William Wallace Youngson, Sr. (1869 - 1955) MP

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Birthplace: Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Died
Occupation: Methodist Episcopal minister
Managed by: Eldon Clark (C)
Last Updated:

About William Wallace Youngson, Sr.

Source: History of the Columbia River Valley From The Dalles to the Sea, Vol. III, Published 1928, Pages 698 - 704 Author: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company

REV. WILLIAM WALLACE YOUNGSON, D. D. It is not unusual to analyze the qualities that make for success in commerce, in agriculture or in the professions. These on the whole are qualities that differ in considerable measure from those traits which must be the possession of the man who gains eminence in the ministry, exerting a widefelt influence in behalf of all of those agencies which make for the uplift of the individual or building of character. William Wallace Youngson, pastor of the Rose City Park Methodist Episcopal church of Portland, is spoken of wherever he is known — and he has an extremely wide acquaintance — as one of the distinguished divines of the country. He has developed his intellectual powers to a point of notable scholarship and at the same time has reached out in that broadening sympathy, kindliness and helpfulness without which the most learned representative of the ministry finds his labors futile. These statements find their verification in the unfolding of the life record of Dr. Youngson, who was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, December 27, 1869, a son of James B. and Martha Jane (Parker) Youngson. That he was reared in a home where intellectual progress is rated at its true value is indicated in the liberal opportunities which were accorded him. After completing a course in the Central high school of his native city he attended Allegheny College at Meadville, Pennsylvania, having determined to enter the ministry, and he was graduated in 1891, receiving from his alma mater in due course of time the degrees of Bachelor and of Master of Arts and that of Doctor of Divinity. He became a member of Phi Kappa Psi and a Phi Beta Kappa during his collegiate work at Meadville. He then matriculated in Drew Theological Seminary, at Madison, New Jersey, which in 1895 conferred upon him the Bachelor of Divinity degree. The same year he joined the Pittsburgh conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church and each year of his ministry in the east marked a steady growth in those qualities which are so essential to success in the work of the church. His first pastorate was "Redstone circuit" centering at Uniontown, Pennsylvania, and extending from 1895 until 1897. The four succeeding years were passed at a Methodist minister at Vandergrift, Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania. From 1901 until 1904 he filled the 'pulpit of the Crafton church at Pittsburgh; from 1905 until 1908, St. James church, Elizabeth, New Jersey; and from 1908 until 1913 Park Avenue church at East Orange, New Jersey.

    It was on the 20th of October, 1897, that Dr. Youngson was married to 

Miss Ida Honor Farrell, of Portland, Oregon. She was one of the five children of Sylvester and Honor (Miller) Farrell.

Dr. and Mrs. Youngson became parents of a daughter, Honor Farrell, and a son, William Wallace, Jr. It was through his marriage that Dr. Youngson became attached to the Oregon conference. Various acquaintances and friends of his in Portland sought his appointment as pastor upon the organization of the Rose City Park church, where he entered upon his duties April 18, 1913, after being transferred from his eastern connections to Oregon. He occupied the pulpit of that church most acceptably for several years and was then appointed to the superintendency of the Portland district in September, 1916, by Bishop Matt S. Hughes. His labors in that connection through a period of eight years were most effective and constituted a potent element in the continued development of his denominational work in the west. After putting aside his duties in that connection he again became pastor of the Rose City Park church in September, 1924, and greatly promoted its development through the building of a new auditorium at an expenditure of ninety-five thousand dollars. It is difficult to think of the work of this church under the guidance of any other man than Dr. Youngson. He has the full cooperation of his people, their entire confidence and love, and the various departments of the church have been thoroughly organized, while the work has been promoted along the same progressive lines that have made for the rapid upbuilding and development of the west.

    Dr. Youngson is identified with many of the agencies which have made for 

improvement in Portland and this section of the country. He is a trustee of Willamette University, Salem, Oregon; the Northwest Training School, Seattle, Washington and the Oregon Anti-Saloon League. He was chosen a member of the Rotary Club and served as a delegate to its international convention held in Kansas City. He also has membership in the Ad Club and the Progressive Business Men's Club and his sound judgment, activity and broad vision have been vital elements for the promotion of the work of these various organizations. He is now chaplain of the Royal Rosarians and for two years was the efficient chairman of the Floral Parade, acting as a director of the famous Rose Festival which annually draws thousands of visitors to Portland. The Altrurians, an organization of former Rotarians, has chosen Dr. Youngson vice president of its international organization. In Masonry, too, his name is one to conjure with. He has been a charter member of two of the Blue Lodges of the order and served as grand chaplain of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey. The Grand Lodge of Oregon made him its grand orator and he has been grand prelate of the Grand Commandery Knights Templar of Oregon and grand prelate of the Grand Encampment Knights Templar, U. S. A., having occupied that postiion from 1916 until 1920. He is now grand orator of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Oregon and grand chaplain of the Grand Lodge, A. F. & A. M., of this state. The honorary thirty-third degree has been conferred upon him by the southern jurisdiction. He is now grand chaplain of the Supreme Council of the 33rd and last degree, of the Southern Jurisdiction, Scottish Rite Masons, U. S. A. Dr. Youngson is the highest ranking minister in Masonic circles in the world. Thus it is that Dr. Youngson has directed his efforts into fields which advance ethical standards and which contribute in notable measure to material, intellectual and civic progress.

