The son of George Samuel Youmans, Grant Samuel Youmans was born in Wisconsin in 1876. His parents died when he was only four years of age. After being cared for by several different neighbors, Youmans finally began attending school at the age of 16. After serving in the Spanish-American War, Grant and Christine Youmans were married in 1898. The family moved to North Dakota in 1899, where Grant worked for a time as a bank clerk at the First National Bank in Minnewaukan. Shortly thereafter, he opened a mortgage business in Esmond.
He moved to Minot in 1906, where he established the Savings Deposit Bank. He lost control of the bank in 1913, following a political skirmish with S.G. Severtson, the State Bank Examiner. Youmans was successful in re-opening the bank by 1916, when he was approached by A.C. Townley, President of the Nonpartisan League. According to Youmans, Townley offered to intercede on behalf of Youmans’ court case versus Severtson and North Dakota Governor Louis Hanna. In exchange for a favorable verdict, Youmans claimed that Townley sought one-third of a potential $150,000 award. Youmans rejected the deal, and further claimed that Townley promised to make Youmans “the damndest liar in the State of North Dakota” if the deal were made public.
By 1930, Youmans had moved to Minneapolis. He became an avid genealogist, and published The Yeamans-Yeomans-Youmans Genealogy in 1946. Grant Youmans died on November 11, 1959, in Minneapolis.
Sources: Justice Held for Ransom (1919) and The Yeamans-Yeomans-Youmans Genealogy (1946)
The Grant S. Youmans Papers consist of various publications written by Youmans.
The first, Legalized Bank Robbery, was published in 1914 concerns the trouble he had with his Minot banking business due to his support for Socialist causes.
The second, Justice Held for Ransom, was written in 1919 and is an outgrowth of his attempts to obtain justice for what he perceived as the crimes against him. This book discusses his experiences with S.G. Severtson, as well as A.C. Townley. Both titles are important works for an understanding of the flux and nature of radicalism in North Dakota.
The third is a full page newspaper ad taken out by Youmans in the Minot Daily News on August 3, 1918. In this ad, Youmans discusses the same themes he espoused in these two books.
The fourth is a 1919 pamphlet photocopied from the holdings of the Minnesota Historical Society. The pamphlet is entitled Townley and Youmans: the farmers want to know the truth about this Townley-Youmans incident. The farmers would like to know who is the crook! Dare you tell them Mr. Townley? The pamphlet regards the controversy surrounding the alleged bribe offered by Townley to Youmans.
The fifth is a photocopy of Youmans’ published family history, The Yeamans-Yeomans- Youmans Genealogy. The book was originally published in 1946.