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Benjamin Franklin Younkin
(1861-1937) and
Cora Etta Swarner
(1869-1937)

 

Cora Etta Swarner was born on Aug. 9, 1869 in Kingwood, Somerset County, PA, the daughter of Henry S. and Barbara Jean (Younkin) Swarner. She migrated to Kansas at a young age with her parents and siblings.

On Feb. 15, 1884, when Cora was only 14 years of age, she married a double cousin, 22-year-old Benjamin Franklin "Frank" Younkin, son of Frederick J. and Delilah (Faidley) Younkin, also of Kingwood. The nuptials were celebrated in Junction City, Geary County, KS. 

 

Double obituary, YFNB, 1937

The couple produced a family of eight children -- Frederick Younkin, Walter Younkin, Henry "Allen" Younkin, Robert Andrew Younkin, Gladys Sohns, Frank Younkin and Hazel Parkhurst. They also raised at least three grandchildren -- Lucille Younkin, Alene Younkin and Frank Sohns.

Even though Cora's parents eventually returned to their native Somerset County, Cora and Frank remained in Kansas for the balance of their long lives. They earned a living as tenant farmers.

The Younkins were in Milford in 1900. In June 1902, Cora traveled back to Pennsylvania to visit with her parents, "whom she had not seen for sometime," reported the Junction City Union. Her father "came here twenty-five years ago and was one of our substantial farmers."

Their marriage was troubled, and in May 1905 Cora sued for divorce, citing "drunkenness." The case was dismissed in court and noted in the Junction City Republic. The couple stayed together for the rest of their lives.

By 1910, the family was in Junction City. At that time, 64-year-old Richard Crum boarded in their household. They are known to have traveled to Kansas City at times to visit with relatives. A local newspaper reported in January 1916 that Frank and "two sons of this city will farm the Rait place. The Rait place has some mighty good bottom land on it, and raises some mighty good crops."

They migrated again during the decade of the 1910s to a farm in Seven Mile, Riley County, KS.

By 1930, the family had returned to Junction City.

Sadly, Franklin and Cora died within 44 hours of each other in Ogden, KS in 1937 -- she on Jan. 27 aged 67 years, five months and 18 days -- and he on Jan. 29, at the age of 75 years, four months and 28 days.

A distant cousin living in Wichita, Grover Cleveland Younkin -- son of Thaddeus A. Younkin -- who was president of the Kansas Younkin Reunion, clipped the obituaries from a local newspaper. Grover then sent them east to Charles Arthur "Charleroi Charley" Younkin of Charleroi, PA, organizer and secretary of the Younkin National Home-coming Reunion, and publisher of the Younkin Family News Bulletin. With the clippings in hand, Charley wrote to reunion president Otto Roosevelt "Pete" Younkin in Masontown, PA: "Just to break the news of the death of two more dear old Younkins who have died quite recently in Kansas. Frank and his wife of Junction City Kan. this being a brother of Wm. L. Younkin of Kingwood Pa. They died the latter part of Jan., both died within 30 hrs. of each other, there being a double funeral, this being sent by cousin Grover of Wichita."

Charley re-published their joint obituary in the Christmas 1937 issue of the family newspaper, the first edition ever published. They are named in the 1938 book Descendants of Barbara Hochstedler and Christian Stutzman, authored by Rev. Harvey Hostetler (Gospel Book Store, Berlin, OH).

 

~ Son Frederick Younkin ~

Son Frederick Younkin (1885- ? ) was born in Aug. 1885 in Kansas.

In 1937, he lived in Wichita.

 

~ Son Walter Younkin ~

Son Walter Younkin (1891- ? ) was born in March 1891 in Kansas.

He married Willana Fincher (Oct. 21, 1894-1917).

The family lived in Kansas City, where Walter was employed with Armour Packing Company.

The two children born to this union were Lucille Younkin and Alene Younkin.

Willana was known as "a truly good woman, faithful to her family and greatly beloved by her associates," said the Junction City Daily Union. "She was a member of the Christian church and when the Billy Sunday meetings opened in Kansas City she and her husband took a great interest and they enjoyed the love of Christ more than ever because of this revival."

Grief cascaded over the family on July 19, 1917 when Walter's wife died in the home of Walter's parents at the age of only 23.

Walter married again October 1922 to Mildred Steppe.

His home in 1937 was in Junction City.

Daughter Lucille Younkin (1911- ? ) was born on Dec. 3, 1911. She was but five years of age when her mother died, and she was raised by her Younkin grandparents.

Daughter Alene Younkin (1917- ? ) was born on May 22, 1917.

 

~ Son Henry "Allen" Younkin ~

Son Henry "Allen" Younkin (1892- ? ) was born in January 1892 in Kansas.

The Junction City Daily Union in 1915 called him "one of the hustling young Junction City men" and reported that he had purchased a restaurant in Wichita. In June 1915, he also had business interests in Blackwell, OK.

He dwelled in 1937 in Wichita.

 

~ Son Robert Andrew Younkin ~

 

Book naming Robert
and Mary Younkin

Son Robert Andrew Younkin (1893- ? ) was born on Aug. 16, 1893 in Milford, KS.

