The Young Family

Peter & Elizabeth (Gorr) Young


Peter Young was born October 3, 1832 in Prussia, Germany and in 1854 immigrated to America to avoid the mandatory draft in Germany at that time in. He arrived on a sailing ship which had departed from Hamburg, Germany. Stories passed down through the family say that the trip took three weeks and that they sighted a whale during that time. The passengers were only allowed to bring a chest of linen with them.

While crossing the Atlantic Peter met a young girl, Elizabeth A. Gorr who was traveling with her parents John and Martha Christine (Isaac) Gorr, and at least two brothers, Henry and Adam Gorr and two sisters, Katherine and Mary Gorr. There may have been more, but that has not yet been positively determined. It has been said that an older brother George remained in Germany to look after a large amount of property that the family owned there. It is uncertain which port they entered, but it was probably New York.

Their presence here has been first documented through the 1860 Federal Census for Berlin Twp, Ashland P.O., Wayne County, Penn. The census shows that they had two children, Adam age 2 and Mary age 2 mo. Peter's occupation was listed as a bark peeler which indicates that he worked in either an acid factory or a tannery. Peter's personal property was valued at $100.

In the 13 July 1870 Federal Census they are still located in Berlin Twp, Wayne Co, PA, but under the P.O. of Honesdale. By this time there are six children, Adam is 13, Mary is 11, George is 9, Eliza is 7, John is 4 & Peter is 1. Peter's occupation is listed as a laborer. It shows that he owns real estate valued at $500, but no personal property is listed. It also states that he was a U.S. Citizen, which tells us that he had been naturalized. The deed to the property can be located in the Office of the Register of Deeds in the Wayne County Courthouse at Honesdale in Deed Bk 39 pgs 472-473. It states that he bought the land from Christopher Hiller and his wife for the sum of $335 on Nov 5, 1869.

Records for the sale of the property have not been yet located, but sometime between 13 July 1870, the date on the 1870 census and 17 June 1871 Peter moved his family to Fremont Twp, Sullivan Co. NY where their 7th child, Katherine was born on the latter date.

From records that have been found they are believed to have resided in Fremont Center when they first arrived in Sullivan County, later moving to the Acidalia area very close to the Delaware County line. Peter and Elizabeth can be found in a Sullivan Co. census for 1 June 1875 and again in the 29 June 1880 Federal Census, in the Town of Fremont, Dist. 1. Three of their children were married by this time and can be found with their spouses in another sec- tion of the same census.

Peter and Elizabeth purchased land in the area and there are several deeds in the Registry of Deeds pertaining to this property. The first deed has not been located, but on the 18th of Dec 1879 Peter and Elizabeth sold the property to Adam and Katherine Metzger for the sum of $700.00. On 20 Dec 1879 Adam and Katherine sold the property back to Elizabeth for the same amount. On 31 Dec 1881 the property was sold by the sheriff at an auction in Monticello to a James I. Curtis to satisfy a civil suit which had been brought against Peter by the Weed Sewing Machine Co. On 12 July 1883 it was again sold to John Klein. On 5 May 1888 the property was sold back to Elizabeth by John Klein and also on that date we can find a mortgage between Elizabeth and John F. Anderson which secures part of the purchase money.

Peter died on Mar 25, 1892, but where he died is unknown and a death record has not yet been located. A notation was made in the 31 Mar 1892, Vol.XIX, No. 47 issue of the "Hancock Herald" that the funeral of Peter Young Sr. had taken place the day before. He was buried in the Basket Cemetery about two miles from Long Eddy, NY. There is a large stone on his grave and it is in extremely good condition considering the length of time that it has been there and the fact that the cemetery is very overgrown. The cemetery is on a hill- side and the back of it is a natural habitat for rattlers. Few people venture into it except in early Spring or late Fall.

After Peter's death Elizabeth remained in Acidalia. She still had four children who were not married, although Maggie was married that July. The boys were avid fishermen, hunters and trappers. They also dug ginseng and sold it for tobacco. The children did not have an easy childhood and the boys all went out to work at very young ages. Most of the older girls were married when they were extremely young. Kate was only 13. It has been said that Peter was a very harsh man, very strict with his wife and children & had the temper of a true German.

Elizabeth was a very large woman, but quite gentle in nature. She acted as a midwife and helped bring many of her own grandchildren into the world. After Peter's death, she remained on the farm, but on 25 May 1895 she sold the farm to her son-in-law, Anthony McAdams subject to the mortgage given to Elizabeth by John F. Anderson in 1888 and with the condition that she be allowed to make her home in the dwelling upon the premises during her lifetime. It also states that she would forever warrant the title.

