“If this sign could only speak, I wonder what it would say,” remarked Lisa Eccles, President and Chief Operating Officer of the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, as members of the Young family, representing YESCO, presented her with a historic First Security Bank sign on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020.
In celebration of their milestone 100th anniversary, as well as the organization’s decades-long business relationship with the Eccles family, members of the Young family reflected on how intertwined the two families have been through the decades.
David Eccles and Thomas Young, Sr.
David Eccles emigrated to Utah from Scotland in 1863, followed by Thomas Young, Sr. in 1910 from England. The two young men settled in Ogden, Utah, pursued totally different industries, and worked tirelessly to grow their parallel businesses.
“We can’t begin to marvel at the industriousness of David Eccles,” Jeff Young, Senior Vice President of YESCO, reflected as he thought of how Thomas Sr. must have felt when he was given the opportunity to make the sign for brothers Marriner and George Eccles to be displayed on the First Security Building in Ogden.
Besides location, the families’ connections were frequent. Thomas Young Sr. even purchased his first home with an $11,000 loan from First Security Bank Corporation with a monthly payment of just $64.
It was with humble beginnings that the Young Electric Sign Company, now commonly known as YESCO made its debut. Thomas Sr. did not have the benefit of education as so many of the 3rd and 4th generation Youngs do now, and founded the company in Ogden after borrowing $300 from his father. He began by offering wall-painted advertisements and coffin plates, but with the advent of the neon tube shortly after, YESCO grew rapidly and was soon manufacturing, installing, and servicing signs across the west.
100th Year Milestone for YESCO
Thomas Young Sr. was a hard-working and talented man who transformed his love of art into a business as he became a Master Sign Writer. Going door to door, Thomas started with hand-painted wall lettering and expanded in gold-leaf window signs, posters, and truck lettering to eclectic signs.
YESCO is now recognized as a leader in the sign industry, having quite literally put Las Vegas on the map with many well-known signs along the famous Vegas Strip.
Lisa Eccles, reflecting on the unique dynamics of family businesses that she understands well herself, congratulated the Young family on their incredible 100-year anniversary. “What a milestone for a family to go into business together, work together, and learn from one another.”
The First Security Bank sign, created by YESCO’s founder, Thomas Young, Sr. in 1928, weighs over 250 pounds and adorned the First Security Bank building at 79 South Main Street in Salt Lake City until the bank merged with Wells Fargo in 2000. It will be a permanent installation at the David Eccles School of Business in the seventh-floor First Security Board Room filled with other historical photos and memorabilia.
“We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for not only a business relationship but a friendship as well,” Lisa Eccles said, expressing her gratitude for the sign and the Eccles’ relationship with the Young family. “From the Eccles clan to the Young clan, we thank you again for saving this sign. It means so much to us and to now have it be a permanent fixture in the First Security Board Room…is just overwhelming. I am so touched by it and know dad (Spencer F. Eccles) will be too.”
The Next 100 Years
Today, the second, third, and fourth generations of the Young family continue to lead YESCO forward.
Ryan Young, fourth-generation Young and 2004 Eccles MBA graduate, expressed his appreciation for the Eccles family and the impact that their work has had not only on the Youngs personally but also within their organization.
Dozens of Young family members and YESCO employees have attended the David Eccles School of Business over the years. Ryan was proud to say “We look forward to many more employees and family members who will walk through these halls.”
You can learn more about YESCO’s rich history on their website.