    At the same time Dr. Youngson has been one of the vital forces in the 

steady growth and development of the Methodist Episcopal church in all of its various branches or fields of activity. He became a charter member of Chapter No. 2 of the Epworth League of the Methodist Episcopal church, was president of the McKeesport and Blairsville districts and of the Pittsburgh conference of the Epworth League. He was serving in that capacity when the island of Java was taken over by the young people of the Pittsburgh conference and when J. R. Denyes was sent out as its first missionary, each of the four districts of the conference giving one thousand dollars for the work, with promise to continue the donation annually. As the result of this plan, largely formulated by Dr. Youngson, there is now a staff of more than twenty workers in Java and the society owns large property interests there. In 1898 he was chosen to address the International Epworth League convention at Indianapolis, being the youngest speaker on the program. He has visited Hawaiian and Alaskan missions and for four and one-half months traveled extensively through European countries, thus adding to the liberal culture which has always characterized him. As a member of the board of home missions and church extension his influence has been felt in a constructive way and he did equally effective work as a member of the committee of twenty-five that planned the world service program for Methodism from 1924 to 1934. Dr. Youngson also acted as chairman of the Portland area council for the great Methodist centenary. He is regarded as one of the distinguished orators in his denomination and in 1922 was chosen speaker at the commencement Sunday vesper service on the campus of Allegheny College. He was chairman of the Oregon conference delegation to the general conference of the Methodist Episcopal church held at Des Moines, Iowa, in May, 1920, and was a delegate to the general conference in Springfield, Massachusetts, in May, 1924. He is president of the historical society of the Oregon conference of the Methodist Episcopal church.

    His writings, too, cover a broad field. He has been a frequent 

contributor to the "Shield" of Phi Kappa Psi, to various Masonic publications, has prepared many pamphlets, has written many articles for the daily and religious press, all in addition to his various public addresses and sermons. He was frequently the speaker on public occasions in connection with all the war drives and in behalf of the Salvation Army War Service Fund and labored untiringly for his country and her soldiery during the period of conflict. Dr. Youngson is the author of "The Binnacle of Phi Kappa Psi," which was read in all chapters and alumni associations on the occasion of the diamond jubilee — the seventy-fifth anniversary — of the founding of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. He is widely known in that organization, having been a member of the executive council for the first district in 1891-2 and a member of the "S. C. Society" of Phi Kappa Psi. His gift of oratory, which always clothes deep, earnest and sincere thought, occasioned him to be chosen a speaker at the banquets of the G. A. C of Phi Kappa Psi at Minneapolis, at Springfield, Ohio, and Kansas City, Missouri. He has served as a member of the national committee at the installation of Washington Alpha, Phi Kappa Psi, and was speaker at the banquet, and he was the founder of the Oregon Alpha, Phi Kappa Psi, at the University of Oregon. He was a member of the installing committee and a speaker at the banquet at the constitution of Phi Kappa Psi at the University of Oregon, was the founder of the Oregon Alumni Association of the Phi Kappa Psi, and to his brethren of the fraternity he is ever an inspirational companion, holding to the high ideals of the order and winning the cooperation of his associates. Dr. Youngson had membership in the University Afloat — the world's pioneer educational cruise around the world, made in 1926-27. His son accompanied him on this nine months' world tour. One of his present-day activities has to do with inducing the next session of the Oregon legislature to appropriate the necessary funds to carry out the plans for placing busts of Rev. Jason Lee and Dr. John McLoughlin in the rotunda of the capitol at Washington, D. C., in accordance with the vote of the legislative assembly.

    While Dr. Youngson's lines have fallen in pleasant places, there have 

been, too, the hours of trial, of difficulty, of sorrow, which mark the fate of every individual. On July 31, 1928, he was called upon to part with his loved and devoted companion on life's journey for more than three decades and to lay her to rest in Riverview cemetery by the side of her father and mother in the "Farrell" plot. Dr. Youngson had previously presented to the Rose City Park Methodist Episcopal church a beautiful window dedicated to the "Three Honors" — Mrs. Honor Miller Farrell, his wife's mother; Mrs. Ida Honor Farrell Youngson, his wife; and Honor Farrell Youngson, his daughter. It is a "Rose" window unsurpassed in beauty of design and artistic workmanship by any on the Pacific coast.

    The life record of the Rev. William Wallace Youngson has been one of 

continuous development, growth and progress, bringing him the broad vision of the man who reaches the mountain heights. Those who read between the foregoing lines will glimpse the steady unfolding of a nature that largely marks the attainment of the highest ideals in physical, mental and moral manhood.

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Rev William Wallace Youngson D.D.'s Timeline

1869
December 27, 1869
Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, USA
1897
October 20, 1897
Age 27
Portland, Multnomah, Oregon, USA
1955
1955
Age 85
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Portland, Multnomah, Oregon, USA