How Young America Got Its Name

Article from the Kokomo Tribune July 9, 1957 page 3

Young America Cemetery
Article by Joe Young

Just 11 miles west of Galveston on Ind. 18 and over the Howard County line, lies Young America, an unincorporated town in Deer Creek Township that has remained small and peaceful for more than 100 years.

Nestled among some of Indiana's larger farms, this small Cass County town -- which declined any centennial celebration last year -- is just a grove of trees when viewed from the air.

Many people wonder how the town of some 300 came to be called Young America. How has it remained a tranquil country town for over a century? Few residents of the town or the county know.


According to Ollie Austin Cummins, oldest living male resident of the community, Young America was named this way.

In 1856, Thomas Henry built a saw mill in a community of a few cabins and farms. One day when some machinery arrived for the mill several townsmen gathered to help unload it.

A nameplate on one of the engines, designating either the engine or model "Young America" was noticed. One of the helping hands suggested that was a good name for the community. Two-third of the workmen agreed and called their town Young America.

The original molded nameplate was removed and kept as a memento until recent years. But it is now believed to have ended up in a junk pile and is probably lost forever now.


Young America wasn't officially established though until 1865 when the first post office was set up. Mail was first brought to Young America three times a week by "hack" -- a type of horse drawn buggy.

Before the post office was organized, James G. Johnson, who was later named the town's first postmaster and remained so for 30 years, had a ride to Poplar Grove for the mail. At present Young America has a fourth-class post office and mail is brought in from Galveston.

The town has remained tranquil over the years because it has been "just off the beaten path" and has never had a railroad or interurban. The main center-of-town crossroad is a junction of Ind. 18 and the Poplar Grove north-south road.


A feed and grain mill is Young America's only large business operation. The town has no industry.

At one time flour was made at the mill but today its main business is griding grain, shipping and selling supplies. Wheat, corn, oats and peas are ground and shipped to Chicago and soybeans are also received. Other businesses in town include two food stores, two restaurants, three filling stations and two garages.


The Baptist, Christian, and Diciples are the three churches in Young America and they have services every Sunday. Lodges are the Eastern Star, Rebekah and Pythian Sisters for women and the Masons and Knights of Pythias for men.

Young America's active Lions Club has been responsible for the town's getting street lights and a new fire truck. Before the purchase of the new fire truck, Young America depended completely on Galveston and Walton for fire protection.

There are some 110 students in the high school, including the two junior high grades 7-8.

In a century the town population has increased only from less than 100 to approximately 300.

The main crossroad at the center of town -- with light traffic and free from cluttered parked cars --
is shown during regular business hours and is one of the reasons this little town remains so peaceful.
Hauling Logs in Young America
Photo taken in town of Young America.  Ross Harris is one of the men.  
The wagon and harness shop is in the background.

Links to: Cass Co. INGenWeb;
Cass Co. Cemetery List;
Cass Co., Deer Creek Twp. Cemetery Locator Map;
Created 04 December 1998 
Updated 3 April 2011

1998-2011 Debra L Beheler

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