The Obituary of William Young
~ 1899 ~

Copyright © 2003, Margaret R. Winders. All Rights Reserved.

Col. W.F. Young Died at his Home at 4:30 Last Evening
Reared in This County and Passing His Life Here, the Honored Citizen,
Soldier, and Christian is at Rest

“The King of Shadows Loves a Shining Mark.”

There died at his home in this city last evening at 4:30 o’clock one of the best known citizens of the city and county, Col. William Franklin Young. Death came to him easily, as a tender friend, to ease his suffering of his long sick spell, a herald from the presence of the King, whose coming has been expected with desire.

Col. Young was born March 26, 1830, near Bowling Green, Ky. His father was Elliott Young, who came from near Petersburg, Va., at an early date and when the subject of this article was three years old, moved to the Liberty neighborhood in this county. There the boy grew and was educated in the county schools, developing muscle, mind and morals, “in favor with God and Man.” He was noted for his sturdy independence as a boy, a characteristic that never left him.

On the first day of December,1853, he married Miss Mary P. Shelby. To them was born Harvey C. Young, the well known auctioneer, who survives, and Mary Zelia, who lived only eight months. After a brief, happy married life, his first wife died: and on the 20th of December, 1859, he was married again, this time to Miss Catherine A. Caudle, who survives him. To them were born Susan Ora, who lived but four months, William B., the well known grocer of this city, and Linnie Ada, now the wife of Charles Gossett, one of our leading furniture dealers.

Col. Young professed religion as a young boy, at the Blooming Grove camp ground, and joined the Methodist church. He afterwards, upon conviction, united with the Cumberland Presbyterian church, of which he has been an ever faithful member. He was made an elder of the church at Liberty, and upon his removal to this city in 1873, moved his membership here and was soon made a Deacon. He was Senior Deacon when he died. He always been one of the strongest supporters of the church, and it was largely due to him that the church acquired its present splendid property.

Upon the breaking out of the Civil War, he raised a company known as Company G, of the 49th Tennessee. He enlisted as a private, but was chosen by the company as their Captain and he was commissioned as a Colonel in 1863. At Atlanta, on July 28th 1864, his right arm was shot away. This would have procured his honorable discharge; but in a few weeks he was in the field again, fighting beside the men who loved him.

After the war, debarred from the more active walks of life by the loss of his right arm, he adopted the calling of a tobacco auctioneer. From this he derived quite a large competency, and was always known for his open hearted benevolence.

The funeral services will be conducted at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church tomorrow morning at 10:30 o’clock, by the Rev. George B. Shelton, assisted by the Rev. J.M. Gill, D.D. of Elkton, Ky., a lifelong friend of the deceased. The interment will take place immediately after at the Mt. Pleasant cemetery. Pallbearers will be chosen as follows:

From the church: R.E. Burchett, and John W. Rudolph; from Forbes Bivouac: Capt. A.F. Smith and James Wells; from the Knights of Honor: W.F. Coulter and W.R. Bringhurst and the Tobacco Board of Trade will attend, each in a body.

Source: (Clarksville, Tennessee) Daily Leaf-Chronicle Friday January 13, 1899 p. 1

Forbes Bivouac met at 11 a.m. to take action on the death of Comrade William F. Young who died yesterday at 4:30 p.m. It was resolved that the members meet at Col. Young’s late residence at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow and accompany the remains to the church. Comrades A.F. Smith and James Wells were chosen as the two pallbearers from the Bivouac. A committee was appointed on resolutions- A.F. Smith, Butler Boyd. J.B. Allen and Clay Stacker.

C.H. Bailey was instructed to procure a floral design. As Col. Young had expressed a preference by his comrades of Forbes Bivouac, all members are requested to accompany the remains to Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, where they will be buried.
Source: (Clarksville, Tennessee) Daily Leaf-Chronicle Friday January 13, 1899 p. 1

Adopted by Forbes Bivouac Upon the Death of Col. William F. Young An Honored and Courageous Soldier, Faithful, Consistent Christian and Citizen. Once more the blighting Shadow of the Angel of Destruction has fallen across the muster roll of Forbes Bivouac and obliterated the name of him who held in the days of strife the highest rank of all our members--Col. William Franklin Young.

Reduced by prolonged suffering to a mere remnant of what he was in vigorous manhood, deprived of the power to take the food equal to the requirements of an infant for twenty-one days previous to his death, he nevertheless was mindful of the welfare and comforts of his comrades to the last moment, as evidenced by the expressed request that the ailing or infirm should not take any risks of additional discomfort or disease by braving the inclement weather, which he anticipated would prevail at his interment.

In the battle of life, as in the conflict of arms, he surveyed the whole field calmly, and minutely, considering not only the safety but the comfort of his comrades, and looking death squarely and consciously in the face, his waning breath was spent in directions for the shielding of them.

