History of Young America, Edgar County, Il
From: Encyclopedia of Illinois and the History of Edgar County
Edited by: H. Van Sellar.
Munsell Publishing Company
The Town of Young America, situated in the northwest corner of the county, has an area of 34,500 acres (nearly
54 sections) almost entirely prairie. It was originally treeless, except about 400 acres called Big Hickory Grove,
near the north side of the town, and about half a section on the south side called Culver's Grove. There were large
trees in these groves, indicating that they had long been there to adorn and beautify the vast landscape of prairie.
There is a tract of elevated land extending east and west through Young America, which is perhaps fifty feet higher
than the southern part of the town. Until the construction of a large drain in the southern part of the town, extending
for miles along tue channel (a mere "swag") of the Brushy Fork of the Embarras River, the low prairie
of this region was useless for cultivation, but every acre of these big swales has been redeemed and thousands
of acres now produce the heaviest crops of corn and oats, where formerly water hindered and prevented any growth
except the flags and grasses that grew as well in water as on dry land. There are three railroads running through
the town; the "Clover Leaf," the Indiana, Decatur & Western, and the Danville & Olney (now Illinois
Central) The villages of Hume and Metcalfe are at railway crossings, Hildreth and Jessie on the Danville &
Olney and McCown and Clark's on the Indiana, Decatur & Western furnish markets accessible from every part of
the township. Hume is an enterprising village of 1,000 people, as good as any, with every modern appliance for
comfortable living. There is a safe bank and a complete assortment of good business concerns in successful operation.
The same is true of Metcalfe in a greater degree, perhaps, except that a bank is now being established. The "Clover
Leaf" crossing and outlet here helps the grain trade and delivery at this point very materially. Among the
first settlers of Young America were the McCowns, Pope, Maloy, the Humes, Myers, Bradfleld, Thomas, Games, Green,
the Hildreths, the Gaiways, Metcalf, Julian, Ross, the Kendalls and Jones.