Hiram Star Young

by Jeremy Turner

Hiram Star Young was born around 1847 in Wyandotte County, Kansas, on the new Wyandot Reservation that had been purchased from the Delaware Indians in 1843.  Hiram’s Wyandot nickname was Tishyoo` which means Morning Star, hence his middle name of Star.  He was a member of the Wolf Clan and his clan name was Haro`nu which means “Where the sky meets the water.”  This name had been the clan name of the Cherokee Boy, a Cherokee who had been captured and adopted by the Wyandots as a young boy in Ohio in the late 1700s.   Since clan names are usually handed down in the family, it is quite possible that Star was a relative of the Cherokee Boy.

Star Young’s father was Jacob Young, who was born in Upper Sandusky, Ohio, around 1810.  Jacob was the son of white man that had been taken captive by the Indians and had married a Wyandot woman.  Jacob had become an Indian trader.  It is not known who Star’s mother was, as her name was not listed on any of the early rolls.  Jacob and his wife came to Kansas with the rest of the Wyandots in 1843.  Star’s mother died sometime before 1855 and his father, Jacob, died between 1855 and 1867.  Jacob is buried in the Huron Cemetery in Kansas City, Kansas.

Star had two brothers, Peter and Adam, and one sister, Eliza.  After his father’s death, Star and his brother Adam were raised by their uncle, John Solomon.   Big John, as he was known, was a member of the Deer clan.  His Clan name was Taharo`nute` which means “He sticks out of the sky.”   Star told Dr. Barbeau that he had gained much of his traditional Wyandot knowledge from his uncle, Big John.

In 1863 Star enlisted in the 15th Regiment of the Kansas Cavalry which was composed of seventy-three men from Wyandotte County, KS.  The 15th Cavalry was a part of the Indian Homeguard that fought for the Union in the Civil War.   He fought along side other Wyandots including John Coon, Zachariah Longhouse, William Driver and Thomas Punch.  They were involved in hard fighting during the Battle of the Blue, but only three men of the regiment were fatally wounded.  These were John Connelly, John Longbone and Joseph Shorter.  Men who died of disease were William Driver, Henry Gibson, James Logan and John Martin.  Star mustered out of the Cavalry in 1865.

Sometime around 1867 Star married Caroline Catherine Nichols.  Caroline was the daughter of Smith Nichols, another of Dr. Barbeau’s informants.   In 1870, they gave birth to a son named Henry.  Star and Caroline then moved to Wyandotte, Oklahoma, with others of the tribe.  After moving they gave birth to two daughters, Louisa in 1871 and Elizabeth in 1873.   Caroline passed away sometime between 1873 and 1885.  Star was a widower until 1893 when he married Mary Crow, a Seneca-Cayuga.   They never had any children together.

Star Young contributed two stories to Dr. Barbeau’s work in 1911 and 1912.   They were “The Seven Stars” and “The Wolf and The Young Hunter.”  Star passed away in an automobile accident in August of 1935 near Wyandotte, Oklahoma.   He was around 88 years old.

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