The exhibition of such calm and kindly regard for others and such forgetfulness of self, while death was actually riving his soul from its earthly encasement and filling his suffering body with the torturing pains of dissolution, was a manifestation of the highest order of Christian fortitude and courage, which threw a new and beatifying light upon that other kind of courage which animated him as the commanding officer of the 49th Tennessee Regiment at New Hope Church, Pine Mountain, Lost Mountain, Kennesaw Mountain, Peachtree Creek and Lick Skillet Road---where he lost his right arm July 28, 1864--as well as in every minor engagement in which that regiment participated under his command; therefore:

Resolved: That by the death of Col.W .F. Young the ranks of Confederate veterans have been deprived of an honored soldier, who has been tested by the fires of many battles and found invariably true, and and because of his courage and courageous truthfulness, the little mound where we laid him in Mount Pleasant Cemetery will ever be cherished in our memories as an “honored grave.”

Resolved: That his patient and persistent devotion to the duties that came to his hands show how closely those duties were pressed to his heart; that his consistent Christian life and forgetfulness of self in the crucial hour of death, attest to his sincerity of his earlier acts and professions; That they beautify and magnify courage on the field of battle, and that together these characteristics of our dead comrade constitute for his family and for us “a glorious heritage.”

Resolved: That in compliance with the request of the deceased, members will refrain from wearing the usual badge of crepe, but that our banner shall be kept in mourning for the usual period.

Resolved: That the sympathies of our hearts, which have already gone out to his bereaved family, are hereby tendered to them, and that a copy of these resolutions be transmitted to them.

A.F. Smith
J.B. Allen
Butler Boyd
Clay Stacker, Committee of Forbes Bivouac

To the Leaf-Chronicle:
You speak feelingly of Col. Young’s suffering condition. It is natural and proper for friends to eulogize the virtues of the good after they have passed away, but I desire to speak of the grand old soldier while he is yet with us. Sunday morning, after getting ready for church, I was seized with a desire to see Col. Young and mingle my sympathy with the dear ones who watch so patiently and lovingly at his bedside.
His mind was clear and even bright, his voice was like the chimes of the church bell. His speech of a few moments was a revelation, adding confirmed testimony to the evidence we already have that ministering spirits hover around to comfort the faithful through the dark valley, and lead them dry shod across the turbulent Jordon. More still: They are there to draw the veil and give God’s chosen a glimpse of the beautiful beyond, filling the soul with peace and the heart with rapturous joy, making death something to be desired rather than feared. I have just such testimony from lips I could not doubt anymore than doubting his. Every word was a precious jewel to be treasured, exciting emotions of sweetest comfort--feeling hard to suppress, lifting me entirely out of myself, and I felt it was gloriously good to be there. He was ready, having made peace with all behind, and sweet peace awaited his trust in Jesus, and he was waiting patiently suffering his affliction, waiting God’s own good time. While he spoke it seemed that a halo of light played upon his features, his eyes were fixed upon glorious sights that others could not behold; though feeling a conscious of a sweet overflowing, awe- inspiring presence.

It’s hard to give up dear ones, whose lives have been good and useful, more so to the public than to themselves, and we know not until after they are gone, that angels were dwelling among us unawares.

Thoughtless people may criticize these remarks as sentimental gush, but the time will come when such persons would give the world for a half minute of Col. Young’s experience. I pray for it as my portion.

Col. Young is slowly passing out, dying the death of a patriot and a Christian hero. He has fought a good fight, and blessed the world by his self-sacrificing-deeds-- I say he has been both a patriot and a Christian; the two go together, a man cannot be a Christian without being a patriot. Christ was a patriot but the young man who called upon the Lord to know what he must do to inherit eternal life, went away sorrowful for the answer received was not a patriot though he claimed to be a Christian, and the next we hear of him he was lifting up his eyes in torment, begging Lazarus to come to his help. I would hold up the life and religion of Col. Young for exemplification rather than that of young Dives though modern Christianity may teach that the world, if saved at all, must be saved by money and the miracle of grace.

Man is endowed with a dual life, two sides-natural and spiritual-and grace is one attribute or gift to the spiritual, and we are in need of spirituals. God’s regular, everyday way is all sufficient and the man who lives in this way may find his ups and downs, turmoil, and aggravation, the path narrow and hard to tread. He may stumble and blunder, but if he keeps on trying, following the line of principle that makes the way, he will ripen with age, and become mellow with the grace that has sustained him all along, when finally the spiritual, linked by magnetism with Christ, gets the better of the natural man and leads him to heights that overlook the glorious promised land. Col. Young has reached the top of Mt. Pisgah, and this is the side of his life I wish to present, leaving it for other friends to hold up his his beautiful character, as a man, a gallant soldier and a patriot citizen.

M.V. Ingram

Note by Margaret R. Winders:
       This eulogy was written and published January 12, 1899. Martin Van Buren Ingram was the publisher of the (Clarksville, Tennessee) Leaf-Chronicle, and old friend of William F. Young. He had visited him early in the morning before he died later in the day.

See the William Young Letters, 1864.

Montgomery County TNGenWeb Genealogy Page

Main Letters Page

Tennessee Letters Page