Format: Web Page
Finding aid URL: https://archivesspace.lafayette.edu/repositories/2/resources/17
Benjamin Mettler Youells (1820-1915) was born in Easton, Pennsylvania, son of Robert and Susan Diehl Youells. In 1844, he married Sarah E. Tomer, daughter of Christopher Tomer of Finesville, New Jersey, and together they had nine children, six girls and three boys. Youells is best known for being the owner and proprietor of the Great Museum Barber Shop in downtown Easton. The shop was renowned not only for its barber, but also for its accompanying collection of curiosities. Youells had many interests which included forming the first regularly-performing minstrel band in Easton’s history, and organizing the Phoenix Hose Company, a local fire brigade. In 1850, he ran unsuccessfully as an independent candidate for Congress. Youells survived the explosion of the steamer, Alfred Thomas on the Delware River in the spring of 1860. The effects of his injuries left him bedridden for weeks and lame for the rest of his life. Youells was active in local affairs and was elected assessor for Easton from 1876-1906. The collection includes advertisements for B. M. Youells hair care products and Youells family members’ barber shops; correspondence; ephemera relating to the Phoenix Hose Company, Youell’s minstrel band, and Youell’s benefit concert; assorted broadsides; and an article describing the Great Museum Barber Shop’s collection of curiosities.