Land of Opportunity: Great-Great-Grandfather Immigrated From Germany

After he immigrated, grandfather traded flat Iowa farmland for hill country with a spring.

Content Tools

Timon Young, my great-great-grandfather, who was said to have been a driver for the Kaiser of Germany, immigrated to America’s land of opportunity from Germany at the age of 27 in 1851. He lived in New York until 1855, when he married Eva Kolb, a native Bavarian. After they were married they traveled by train to Chariton, Iowa. The hack driver wanted $8 to take them to Garden Grove, Iowa, a distance of about 20 miles. They had only $5, so they decided to save their money and walk the distance in one day, carrying their few possessions over their shoulders in a red pocket handkerchief. After arriving in Garden Grove, Timon was able to borrow enough money to purchase a small home; with subsequent purchases he kept adding land until he owned a fine farm. It is said by family that the original homestead was good flat Iowa farmland near Garden Grove, but Timon, wanting more water, traded it for a hill farm with a spring.

Ann Wyer
Corydon, Iowa


Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then CAPPER’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from CAPPER’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.