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Lorenzo Sobieski Young

Question: How old was Lorenzo Sobieski Young when he went with his father in Brigham Young’s Vanguard Company to Utah in 1847?

Answer: Lorenzo Sobieski Young was born on March 9, 1841, at Winchester, Scott, Illinois, to Lorenzo Dow Young and Persis Goodall. Lorenzo’s middle name was taken from John Sobieski, III, King of Poland. He was generally called by this middle name. It is also spelled Sabieski. (John III Sobieski, 1629-1696, was King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1674 until his death, and one of the most notable monarchs of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.)

He was a mere child through the time of the persecution of the Saints in Nauvoo, the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph and his brother Hyrum, and the exodus in winter across the Mississippi River to Winter Quarters.

Lorenzo Sobieski Young was a lad of six when he traveled with his father in Brigham Young’s Vanguard Company arriving in the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847. He was one of the two children in the original party. Sobieski could remember but few incidents of the trek across the uncharted plains. His most vivid experience, according to his recollection, was being jolted off the tailboard of the wagon as it was crossing Little Mountain into Emigration Canyon.

Although he remembered but few of incidents of the historic trip, he was full of reminiscences of the early pioneer days in the Salt Lake Valley. His father built the first house outside of the old fort in Pioneer Square in Salt Lake. He often told of how rations ran short the first winter in the then barren desert and how he searched for roots of the sego lily and other plants which were edible.

His early work in herding cattle on the hills surrounding Salt Lake made such an impression on him that he followed that line of endeavor through life until old age prevented his living in camp wagons and around open fires. As with most of the early pioneer children, he gained but slight education as it was necessary for him to work to aid in gaining a subsistence.

He lived in Salt Lake until he was 21 and then he moved on to Payson, Utah, and later to St. George. In each of these towns he was a pioneer. He married Sarah Amelia Black on July 15, 1872 in Salt Lake City. They were the parents of twelve children.

Mr. Young for a number of years was the honored guest among the pioneers of 1847 at the annual celebration in Salt Lake July 24. His last appearance was in 1922, at the diamond jubilee of his first arrival when he was present at the dedication of the Pioneer Monument.

Lorenzo Sobieski Young resided in Shelley, Idaho, for approximately the last eleven years of his life, moving to this locality to be near the majority of his children who reside near by. He passed away on March, 28, 1924 in Shelley, at the age of 83, and was buried in the Hillcrest Cemetery in Shelley. Sarah lived to be 95 years of age, and died on February 1, 1950 in Shelley.

Source: Excerpts from Obituary of Lorenzo Sobieski Young,; LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, Andrew Jenson, Vol. 4, p. 725;


Lorenzo S. Young – Special to the Tribune

SHELLEY, Idaho, March 28, 1924 – Lorenzo Sobieski Young, [83] years of age, the final survivor of the band of Mormon pioneers which entered the Salt Lake valley July 24, 1847, under the leadership of Brigham Young, died at his home in this city today. Mr. Young was about 6 years of age when the pioneer band arrived in Salt Lake. Mr. Young was born near Nauvoo, Illinois. After his arrival in Salt Lake he resided there until he was 21 years of age, when he removed to Payson and later made his home for some time at St. George. He had been a resident of Shelley about eleven years. His parents were Lorenzo D. and Persis Goodall Young. He is survived by ten children and many grandchildren. (An obituary published in The Salt Lake Tribune, submitted by Kathleen Mitchell Abrams)

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