Monday, September 10, 2012

Another Piece Of Meridian History

E. F. Young, Jr. Hotel opened in 1946, with a barber shop, shoe shine parlor and beauty shop
at 500 25th Ave. (corner of 5th Street) Meridian, MS

The founding father of the company, Eugene Fred Young, Jr. was born about the turn of the 20th century in Russell, Mississippi. His father, Reverend E. F. Young, Sr., a minister and farmer, laid a firm foundation of honesty, integrity, and industriousness for his son to grow up under. E. F. Young, Jr. seemed like a normal, quiet, average boy, but little did anyone realize that this young man would become the entrepreneur of one of this country's finest black owned manufacturing companies.

In 1927, E. F. Young, Jr. finished school from Haven Teacher's College. It was there that he received an extensive background in Business and Chemistry. Being black and with very little work experience, he found it extremely difficult to secure a job or start a business. While in school, however, he started to work part-time in a barber shop and as a cab driver. He later decided to pursue a fulltime career as a barber. E. F. Young, Jr. married Miss Velma E. Beal in 1927.

In 1931, after having had worked in the barber shop for four (4) years, he purchased it from the owner. He noticed while working in the shop that there was a need in the marketplace for a maintenance line of products for Black hair. E.F, Jr. began to formulate and manufacture samples at night in the privacy of his kitchen. During the day he used and sold his preparations to customers in the barber shop. The demand for his products became so great that he was forced to go into the manufacturing business.

In 1933, E. F. Young, Jr. Manufacturing Company received its official trademark from the U.S. Patent Office in Washington, D.C. By this time, however, thousands of satisfied customers were spreading the word about the new revelation. The company grew and prospered and by 1945, E. F. Young, Jr. products were household items to hundreds of thousands of people. The demand for the product line was so great that E.F. Young, Jr. opened a second manufacturing location in Chicago, IL.

In 1950 tragedy struck, E. F. Young, Jr. died after a long terminal illness. It was at this time that his wife, Velma Young, had to assume to responsibility of the business because her oldest son, Charles, Sr. was only 19 years old and still in school at Tennessee State University.

1 comment:

Martha Markline Hopkins said...

I grew up in Meridian, but never knew all this about Mr. Young. Thanks for posting.