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Hiram Young

Hiram Young

Photo: Jackson County Historical Society

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  • Hiram Young was born about 1812 in Tennessee. In 1847, Young obtained freedom
    and with his wife moved to Independence, Missouri. Taking advantage of his location
    near the Oregon and Santa Fe trails, he built wagons for western emigrants. By 1860,
    Young was turning out thousands of yokes and between 800 and 900 wagons a year.
    As Civil War tensions mounted along the Kansas-Missouri border, Young and his
    family fled to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1861. He returned to Independence at the
    war’s end to find his business sacked and destroyed. Nevertheless, Young succeeded
    in building a school for African American children in Independence. Trying without
    success to recoup the losses he had suffered during the war, Young died in 1882. This
    purportedly is an image of Young and matches his general physical description. No
    other historic images are known to exist.