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Willard Dayton Young Family History

by: Charles Young

My grandfather, Willard Dayton Young was born in Valparaiso, Indiana on May 23, 1857. He and his first wife, Mary Marcy, had 6 children. The family lived in Fort Scott, Kansas for a time, and settled in Fort Smith, Arkansas. After his first wife Mary died, he married Ida Hockmeyer and had one more child -- my father.

 
Willard
Willard - 1907
Maude and Mae Young
Maude and Mae

    2-Willard Dayton YOUNG (1857-1936) Parents
      m.(1881) Mary Melissa MARCY (1855-1911)
    3-David B. YOUNG (1882-1914)
    3-Eugene "Gene" YOUNG (1885-1959) More
    3-Artemus A. "Arty" YOUNG (1887-1961)
    3-Kate Mary YOUNG (1888-1957) More
    3-Maude Elizabeth YOUNG (1890- )
    3-Mae M. YOUNG (1892-1981)

    2- Willard Dayton YOUNG (1857-1936)
      m.(1912) Ida Wilhelmina HOCKEMEYER (1872-1958)
    3-Dayton Vennard YOUNG (1913-2002)
Willard Young and Mary Marcy's 6 children:

    David B. Young was born Dec. 15, 1882 in Fort Scott, Kansas.
    Eugene Young was born Mar. 1, 1885 in Missouri.

The remaining children were born in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

    Artemus A. Young born Jan. 5, 1887
      Arty was a baker in the army. When he got out of the army he went into a mental hospital where he stayed the rest of his life. Dad never saw his half brother Arty except he went to his funeral.

    Kate Mary Young born Aug. 27, 1888
      Kate and her sister Mae worked at Bolinger Music selling records and sheet music. Mae later worked at the Boston Store.

    Maude E. Young born Aug. 1890
    Mae M. Young born Nov. 29, 1892
Dad thought he remembered hearing that all of the children were born in different places including one in Laramie, Wyoming. Census records say that Willards children by his first wife were born in Fort Scott, Kansas and Fort Smith, Arkansas. The Census is not always right, or maybe it was Willards' siblings who were all born in different places. Dad recalls hearing that son, Eugene, was a census taker in 1900. He would have been 15 years old then.

In 1900 Willard and his family were living at 1417 Garrison according to census records. This would be just east of the intersection of Garrison and Rogers and just west of the old Saint Edwards Hospital. This was before Garrison Avenue east of the 1400 block was renamed Rogers Avenue. At that time the Catholic Church at 13th Street and Garrison Avenue was only about a year old. Willard's first job in Fort Smith was at Sutton Printing Co. where he worked as a bookbinder. He later had a few cows and sold milk and ice cream. He started baking bread in his home and then had a bakery on the main street of Fort Smith -- Garrison Avenue.

Three of Willard's sons took over the bread business and named it Young Brothers. The business was not enough to support 3 families, so Eugene (Gene) became the sole owner. He called his bread "Royal Cream" which for several years was competing with "Wholesome" bread from the Shipley Bakery. Dayton told me a little story about the competition. It is probably Gene who is pictured in the photo on the right side. Gene is Fred Baker's grandfather - founder of KISR FM . Thanks to Charles Raney for the photo on the right. He says that the bakery was at N and 12th Street when this photo was taken.

Willards Bread horse drawn delivery wagon Young Bros Bread horse drawn delivery wagon
Willard's Bread - 1215 Garrison Avenue Young Bros. Ft. Smith Bakery
 

Unfortunately I have very few photos and momentos of my father's family. Most of the photos and history that Dad owned were claimed by children of his half sisters, leaving him only a few photos of himself. This was before the days of easy and affordable photo copy services, so those are lost to me and my siblings.

Willard lived at one time near North O street and 13th Street. He prospered enough to move to North 12th and Garrison Ave near the future site of the Goldman Hotel. He was involved in selling the property to the people that built the hotel. From that sale he got into the real estate business with Horace Rogers. He worked in the real estate business for several years. He owned several pieces of property in Fort Smith. The Goldman was torn down in the 1990's.

The family did not attend church regularly. Willard smoked. He went to a revival meeting held by Sam Jones. He was converted, quit smoking, became a Methodist, and was active in the church.

Willard's wife Mary died when she was 55 years old. Willard married Ida Hockemeyer (my grandmother) in 1912. Willard was almost 56 and Ida was 40 when Dayton was born in 1913. Dayton was his father's 7th child and his mother's only child.

Most of Dayton's (my Dad) half brothers and sisters had grown up and left home when Dad was a child. Dad's oldest niece is only a year younger than Dad.

Willard Young granddaughters

In 1936 Dayton took this photo of his nieces (Willard's granddaughters) in front of the old house on 18th. Left to right; Katherine Croom, Zoe Ellen Young, Betty Mae Aston, and Mary Elizabeth Lauhon.

Willard Young funeral announcement:

Funeral service for Willard Dayton Young, 79 years old, widely known business man who died Monday, will be conducted at 10 a.m., Tuesday at the Fentress mortuary chapel by Rev. G.F.C. Fons of the Fort Smith Gospel Mission and Rev. C.A. Lasater, pastor of the Dodson Avenue Assembly of God church....
Willard Young obituary:

Willard Dayton Young, 79 years old, a widely-known resident of Fort Smith for 50 years, died at 1:15 p.m. Monday at his home 406 North 18th street. Mr. Young owned and operated the Fort Smith Bakery from 1890 until 1908. He also was associated with Horace Rogers in the real estate business for many years.

Survivors include the wife, Mrs. Ida Young; three sons Eugene Willard Young, now owner of the Fort Smith Bakery, Artemus A. Young and Dayton Young, all of Fort Smith; and three daughters, Mrs. A.B. Croom and Mrs. May Aston of Fort Smith, and Mrs. C.E. Lauhon of Oklahoma City.

The funeral service will be conducted at the Fentress mortuary chapel Tuesday at 10 a.m. Burial will be in Oak cemetery.


Who is this?

The back of this photo says W. E. Young. Ida Hockmeyer Young kept this photo with photos of her husband, but Dad does not think that this is W.D. Young. Do you know who it is?


Oak Cemetery

When his first wife, Mary Melissa, died, Willard bought a burial plot at Oak Cemetery for 8 people. Family members buried there include his first wife, his son David, Willard himself, his second wife Ida, his daughter Mary Kate and her husband Aaron Croom, and his youngest son Dayton and wife Mina.


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