On Jan. 21, 1921, in a ceremony held in Junction City, he was wedded to Mary Caroline "Mayme" Nickelson (March 6, 1903-1954), a native of Minco, OK. Rev. Oliver C. Bronston officiated. Their marriage is noted in the 1938 book Descendants of Barbara Hochstedler and Christian Stutzman, authored by Rev. Harvey Hostetler (Gospel Book Store, Berlin, OH).

The couple produced five  children -- Robert Oren Younkin, Reuben Alvin Younkin, Merilyn Enid Younkin, Floyd Arnold "Jackie" Younkin and Harvey Allen Younkin.

Circa 1920, he made a living as an elevator operator. In 1937, at the death of his father, Robert made a home in Monument, KS. They belonged to the Methodist Church.

Sadness blanketed the family when Mary Caroline died in Wichita at the age of 51 on July 6, 1954. 

Robert died in Monument at the age of 68 on May 18, 1962.

Son Robert Oren Younkin (1921-1995) was born on Sept. 25, 1921. On Nov. 1, 1942, at the age of 21, Robert entered into marriage with Lillian Tholen (Jan. 29, 1920-1981), a native of Walker, KS. The wedding was held in Pueblo, CO. Together, they bore a brood of 10 offspring -- Mary Lynn Younkin, Kathleen Ann Younkin, Robert Stephen Younkin, Timothy Gregory Younkin, Teresa Kay Younkin, Deborah Susan Younkin, Madonna Louise Younkin, Kevin Michael Younkin, Rebecca Ann Younkin and Jennifer Marie Younkin. Lillian died in Wichita at the age of 61 on Nov. 21, 1981. Robert outlived her by 14-plus years. He succumbed to the spectre of death on June 15, 1995 at the age of 73.

  • Granddaughter Mary Lynn Younkin (1943-1985) 
  • Granddaughter Kathleen Ann Younkin (1946- ? ) 
  • Grandson Robert Stephen Younkin (1949- ? ) 
  • Grandson Timothy Gregory Younkin (1951-1981) 
  • Granddaughter Teresa Kay Younkin (1952- ? ) 
  • Granddaughter Deborah Susan Younkin (1953- ? ) 
  • Granddaughter Madonna Louise Younkin (1954- ? ) 
  • Grandson Kevin Michael Younkin (1956- ? ) 
  • Granddaughter Rebecca Ann Younkin (1958- ? ) 
  • Granddaughter Jennifer Marie Younkin (1960- ? ) 

Son Ruben Alvin Younkin (1925-1951) was born on April 2, 1925. He was married to Alma Jane Kepler ( ? - ? ), daughter of Jack and Alice Kepler. They became the parents of two -- Thomas Alvin Younkin and (?). Ruben served in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II and attained the rank of corporal in the Bomber Group. In about 1950, the Younkins moved to a hardscrabble farm in the town of Pavillion, WY. Tragedy struck on July 18, 1951. At the age of 26, while swimming in the Wyoming Canal, Ruben drowned. The remains were returned to his home state for interment in Oakley (KS) Cemetery. As published in the Casper (WY) Star-Tribune and Billings (MT) Gazette , the Associated Press reported the community's extraordinary response. 

Pavillion is going all out to help a neighboring homesteader's family which has struck it hard. Residents of this town of 175 persons and ranchers have contributed $265 to help the Ruben Younkin family... His death left the family in distress. Not only lacking money, Mrs. Younkin was left with a farm on which a lot of work had to be done if she were to make a living for herself and children ages 2 and 4. Fifty other homesteaders in the area have joined forces to plant and harvest the Younkin crops this fall. A dance to be held in Legion hall is expected to raise another $100 for the family. 

After about two years of grieving, the widowed Alma wed again in 1953 to (?) Judson. They frequently moved to Wheatland; Fort Ord, CA; Fairbanks, AK; and Casper, WY.

  • Grandson Thomas Alvin Younkin (1948-2013) was born on April 15, 1948 in Colby, KS. He was three years of age at his father's death. When his mother remarried, Thomas took on the stepfather's surname of "Judson." Thomas was a 1966 graduate of Pavillion High School. After attending Arizona State University, he received a degree from the University of Wyoming. Thomas was joined in wedlock with Nancy. They produced a daughter, Joanne Judson. Said the Casper Star-Tribune, "He taught briefly in Green River, but after working for the Gertch-Baker Architecture firm in Laramie, Tom fell in love with building and would return to UW to take classes in design and architectural engineering. For the last thirty five years of his life, Tom was a member of the Wyoming State Board of Architects, and worked for various firms across the state of Wyoming and well as in his own firm in Riverton. The buildings, bridges, and private homes Tom designed are too numerous to list here, but there are few communities in Wyoming wherein he did not design something." In his free time, he liked to read, watch old movies, tell stories and attend meetings of the High Noon Toastmasters. Thomas died at the age of 64 in Cheyenne Regional Medical Center on April 8, 2013. He was pictured in his Casper Star-Tribune obituary.

