Frank Youngs

Mr. and Mrs. Frank Youngs

Frank Youngs' father came from Redwood County, Minnesota, from New York State, when he was nineteen. He was too young to file on a homestead, so he traded his rifle for sixty acres of land and began his farming career.

Frank was born there, at Tracy, Minnesota. His childhood was spent there, and he was educated in the nearby rural schools, helping his father with the farming until he was eighteen years old.

He spent two summers working with a sod breaking outfit. During the winter, he husked corn by hand, and dug tile ditches with a spade.

In 1914, he traveled to Makoti, North Dakota, where he worked for Oscar S. Johnson on his farm until fall, then fired a steam engine for John Braathen during the threshing season. He spent the winter working at Tracy, and came back to Makoti in the spring of 1915, did farm work until harvest, and fired a steamer for Zieman Brothers. That fall, he registered for the drawing on Coal Land, and spent the winter in Tracy.

In the spring of 1916, he came back to Makoti. He was not fortunate enough to win a homestead in the drawing, so he bought an old motorcycle, packed a blanket, rifle, frying pan, and other supplies, and made an excursion over to the Reservation to look up various quarters of land that were open for sale.

He found one to his liking, bought the relinquishment, and filed on N.E. 1/4 of Section 12-149-88, establishing a home there, in Deepwater Township, McLean County, North Dakota.

He borrowed a team and wagon from his brother-in-law, Gus Frye, and hauled lumber from Makoti to build a 10x16-foot shack. By the end of the first day, he only had time to lay the floor, so he slept there that night, spending much of the night shooting at coyotes who were coming around.

He bought all of his household equipment for ten dollars from another bachelor, Bob White, who had proven up his claim from a previous drawing.

The next year, he hired Al Bartletts outfit to break up forty acres of his land, so that he could seed it in flax. When he left his shack to go out and strike out a land to break, he took his mop out and used it for a marker so that he could plow a straight furrow. When he got to the other end of the field to start and plow back, he couldnt see the mop. Someone had taken it. It proved to be a hot dry summer, and he had no flax to harvest.

In the spring of 1917, he walked to Woods Farm House, which was about eight miles, to register for the draft, and was inducted in September. When he left his shack to go into the service, he printed the inscription, Gone To War, on his shack in bold letters, closed the door and left it unlocked. He returned to find everything just as he had left it.

After one year in the United States and eight months in France, he received his discharge in April, 1919. His fiancé, Florence Doble, was teaching school near Tracy. Her school term ended in early June, and they were married on June 24, 1919. Two days later, they left for their homestead.

They spent the winter in Tracy. In March, Frank returned to his homestead on an emigrant car with a team of horses, a new Fordson tractor, and other machinery and household goods. After bring snowbound in Max for a week, he arrived at Makoti, and moved out to the homestead.

Shortly afterwards, he and Sam Franklin, with their Fordsons and wagons, started out to look for a coal mine on the river, twenty-five miles away. They found the mine but it wasn’t running yet, so the owner hired them to mine their own coal. That spring, he hauled the gas in barrels for his Fordson from Makoti, seventeen miles away, with horses and wagon.

In 1920, they built their barn and added another room onto the shack. In later years, they enlarged the house and built other buildings, acquiring stock and more land.

The Youngs had two sons, Burton and Vernon. They retired from farming in 1960 but, when the Golden Jubilee book was published in 1967, they were still living on their farm.