The Lost Treasure of Baby Leo Young


Garage sale season is almost upon us. Yes, I partake in the past time of perusing other people’s discardables. There are two things I look for as I am sifting through piles; picture frames and old family photos. Why anyone would get rid of old family photos is beyond me. I am constantly reminding myself that not everyone is interested in their heritage.

I found this baby picture at a garage sale in Yakima, Washington. When I asked why they were selling the old picture and if it was a family treasure, they just shrugged saying, “It wasn’t their family”. Trying not to show my disdain with their answer I bought the baby picture along with a handful of other old photos all for the reasonable price of $0.50. I could go on quite the rant here, however, I will restrain myself. Back to the picture.

The photograph is of baby Leo Young. How do I know this? His name is written on the back. Determined to find out more about baby Leo I started my research process. Other pictures in the bunch proved to have been taken in Washington State. So I took a chance and looked for a birth certificate for a Leo Young. The search results produced a name that seemed likely to be the baby in the photo. Yakima County has a record of a Leon Young born 20 November 1892. He is the son of Willis B. Young and Martha Thorp.


I had to pause for a moment. Not too far north of Yakima is a small town named Thorp. I have driven past Thorp many times. I even have family that lives there. Could there be a connection between Baby Leo’s mother Martha Thorp and the small town? I dug deeper. It turns out that baby Leo is the great grandson of Fielden Mortimer Thorp for whom the town of Thorp is named. The story takes a sad turn for Leo. His mother Martha died at the age of 30 in 1900. Leo was only 8 years old at the time. He was the middle child. His older brother was John Bunton Young and his younger brother was Nelson Young who died at the age of seventeen in 1908.


It is finding small treasures like these that make the small investment it takes to preserve history worthwhile. I challenge my fellow history lovers and family genealogists to get out and make a difference. One picture at a time.

Thank you for reading.

J.R. Lowe

One thought on “The Lost Treasure of Baby Leo Young

  1. Nice research and you make a great point. I have seen too many of these photographs being tossed or sold for a few cents. Sometimes I wish I knew the story on how they got to be so lost and uncared for.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s