1867—1890: Life before Glory
N MARCH 29, 1867, near the hamlet of Gilmore, Ohio, Denton True Young howled his way into the world. His incontestable claim O on the nickname “Cy” lay a quarter of a century in the future, and so in discussing the early years of his life I'll call him “Dent, ” the abbreviated form of his Christian name that quickly sufficed among family and friends. “Denton” was a common first name among his Young ancestors and relatives; at least one Denton Young lived nearby. “True, ” however, was new to the family, a name chosen out of respect for a Civil War officer under whom Dent's father had served. “Denton” and “True” are names that go well together: there is a stoic compactness to the linkage, a hint of a no-nonsense view of life. And before his life was over, Dent would prove the particular aptness of his middle name.
Family lore buttressed by census information allows us to trace Dent's antecedents back three generations. It was shortly after the ratification of the United States Constitution that three Young brothers migrated from Britain to America, settling near Baltimore. One of these three, Denton by name, was Dent's great-grandfather. While in Maryland he met and married Mary McKinzie. The couple had five children, the eldest of whom—born in 1799 and named McKinzie—was Dent's grandfather. When McKinzie was three years old, Denton Young joined the swelling westward movement, settling his family first in western Pennsylvania and then leading them farther west across the Ohio River. A pause in Steubenville allowed the Youngs to secure a land title. They finally put down roots north of Cadiz, in Harrison County, where, like most other settlers streaming into the new state, they took to farming. McKinzie Young grew to adulthood in the hilly country around Cadiz. Like his