Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Philip Younce

Philip Younce was born in Ashe County, North Carolina in 1775. At 19 years of age, he volunteered in General Anthony Wayne's march against the Indians. His march with General Wayne through the Northwest Territory made him aware of the advantages of a wilderness home there. On his return home and with a determination for an adventurous life in the wilderness, he set forth on that mission. At the age of 38 he was married to Margaret Byrket whose parents were of the Dunker faith.

As was the common practice among the early Dunker families, the younger generation, after marriage, united with the church. Philip was called to the ministry while still in North Carolina, before he set out on his trek to establish his wilderness home.

After a short sojourn in Kentucky he moved northwestward and in 1813 reached Miama County, Ohio where he made his final earthly home. He entered into his ministerial calling with vigor and the early growth of the Brethren Churches in Miami and Darke Counties was chiefly the result of his ministry.

The following story is told by a Brother David Stauffer:

Elder Younce had regular appointments in the neighborhood where the Painter Creek Church now stands. The incessant rains that spring had made the woods very bad and Painter Creek was out of its banks. On the Saturday before Brother Younce's appointment on Sunday, Jacob Stauffer took his son David (then about ten years old) with him and went to the point of the crossing of Painter Creek to warn Brother Younce that the creek was beyond the fording point.

As they approached the creek, they soon discovered Brother Younce coming on his famous horse "Barney," which had carried him safely over hundreds of miles through swamps of mud and water in Ohio. As Brother Philip approached the banks, Brother Stauffer with his strong voice sent the message across Painter Creek, "the creek is past the point of fording."

Brother Younce returned the message, "Barney is a good swimmer," and the seemingly dangerous trip was at once commenced. They had not gone far until Barney had to swim. With his strong limbs Barney made regular strokes and surprisingly he made almost a straight course through the rapid current to where Brother Stauffer and son David were standing. Brother Philip was clad with rubber leggings and by drawing his limbs up closely, he did not get very wet and these were soon dried by their big log fire.

He preached the next day, after which he returned as he came.

Source: Lest We Forget and Tales of Yester-Years, Vol. III, Rolland F. Flory