Overton Stephen Young, planter and Confederate army officer, was born on September 26, 1826, in Lawrenceville, Georgia, the son of Isaac N and Mary (Austin) Young. He attended Amherst College in Massachusetts from 1847–49, but did not graduate. Instead, he returned to Georgia to study law. He moved to Texas in 1851 and began practicing law in Fort Bend County. He married Ann Elizabeth (Compton) Manadue, widow of Warren Henry Manadue, on May 13, 1852, in Brazoria County. She had a son and a daughter by her previous marriage, and had four sons with Young. After his marriage Overton Young changed his occupation from practicing law to planting, and by 1860 he was a wealthy planter in Brazoria County.
On December 12, 1861, he was commissioned as colonel of the Twelfth Texas Infantry. Ordered with other Texas infantry regiments to Camp Nelson, Arkansas, Young's men were brigaded with Col. William B. Ochiltree's Eighteenth and Col. Richard B. Hubbard's Twenty-second Texas Infantry regiments, Col. John H. Burnett's Thirteenth Texas Cavalry (dismounted), and Capt. Horace Haldeman's artillery battery to form the First Brigade. Young was appointed brigade commander and was superseded in command of the regiment by Lt. Col. Benjamin A. Philpott. The First Brigade was combined with the Second Brigade of Col. Horace Randal and the Third Brigade of Col. George M. Flournoy, in whose Galveston offices Young's eldest son, Lee, had studied law, to form the Texas Division. A fourth brigade, under Col. James Deshler, was detached to Arkansas Post soon after its organization. The division was officially known as McCulloch's Division or the First Division, Second Corps, Army of the Trans-Mississippi Department, until Maj. Gen. John G. Walker assumed command on January 1, 1863. It then took the name of Walker's Texas Division and was so known until the end of the war. Brig. Gen. James M. Hawes, who had commanded a brigade of cavalry under Gen. Thomas C. Hindman and had taken part in cavalry raids throughout Arkansas, succeeded Young as commander of the First Brigade in April 1863 at Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and Young reverted to the command of his former regiment. In that capacity he participated with great distinction in the battles of the Red River campaign and the battle of Jenkins' Ferry, where he was severely wounded in the wrist. In his official report Gen. Thomas N. Waul, Young's commanding officer at Jenkins' Ferry, took pains to "especially commend" his behavior on that field. "As at Mansfield and Pleasant Hill, he behaved courageously and cooly, managing his regiment with great skill and exhibiting much fitness for command." Young's wound, wrote Waul, would deprive his brigade of one of its finest officers if it prevented him from returning to the army, and Waul earnestly recommended him for promotion. Young was still listed as commander of the Twelfth Infantry in December 1864. He was paroled in Houston on June 28, 1865, as colonel.
Following the war, Young resumed his life as a Brazoria County planter. He died on September 18, 1877, in Galveston, and is buried in Galveston’s Old Catholic Cemetery.