Robert Young was born in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina in 1849, in a place called Mars Hill. Along with the many Irish who immigrated to America during the 1800s, Young went to work on the railroads that linked America into one nation.

After working for a time in the Southwest, Young and his family came to the Northwest with the railroads. He eventually found a job as a conductor on the Interurban Line of the Walla Walla Valley Traction Company, an electric railroad that connected Walla Walla with Milton and Freewater, where Robert Young's son-in-law planted his orchards after returning from the Spanish American War.

Robert Young is portrayed by his great-grandson, David Higgins.