At sunrise, May 5, 1935, Charles W. Young and Mable Arvilla Miller were married in an unusual ceremony. They stood atop Hanging Rock, which projects over the Wabash River. Indian lore has it that maidens watched their sweethearts canoeing up the river from this rock—a lovely image. But certainly Mabel’s account of the wedding is equally lovely. She reports that the sun shone on the dewdrops that morning, making them shine like diamonds; the music was a chorus of birds and a jingling of cowbells from a herd of cattle grazing in a nearby pasture.
That wedding marked the beginning of nearly 40 years of life together for Charles and Mabel –40 years of nearly non-stop activity. When the Youngs weren’t devoting their time to other people, they were making their own corner of the world a virtual paradise of trees and flowers and fruit.
Charles was born in LaGrange County on September 20, 1910. He graduated from Shipshewana High School in 1928, attended Goshen College in the early 30’s and received an elementary teacher’s license from Manchester College in 1935. Factors led him, however, to a career in postal service where he was a U.S. mailcarrier for many years. His hobbies included mechanics and caring for the family’s acre lot—a not-so-big task, you might assume? Just listen to Mabel’s description of his work area: “Our acre lot had 20 apple trees, 100 feet of Concord grapes, a truck-patch size of a garden, plus flower beds separated by green-sodded paths… fences of roses… and trimmed hedge rows.” Charles also maintained 30 hives of bees.
Other activities included Sunday School teaching to young people; membership in the New Paris Lions Club, the Fraternal Order of Police, the Masonic Lodge, and many other organizations; a delegate role at Church of the Brethren National and District Conferences; and a counselor for boys at Camp Mack.
Charles died in December, 1973.
Mable was born November 7, 1909, north of Goshen. She graduated from Goshen High School in 1927 and from Manchester College in 1931. She took additional course work at Goshen College, and received her masters in elementary education in 1964 from Indiana University.
As a housewife, Mabel participated in the yard and garden work, freezing and canning most of the family’s food. As a church worker, she taught Sunday School, served as children’s worker director for the 50 Church of the Brethren congregations in Northern Indiana, and was a camp counselor and instructor at Camp Mack. As an elementary teacher, she taught for 21 years (mostly first grade) until her retirement.
Mable now lives at Greencroft in Goshen. She is still busy, doing volunteer work for World Missionary Press and Heifer Project International. She reports that “A most rewarding experience has been that of opening my home to a high school boy who was seeking a Bible-oriented atmosphere in which to grow in understanding God’s will for his life.”
Typically, Mable Young continues in her and her husband’s tradition—to work and to serve.
(written in 1983)