Elizabeth did not spend her remaining years on the farm as she thought she would. On 22 Feb 1896 in the Town of Fremont she married a widower, Philip Gross and moved with him to No. Branch in Callicoon Twp. Philip died Sept. 14, 1904 and is buried in the North Branch Cemetery. After Philip's death Elizabeth moved around spending a few months with each of her children and their families. It was while visiting her daughters, Maggie and Minnie who lived just outside South Kortright, Delaware Co. NY that Elizabeth died on 7 April 1907. It was Easter Sunday and she had walked into the village, about the distance of a little more than a mile to visit her son George, his wife Lydia and their seven daughters. She died at George's home during her visit. A prayer service was held there and then her body was taken by train to Sullivan Co. accompanied by George and Lydia where she was buried in the Basket Cemetery near her first husband, Peter.

George & Lydia (Morse) Young

George was born May 8, 1862 at Beech Pond, Berlin Twp, Wayne Co PA. He was about 10 or 11 years old when his family moved to Sullivan Co, NY. He left home in his late teens and went to Roxbury Twp, in Delaware Co. where it is believed he worked as a carpenter. He met Lydia Jane Morse, daughter of Erastus and Louisa (Sweet) Morse. They were blessed with eight daughters: Irena, Ruth, Carrie, Lena, Julia, Edna, Inda and Elizabeth.

After residing in Roxbury for a time George took his wife and three oldest daughters and moved to Fernwood, FremontTwp, Sullivan Co. where he worked for a time in the Acid Factories there. While living in Fernwood that they experienced both joy and tragedy. On April 7, 1893 their fifth daughter was born; twenty days later their fourth daughter, Lena, who was two years old wandered out of the house unobserved and fell into the watering trough for the horses. No one really knows how she was able to slip out without being noticed and everyone blamed themselves for not watching her more closely. Between the time of Lena's death and the birth of their seventh daughter, Edna they moved to Methol in Hancock Twp, Delaware Co. where George worked as an apprentice to a blacksmith so he might learn the trade. Before the birth of their eighth daughter, Inda they moved again; this time to a small village called Almedia, now known as South Kortright. It is located partly in Kortright Twp and partly in Stamford Twp. Their daughter Elizabeth was also born there.

George first worked as a blacksmith on the Andrews Estate and they had living quarters over the shop. Four years later on April 22, 1901 George purchased a piece of land in the village across the road from the South Kortright Inn, then owned by James McLean. He purchased the land for the sum of $80.00 from Stephen and Kate Hait. He intended to build his own blacksmith shop with living quarters for his family above it. Mr. McLean did not like the idea of having a blacksmith shop directly across the street from his establishment so he purchased the land from George for the sum of $250.00, a handsome profit at that time. This transaction took place Oct. 25, 1901. About 5 years later George purchased property from Milton Beasmer which included a house and a barn. George made the barn into a blacksmith shop and put an addition on the back where he repaired wagons and wagon wheels and sawed his own trees into lumber. One story that has been passed down tells that he invented a wagon wheel brake for which he obtained a patent, but the patent was somehow stolen and about the same time the "horseless carriages" came into being and George only made about $300 on his invention.

George was held in high esteem in the village for his honesty in dealings with his customers. In his younger days he shod as many as 17 horses in one day. Aside from shoeing horses and repairing wagons he was adept in fashioning iron into beauty, having made the very attractive wrought iron gates on the McLean and Andrews Estates and on the McLean Bridge at the entrance to the village. He also made the iron signs which at one time hung in front of the library and the South Kortright Inn.

On a visit to a Mr. Johnson who resided in a house near Valley View Cemetery at the foot of Roses Brook he told me that he had just removed the metal screen door that George had made for him many years ago and had carried on his his back from the village to Mr. Johnson's home which is at least a a mile, maybe more. George was known to be a man of great strength. George retired from his trade because of the declining need. He returned to carpentry and remained active even during the last few years of his life.

His life ended on October 13, 1943 while he was preparing his winters supply of wood with his friend, Delbert Chichester. He suffered a stroke and was carried home where he lingered until a short time after his daughters arrival. It has been said that it took several men to lift the log that George was carrying on his back at the time of his stroke. This gives an idea of the strength this one man had at the age of 81!

Services were held in his home and he was laid to rest near the village where he had found so much enjoyment and friends. After George's death Lydia moved in with her daughter, Ruth and with the aid of her son-in-law, Burr Cole sold their home on Mar 27, 1945 to Cordon D. Dibble. Until that time the house remained vacant. The house still stands today as does the blacksmith shop. Also standing is the blacksmith shop on the Andrews Estate where they first lived. It has since been remodeled into a private home.

The Daughters of George & Lydia Youngc.1905

left side-top to bottom-Ruth (18 yr), Julia (12 yr), Inda (7yr)--right side-top to bottom-Irena (19 yr), 

Edna (9 yr), Elizabeth (4 yr)

Inda, Ruth, Julia, Elizabeth, Edna, Irena & Carrie 

and in front Lydia (Morse) Young on her 80th birthday, May 6, 1946

George Young in front of his blacksmith shop

Lydia (Morse) Young, taken c. 1949

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Last Updated: 02/04/2008 05:31:56 PM