Louis A Young 1887 – 1952
When he was 14 years old in 1902 Louis lost both his hands in a chemical explosion in Newark, NJ where he lived. One arm gone above the elbow, the other several inches above the wrist. A devastating accident but did it stop Louis from living a full and productive life… absolutely not.
He dressed himself, played baseball, boxed, he shoveled snow and coal for exercise. He was an avid fisherman who could rig his own line and reel in his fish without any help. He also supported a wife and family and his father. He could use artificial appliances but did not advocate them which he believed to be too heavy and rendered muscles insensitive. Instead he used a simple leather strap, between the strap and his arm he placed the object he intended to use, such as a knife or fork and by tensing his muscles he could hold it firmly.
By vocation he was a news dealer in New York City.
His newsstand at Union Square.
He was a volunteer instructor at The Institute for Crippled Men in NY and for the U.S. government in its rehabilitation work among soldiers.
He was an amazing man and although he was my great-uncle I never knew about him until recently. He was one of my paternal grandmother Josephine’s brothers, but she never talked about her family… that generation seems to have been very closed mouthed about a lot of things unfortunately.
But… along comes Ancestry and all kinds of information becomes available. I want to take a moment here to thank Ancestry and our new found cousins for the opportunity to not only know about this particular uncle but in gifting us with new family members 🙂
Back to our story. My daughter Deb got notification from Ancestry about a possible match. The match is Louis’s grandson, Bob Jr whose father, Bob Sr is Louis’s son. Bob Sr was turning 89 in July and would we be interested in meeting the family and celebrating Bob Sr’s birthday with them???????? Um… yes, very much so.
On a beautiful Sunday afternoon in July off we went to Long Island to meet the family and what a wonderful day it was.
So not only have we found out about our incredible relative, Louis Young, but we have also met the nicest people you could imagine…and… they’re family… how terrific is that.
It is great to connect with new found relatives and to find out about ancestors, but also, in my opinion, is finding out the stories about them. With Louis Young it’s an awesome story about fortitude, bravery, perseverance and optimism and I’m glad and proud to know his story and pass it on. 🙂