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What It Takes To Reach 125

At the end of its 125th anniversary year, W.F. Young credits honoring tradition while remaining innovative as it looks toward the future


Pictured Above: Wilbur Young with his freight team. An Absorbine booklet from 1897.

Regardless of the industry, it is rare to find companies with histories surpassing a century. It is even rarer to find a company with that longevity that is still owned by the same family.

W.F. Young has that rare achievement. Throughout 2017, the steadfast company has celebrated its 125th anniversary. At the close of its quasquicentennial year, we spoke with the company’s digital media manager Sean Black, who also is a fifth-generation family employee.

First and Foremost: Equine Health

Wilbur Fenelon Young and his wife Mary Ida founded the company in 1892 with the introduction of its first product, Absorbine Veterinary Liniment. That was the same year that Coca-Cola incorporated.

Through his daily work, Wilbur delivered freight using a team of horses. He would see how his horses were sore after long days of hauling freight. As a result, they would be ineffective to work well the following day.

To help the horses, the couple worked on the liniment formula to relieve the soreness as an alternative to the more common practice of blistering. The concern over the horse’s health became a tenet throughout the company’s history. Black says that this remains W.F. Young’s core mission 125 years later. Service to the customer is another guiding principle for the company.

“The other hallmark of our company is that the customer is satisfied and what we provide them is effective,” Black notes. “We put a lot of research…

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