Text is from the “Made in the Valley” Exhibit at the Wood Museum of Springfield History
Born in Connecticut in 1863, Wilbur Fenelon Young grew to a young man who had an appreciation for horses, and a curiosity for medicine and pharmacy. At the age of twenty he left home to find employment for a time with several musical instrument manufacturers. With this career he quickly honed his skills as both a salesman, and later as an astute manager. In 1892, Wilbur married Mary Ida Stephanson and they later had two children together, Sadie and Wilbur II.
With his and his wife’s interest in herbal remedies and pharmacology, they soon concocted a mixture which they used for one of their own horses when it became lame. The results were astounding, and soon word traveled quickly about the Young’s miraculous remedy. Absorbine liniment for horses was first produced right in the Young’s own home, but with brisk sales and high demand, the Youngs moved their fledgling business to Springfield. W. F. Young Company was incorporated in 1919 while located at the 75 Temple Street location. It later moved to 111 Lyman Street in the early 1920s, and the company sign above its factory became a landmark in the City.
Fortunate for all athletes and active individuals, the W. F. Young Company soon expanded its line of products beyond the four-legged client, and introduced remedies for people. Its Absorbine Jr. pain remedy, and its medications to treat athletes’ feet are still produced to this day, along with its extensive and award-winning line of veterinarian products. The Company has relocated its offices to East Longmeadow, MA and still enjoys a strong following by humans and horses alike!