Biography of Levi Young

One of the pioneers in the forests of the Ottawa valley, and one of the conquerors of the cataracts of the Ottawa river, is Levi Young, who, though past his three score years, is still active in life, and may yet serve as a pall bearer to the nineteenth century, whose birth was only five years ahead of his. He was born September 5, 1805, at Wiscassett, Maine, a State noted for its liberal growth of lumbermen. His parents were Levi and Rachel (White) Young, whose wealth was dug out of the earth in the Pine Tree Commonwealth. Joshua Young, the grandfather of Levi, junior, came from England, and fought against the mother country in 1775-1782.

Our subject received a very ordinary education in his native town; aided his father in raising corn, beans, and cabbages until sixteen years old, when he went to Topsam and clerked for Gen. Samuel Veazie until he reached his majority, at which period he went before the mast in the employ of the same man. He had an experience of nine years in “life on the ocean wave,” being all the time in the West India trade, and rising through mate up to captain. Once his ship entered the Mediterranean Sea, and he spent several days at Gibraltar.

About 1832, Capt. Young went into the mercantile trade on the Penobscott, near Bangor, in company with his old friend, in whose employ he had made his home for years on “the rolling deep;” there they dealt in West India and dry goods fifteen or twenty years.
In 1851 Mr. Young built a steamer, and ran it up the Delaware river as far as Easton, the first craft of the kind that ever passed before or since, above Trenton, N. Y. When his boat landed at Easton, the citizens were almost as astonished as they would have been had a full grown whale come to pay them a visit! An effort was made to get a bill through the Legislature of New Jersey, granting Mr. Young the exclusive right to navigate that river, above Trenton, but the “railroad kings” managed to kill the bill by fastening to it some deadly amendment.

In 1855 Mr. Young started for Canada with the iron for a saw mill. On reaching Ogdensburg, N. Y., by rail, he took his material by water to Kingston, and thence to Bytown (Ottawa) by the Rideau Canal. In partnership with him were Gen. Samuel Hersey, John A. Winn, and Jones P. Veazie, son of Gen. Veazie, though none of them ever settled in Canada. They purchased a mill privilege and a mill frame partly finished, and made a small beginning at sawing lumber before the close of that year. Here, for twenty-four round years, Mr. Young has been manufacturing sawn lumber, largely for the United States market, cutting usually from 12,000,000 to 15,000,000 feet. Several years ago he commenced buying out his partners, one by one, and since about 1872 has been alone in the business. He has a large quantity of timber lands leased; has, up to this time, had the charge of his own business, and has been a successful manager.
Mr. Young is a quiet, unobtrusive citizen, giving politics largely the go by, and keeping entirely out of office. Willing to do something to benefit the City of Ottawa, he aided generously in founding the Young Ladies’ College and the Protestant Hospital, and in starting the city railway.

On the 18th of September, 1832, Miss Margaret Ann Patten, of Bowdoinham, Maine, was joined in wedlock with Mr. Young, and of eight children resulting from this union, only two are living. One of the deceased, Margaret Ellen, was the wife of Henry Hamilton, late of Ottawa and now a resident of Quebec. The two children living are sons, and both married. Robert P living near Ottawa and Levi J. is with his father. Both have an interest with their father in the lumber business.



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