Thursday, January 21, 2021

Oldest Companies in Utah


Utah has at least 15 businesses over 100 years old and almost all are generational family firms. Congratulations to these enduring companies:

1862    Daynes Music, Midvale 4th generation (retail musical instruments) 

1870    Berg Mortuary, Provo 4th generation (funeral services)

1879    Shooting Star Saloon, Huntsville private (burgers, beer, soda & chips)

1888    Wheeler Mortuary, Springville 4th generation (funeral services)

1889    Alsco, Salt Lake City 4th generation (linen & uniform rental)

1889    Beesley Monument, Provo 4th & 5th generations (stone monuments)

1890    Wheelwright Lumber, Ogden 3rd generation? (lumber & building materials)

1891    Central Bank, Springville 5th generation (banking & financial services)

1894    Startup Candy, Provo 4th generation? (handmade candy)

1905    UWM Men's Shop, Salt Lake City 5th generation (retail menswear)

1906    Lehi Mills, Lehi managed by 3rd generation (flour mill)

1913    Madsen Dry Cleaners, Provo 4th generation (cleaning services)

1916    Industrial Supply, Salt Lake City 3rd generation (equipment distributor)

1919    Woodbury Corp, Salt Lake City 4th generation (real estate services)

1920    YESCO, Salt Lake City 3rd & 4th generations (signs & lighting manufacturer)

Friday, December 4, 2020

Idaho's Oldest Companies


Idaho may only have been a state since 1890, but it has at least 12 companies that have been in continuous, independent operation for 100 years or more. Here's my list - let me know if you have have others to add.

1861:    Haworth Farm, Franklin 6th generation (grain & hay farm)

1865:    Joyce Livestock Company, Owyhee County 5th generation (cattle ranch)

1865:    Owyhee Avanche, Homedale private (newspaper publisher)

1889:    CSHQA, Boise employee-owned (architecture)

1891:     Hecla Mining Company, Coeur d'Alene public (silver & precious metals mining)

1894:    Tracy General Store, Almo private (retail grocers)

1901:    Idaho Candy Company, Boise 2nd generation (Idaho Spuds, Cherry Cocktails, Owyhee Butter Toffee and other candies)

1902:    Buck Knives, Post Falls 4th generation (manufacture & sell knives)

1904:    D.L. Evans Bancorp, Burley 4th & 5th generations (banking)

1907:    The White Horse Saloon, Spirit Lake private (restaurant & hotel)

1911:    Chesbro Music Company, Idaho Falls 4th & 5th generations (retail & wholesale instruments)

1918:    Idaho Steel, Idaho Falls 2nd generation (manufacture food processing equipment)

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Oldest Businesses in South Dakota


Pierre may be the capital of South Dakota, but Sioux Falls has more Century Club Companies. All told, the state has at least 19 businesses 100 years or older and all of them are privately owned. I could use a little more information for some of them and - as always - if you know of a company that has been in continuous, independent operation for 100 years or more (whether in South Dakota or elsewhere) please leave a comment.  

1876    L.G. Everist, Sioux Falls 5th generation (construction products & services)

1878    Boyce Law Firm, Sioux Falls private (legal services)

1880    Fishback Financial Corp, Brookings 4th generation (banking & finance) 1925?

1883    Look's Marketplace, Sioux Falls private (retail groceries)

1885    First National Bank of Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls private (banking & financial services)

1885    Norberg Paints, Sioux Falls 5th generation (retail paints & coatings)

1888    Schoeneman's Building Materials Center, Sioux Falls 4th generation/employee-ownership (lumber & building materials)

1891    Cadwell, Sanford, Deibert & Garry, Sioux Falls private (legal services)

1894    Christopherson, Anderson, Paulson & Fideler, Sioux Falls private (legal services)

1899    Getty Abstract & Title, Sioux Falls private (real estate services)

1902    Bechtold Jewelry, Sioux Falls 4th generation (retail jeweler)

1907    Wegner Auto Company, Pierre 4th generation (retail automotive)

1909    Girton Adams, Sioux Falls 4th generation (heating/HVAC services)

1910    Journey Group Companies, Sioux Falls private (construction)

1915    Gage Brothers Concrete Products, Sioux Falls employee-owned (construction products)

1918    Josten Concrete Products Company, Sioux Falls 3rd generation? (construction products)

1919    George Boom Funeral Home, Sioux Falls employee-owned? (funeral services)

1919    Henry Carlson Construction, Sioux Falls 3rd generation? (construction)

early 1920s    Parker Transfer & Storage, Sioux Falls 3rd generation (moving services)

Learn more about how these companies managed to thrive through the decades in my book Lessons from Century Club Companies: Managing for Long-Term Success available in paperback at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and as an e-book on Amazon

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Oldest Companies in Missouri


Missouri has nearly 50 Century Club Companies, some started back in the mid 1800s with three over 175 years old. Seven of these are publicly-traded, though three of them are still led by generational family members; three are employee-owned and one is a cooperative. Most of Missouri's old companies are based in Kansas City (17), though several are in St. Louis (11) and Springfield (8), as well as a few others. As always, if you know of a Missouri-based company that has been in continuous, independent operation for 100 years or more, please post a comment so I can add them to the list.