Daughter Merilyn Enid Younkin (1929- ? was born on Sept. 8, 1929. She married Jack Lee ( ? - ? ). In the mid-1960s, they made their dwelling-place in Monument, KS.

Son Floyd Arnold "Jackie" Younkin (1931-2001) was born on Oct. 31, 1931 in Monument, KS. He wed Lyla Maye Sidles (Aug. 2, 1935-2017). Their pair of children were Randall Alan Younkin and Tamera Lynn "Tami" Poore. they were longtime farmers and ranchers in Oakley, Thomas County, KS. Lyle was employed for six decades in the insurance industry. Floyd died at the age of 70 on Nov. 1, 2001. His funeral rites were held in the Oakley United Methodist Church with burial in the Oakley Cemetery. The family asked that any memorial gifts be made to the Oakley Fire Department, Monument School Alumni or Oakley United Methodist Church. Lyla outlived him by 16 years. The angel of death cleaved her away in 2017.

Son Harvey Allen Younkin (1944-1965) was born on June 27, 1944 in Colby, KS. He was a graduate of Monument (KS) High School and then attended Fort Hays State College. He was married to Wanda ( ? - ? ). The couple shared a home in the Midwest Trailer Court in Hays in 1965 as he was beginning his senior year of college. Grief cascaded overe the family when he suffered a heart attack and died in his sleep at the age of 21 on Sept. 26, 1965. Unable to rouse him, Wanda called the county sheriff's office. Funeral rites were performed by Rev. Harry T. Barnett in the First Methodist Church of Oakley. The remains were lowered under the sod of Oakley Cemetery. Among those known to have attended the services were Mrs. U.G. Tholen, Luverna Tholen, Lucille Tholen and Mrs. Harvey Truan of Walker, KS.

 

~ Daughter Gladys (Younkin) Sohns ~

Daughter Gladys Younkin (1895- ? ) was born in January 1895 in Kansas.

In 1911, when she was age 16, she married Archie Sohns ( ? - ? )

Two known sons were born to this union, Frank Sohns and Lester Sohns.

After 11 years of marriage, Archie filed for divorce in January 1922, alleging cruelty and gross neglect of duty.

In 1923, Gladys made her residence in Denver. That year, in September, changes were made in her divorce decree over aliminy and permanent custody of the children.

She wedded again by 1937 to Milo Argubright ( ? - ? ) of Newton, KS.

Circa 1946, she may have been married to Will Riley of Kingman, AZ?

Son Frank Sohns (1913- ? ) was born in 1913 in Kansas.

Son Lester Sohns ( ? - ? )

 

~ Son Benjamin Franklin "Frank" Younkin Jr. ~

Son Benjamin Franklin "Frank" Younkin (1897- ? ) was born in March 1897 in Kansas.

Frank entered into marriage with Sarah A. Moyer ( ? - ? ).

The couple's two children were Donald Eugene Younkin and Shirley Joan Younkin. 

Circa 1937, the family resided in Ogden, KS and provided care for his aging parents.

Son Donald Eugene Younkin (1929-2024) was born on Sept. 19, 1929 in Manhattan, KS. Four days after Christmas 1950, he was joined in wedlock with Kathryn Rose Brenner (Nov. 13, 1931- ? ), daughter of Albert F. and Rose R. Brenner. The nuptials were held in Junction City, KS. The pair produced two sons -- Terry Donald Younkin and James M. Younkin. Donald is known to have served in the U.S. Army. Upon his return home he became employed as manager of a local hardware store. The couple remained in the town for good, over the ebbs and flows of the extraordinary 73 years of their lives together. Said an obituary, "They spent time traveling, sharing time with their family, spending time outdoors and often walking the local mall. Don thought the world of Kathryn and cared for her up until the day of his passing." Sadly, he died on Feb. 22, 2024. Interment was in the local Sunset Cemetery. An obituary was published in the Mercury.

  • Grandson Terry Donald Younkin (1953- ? ) was born in 1953 in Manhattan, KS. When he was 26 years of age, on Feb. 2, 1980, he first wed Barbara G. Akin ( ? - ? ). The wedding ceremony was conducted in Los Angeles. Later, he was united in matrimony with Belle and settled in Spring, TX.
  • Grandson James M. Younkin (1957- ? ) was born in 1957 in Manhattan, KS. He has been wed twice. His first wife was Christine ( ? - ? ). In time, he married Glenda. They put down roots in Manhattan, KS. 

Daughter Shirley Joan Younkin ( ? - ? ) was born on (?). She tied the marital cord with (?) Shreve ( ? - ? ). She made her residence in Dallas in 2024.

 

~ Daughter Hazel M. (Younkin) Parkhurst~

Daughter Hazel Younkin (1900- ? ) was born in January 1900 in Milford, KS.

She is believed to have wedded J.G. Hodges ( ? - ? ) and to have dwelled in Wichita in 1923.

By 1946, she had married C.F. Parkhurst and was living in San Diego. They may have been the parents of Lucille Parkhurst and Kenneth Parkhurst.

 

 

Copyright 2013, 2016-2017, 2020 Mark A. Miner

Research for this page graciously shared by the late Olive (Rowan) Duff and the late Donna (Younkin) Logan