a residence there of about eight years, he went to Brookfield, Missouri, where he spent the remainder of his life, dying in the year 1888, his wife preceding him to the grave in 1860. Mr. and Mrs. Young were the parents of four children: Mrs. Almira Harker, of Brookfield, Missouri; Thomas W., a manufacturer, of Springfield, South Dakota; Joseph C., the subject of this sketch; and Martin L., of Bon Homme County and a painter by trade.

Joseph C. Young was born in the town of Eagle, Waukesha County, Wisconsin, in the month of March 1853, and he grew to manhood in his native state, attending the common schools at intervals in the meantime. In 1878, he came to Bon Homme County, South Dakota, and took up one hundred and twenty acres of land near Springfield, on which he lived during the ensuing five years, devoting his attention in the meantime to the improvement of his farm. At the expiration of the period noted, he began carpentering, which trade he had previously learned and, the better to prosecute the same, left his farm and took up his residence in Springfield. He followed contracting and building with marked success until 1890, when he discontinued that line of work and purchased the Springfield Times, a well-established weekly paper, which he conducted for a period of seven years. Not finding journalism to his taste, he sold the paper in 1897 and, resuming his trade, continued contracting and building until 1901, when, in partnership with Peter G. Monfore, he purchased the harness and furniture store which had formerly been run by George Mead & Son, one of the largest establishments of the kind in Springfield. The firm thus constituted is still in existence, and at this time Monfore & Young carry a full line of harness and furniture, in connection with which they also conduct a well-equipped undertaking establishment. The business in the different lines is large and lucrative, and, as already indicated, their house is now the leading concern of the kind in the city, with a patronage much more than local.

In addition to his career as a mechanic, journalist, and merchant, Mr. Young has had some experience as a civil engineer, to which profession he is now devoting considerable attention. In 1902, he was elected official surveyor of Bon Homme County, which position he now holds, and in the discharge of his duties, he is exceedingly painstaking and accurate, his record thus far being creditable to himself and eminently satisfactory to all who have engaged his professional services. Mr. Young has been more than ordinarily successful in his different enterprises and is today one of the financially strong men of Springfield as well as one of the county’s progressive and public-spirited citizens. His influence has always been on the right side of every moral question, and he has encouraged every measure and movement having for its object the material advancement of the community and the social, educational, and moral welfare of the people.

On December 25, 1875, Mr. Young was united in marriage with Miss Florence Britton, of Rock County, Wisconsin, a union blessed with four offspring. The oldest of these children, May E., married W. A. Schroder, of Yankton, South Dakota, and is now the mother of two daughters, Eva and Marie. Grace, the second of the family, lives at home and is bookkeeper for a business firm in Springfield. Florence, the third daughter, teaches in the public schools, and Myrtle, the youngest of the number, is a student as well as her mother’s efficient assistant in conducting the affairs of the household.

In politics, Mr. Young is a staunch, uncompromising Republican. His fraternal relations are represented by the Odd Fellows order and the Modern Woodmen, and in religion, he is a Congregationalist, having been a consistent member of the church for over a quarter of a century, during which time his life has been in harmony with his high calling as a faithful disciple of the Nazarene. Mrs. Young is also deeply interested in religious and charitable work and is a consistent member of the same church with which her husband is identified.


Robinson, Doane, History of South Dakota: together with mention of Citizens of South Dakota, [Logansport? IN] : B. F. Bowen, 1904.

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