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George U Young

Org.1897 Santa Fe and Grand Canyon Railroad, PresidentPresident
Phoenix Mayor
Flag of
Aged: 58.9 years
Biographical Note
George U. Young Papers, MSS-83. Arizona State University Libraries: Arizona Collection. 

George U. Young, mining and railroad executive, journalist, and politician, was born to John Alexander and Mary (Wilson) Young in Hamburg, Indiana on February 10, 1867. The Youngs moved to Kansas when George was thirteen, and he began teaching in his home two years later. He also studied law and was admitted to the Kansas bar in 1890. Subsequently, he moved to Arizona and obtained employment with a railroad line. With Rough Rider and lawman William "Bucky" O'Neill, he co-founded the Santa Fe and Grand Canyon Railroad.

Young was active in Arizona politics. He served a term as Secretary of the Territory of Arizona from 1909 to 1912 and was acting Governor during part of that time. He was subsequently an unsuccessful candidate for the governorship of the state. In addition, Young served as Mayor of Phoenix from 1914 to 1916, as Arizona manager of the Robert LaFollette presidential campaign in 1924, and as a Draft Board member during the First World War. Young owned several mining properties in Arizona and participated in their operation through correspondence with their on-site managers. He was also the owner of The Williams News (Arizona) and authored numerous articles about Arizona and a guidebook to the Grand Canyon.George Young married Mary Ellen Smith (1884-1940) in 1900 and the couple had three children: George U., Helen E., and E. Lucille. George U. Young Sr. died in 1926. 

George U. Young Collection, 1903-1917

Sharlot Hall Museum Archives
D.B. 281, f.1-4,
D.B. 276, f. 6


George U. Young was born at Hamburg, Indiana February 10, 1867. His family moved to Kansas when Young was 13 years of age and he soon after began to educate himself and eventually to educate others. He was soon studying law and was admitted to the Kansas bar in 1890. Young came to Arizona in the early 1890s. For three years he was engaged in railroad construction of the Prescott and Arizona Central Railroad (Bullock Line) and later became a fireman and engineer for the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad. Switching roles, Young was elected principal of the school at Williams, Arizona, a position he served for four years. He then acquired ownership of the Williams News and served as its editor for a number of years.

Young entered into a partnership with William "Buckey" O'Neill in the promotion of the Santa Fe and Grand Canyon Railroad located in Williams. O'Neill's death in Cuba during the Spanish-American War in 1898 left the entire responsibility of the western interests in the proposition upon Young, and it was through his efforts that the road was built.

In 1903, Young became interested in mining endeavors. He became the president and General Manger of Young Mine Company, Ltd. and for the Madizelle Mining Company. Young was the proprietor and owner of the Derby Mine and Mammoth or Goldfield Mine for several decades prior to his death.

Young was prominently known as a republican politician. In 1909, Young was appointed Secretary of State for Arizona and filled the position until 1912 and served as Mayor of Phoenix from 1914-1916. George U. Young then retired to his mining business and died of natural causes at the Derby Mine in November of 1926.

Mary Ellen Smith

Aged: 57.6 years
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  1. Book: Arizona Archives Online - ASU Libraries; George U Young Papers 1894-1922;
  2. Marriage Sources:
    Book: George U Young Collection; Sharlot Hall Museum;
  1. Website: Arizona Vital Records;
  2. Marriage Sources:
    Book: George U Young Collection; Sharlot Hall Museum;

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Added10-30-2013 07:37 PM10-30-2013 11:28 AM
Updated2-4-2016 11:26 PM5-11-2016 01:01 AM
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