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Ninety-eight-year-old Minneapolis resident Wood Hall Young has been actively involved in the
political sphere. Young met and befriended President Ronald Reagan while he was governor of
California in 1972 and maintained correspondence for more than a decade. Photo courtesy Wood
Hall Young

Originally published: 2013-11-26 00:45:25
Last modified: 2013-11-26 00:45:25

Forever Young

Jamie Shell / (

Wood Hall Young has worn many hats through his almost 99 years. From bus driver to timber worker, from farm hand to soldier, from politician to simply being “Papa,” Young has been a pillar of one of the best-known families in the Minneapolis area since he was born on New Year’s Eve, 1914.

Young was born in Minneapolis to Pinkney and Nell Burleson Young, and was the middle of seven children.

“I was what you’d call the ham in the sandwich,” Young joked about being the middle child during an interview at his home.

In a time with limited electricity and the automobile as more a novelty than everyday necessity, Young began his first job as a five-year old, serving as a water boy for his grandpa who was a road contractor. Young recalled that he earned $1 for each day worked, and made $6.10, a rather hefty sum at the time.

“I guess the men working around that time made about that much money,” Young recalled. 

To read the complete story, please pick up a copy of your hometown newspaper, The Avery Journal-Times, available at almost 100 locations in Newland, Banner Elk, Crossnore, Spruce Pine and Roan Mountain, Tenn. To subscribe to The Avery Journal-Times, please call (828) 733-0401 or click to