Paul Young

Born on February 17, 1900 in Portageville, Missouri, Paul Joseph Young was the son of of Joseph and Emma (Hawkins) Young, one of nine children. Paul’s parents were farm people, and after completing the eighth grade at the Scott School in East Portagville, Paul worked on the family farm. In Missouri he had seen his parents’ farm crops destroyed on more than one occasion when water of the Mississippi River exceeded that grand river’s banks and washed over the countryside. This left a lifelong impression him.
Paul Young and Willa Tyson were married on September 8, 1918, in Portageville. In 1922 they went west, first residing in Riverside where Paul found employment as an apprentice carpenter at a building construction company. In 1926 he left Riverside and moved his family to Colton, where he obtained a position with the Pacific Fruit Express Company. He later became a general construction contractor.
In 1944, Young was elected councilman in the City of Colton and was mayor from 1952 to 1954. In November of 1954 he was appointed by the governor to fill the vacancy on the San Bernardino Board of Supervisors caused by the resignation of Frank H. Mogle. Young, representing the Fourth Supervisorial District, was subsequently elected to that position and twice re-elected, serving over twelve years. He served as chairman of the board from December 1960 to 1962. He was succeeded on the board in December 1966 by Ruben S. Ayala.
As a supervisor, Mr. Young was a strong supporter of the North San Bernardino Flood Control System project. The accomplishment of this huge undertaking required a $3,425,000 bond issue, which was done on September 15, 1956. Mr. Young’s interest in flood control was based on personal experience. In addition to his witnessing the destruction of his parents’ crops as a result of the overflowing of the Mississippi during his younger years, in 1938 he and his own family were victims of the torrential flooding that year which caused extensive damage to their home in Colton, which he had only recently built.
Young has been lauded for other noteworthy accomplishments while he was supervisor, such as his leadership in establishing branch offices for government in the west of the county, his creating and founding the City-Count Coordinating Committee to develop better understanding between city and county governments, his initiation of the Youth Opportunity Project to help to reduce the number of high school drop-outs in the district, his leadership in the creation of the Comprehensive West End General Plan, his leadership in the development of the Prado Regional Park near Chino, the establishment of a countywide rubbish disposal program, the planning of the orderly expansion of the Chino Airport, and numerous other accomplishments for the betterment of his Fourth District and of the County of San Bernardino. At his urging, the board of supervisors instituted the practice of a short prayer at the beginning of each day’s session. This practice has continued to the present time.
As supervisor, Young served on a number of key committees and governmental bodies. He was the chairman of the Local Agency Formation Commission, chairman of the County Retirement Board, a member and director of the executive board of the Southern Regional Association of Supervisors and the Southern California area of the County Supervisors Association of California, a member and chairman of the Southern California Air Pollution Coordinating Committee, chairman of the County Health Services Committee and a member of the Dependency Prevention Commission. He was the director of the Heart Fund Campaign in 1964.
Mr. Young was a member of the Masonic Lodge #306 of Colton, a member of the Elks and the Kiwanis clubs, of the Loyal Star Lodge and of the First Baptist Church of Colton. One of his greatest moments of pride was in arranging the relocation of a church building from San Bernardino to Grand Terrace and literally remodeling the building by himself. This church became the Grandview Baptist Church. His hobby was trying to help others whenever he could. It is said that when he joined the church he vowed to help someone each day of his life and he usually achieved what he set out to do.
Paul Young died on February 2, 1974, at his home in Colton. He was survived by his wife, Willa; three of his four children, Reba (Mrs. Paul T. Brumund) of San Brnardino; Betty Jean (Mrs. Craigmiles) of Colton; and Mavis (Mrs. Jack Baker) of Yucaipa. A son, Duward Young, predeceased him in 1966. Also surviving Mr. Young were three sisters: Lilian Ashford of Claremont, Oklahoma; Lennie Swaim of Riverside; and Ruth Swing of Loma Linda; a brother, Louis, of Riverside; ten grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

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