1839    Schaeffer Manufacturing, St. Louis 5th & 6th generation (oil & lubricants)

1843    John Baumann Safe Company, St. Louis 5th generation (service, buy & sell safes)

1843    The Uhlmann Company (Standard Milling), Kansas City 3rd generation (flour products)

1850    A.E. Schmidt Billiards, Chesterfield 5th & 6th generation (build & sell pool tables)

1854    Dierbergs Markets, Chesterfield 3rd generation (retail groceries)

1856    McCormick Distilling (Holladay Distillery),Weston private (alcoholic beverages)

1856    Stupp Brothers, St. Louis 6th generation (construction)

1861    Rinehart's News Agency, Kirksville 2nd generation? (retail books, music, antiques)

1865    Commerce Bancshares, Kansas City public & 6th generation (banking & finance)

1865    SGC Foodservice, Springfield 4th generation (wholesale food service)

1869    Graybar, St. Louis employee-owned (wholesale equipment)

1869    Missouri Meerschaum Company, Washington private (corn cob pipes)

1873    Fehlig Brothers Box & Lumber, St. Louis 5th generation (lumber & building materials)

1873    Grant Renne & Sons, Kansas City 4th & 5th generation (construction, foundation repair)

1873    Lathrop Gage, Kansas City private (legal services)

1875    Gallup Map & Art, Kansas City 2nd generation? (printing & publishing)

1878    Kessinger Hunter, Kansas City private (commercial real estate)

1880    Clarkson Construction, Kansas City 6th generation (construction bridges & highways)

1880    Shutte Lumber, Kansas City 2nd generation? (lumber & building materials)

1883    Leggett & Platt, Carthage public (manufacture furniture)

1885    Ollis/Akers/Arney, Springfield 4th generation (insurance agency)

1886    Cullum & Brown, Kansas City private (wholesale industrial equipment distributor)

1886    Tension Envelope, Kansas City 4th generation (manufacture/print paper products)

1890    Emerson Electric, Ferguson public (manufacture electrical equipment)

1890    Stifel Financial, St. Louis public (banking & financial services)

1891    Crown Linen Service, Mexico 5th generation (laundry services)

1893    U.S. Engineering, Kansas City 5th generation (engineering, construction, real estate)

1895    Kansas City Life Insurance, Kansas City public & 4th generation (insurance carrier)

1896    Faultless Healthcare Linen, Kansas City 4th generation (uniforms & linen services)

1897    Rathbone Hardware, Springfield 4th generation (retail hardware)

1898    Alter Trading, St. Louis 5th generation (wholesale recycling)

1898    Burns & McDonnell, Kansas City employee-owned (construction, engineering)

1898    Eaton Funeral Home, Sullivan private (funeral services)

1898    McKelvey Homes, Chesterfield private (construction)

1901    Straub's Fine Grocers, Clayton 3rd & 4th generation (retail groceries)

1903    Neale & Newman, Springfield private (legal services)

1905    Rau Construction, Kansas City 5th generation - started 1870 in Germany (construction)

1906    Springfield Paper, Springfield 4th generation (wholesale paper & cleaning products)

1909    Casper's, Springfield private (restaurant - chili & burgers)

1910    Hallmark, Kansas City 3rd generation & ESOP (printing & publishing)

1912    Independent Stave, Lebanon 4th generation (manufacture metal products)

1913    Crown Candy, St. Louis 3rd generation (soda fountain/cafe)

1913    Guaranty Federal Bancshares, Springfield public (banking & finance)

1913    UMB Financial Corp, Kansas City public & 4th generation (banking & finance)

1914    Harry Cooper Supply, Springfield 4th generation (wholesale plumbing & electrical services)

1915    Western Specialty Contractors, St. Louis 3rd generation (construction - maintenance & restoration)

1918    Baldwin Technology, St. Louis private (manufacture printing equipment)

1919    Farmers Elevator & Exchange, Monroe City co-op (wholesale feed & grain)


1922    Jones Financial Companies, St. Louis employee-owned (financial services)

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Congratulations to New Century Club Members


Congratulations to these 15 companies joining the Century Club this year - what an accomplishment! Twelve of the 15 are privately-owned and eight are generational family firms. Proving you don't need to be in a certain industry to survive, they represent retail, wholesale, manufacturing, utilities, and various services. These companies are located in 12 states, mainly in the mid-west and New England.

It's not quite the end of the year, but I wanted to post this list now so I might hear from companies I may have missed that are celebrating 100 years of independent operation in 2020. Here is my list:

Alpha Bar, Sault Ste. Marie MI 3rd generation

Bemidji Woolen Mills, Bemidji MN 4th generation

Copp Systems, Dayton OH

Darvin Furniture, Orland Park IL 3rd generation

Dawn Foods, Jackson MI 3rd generation

Matthews Feed & Grain, Matthews IN co-op

New Era Cap, Buffalo NY 4th generation

O'Conner, Brooks & Co, Dubuque IA

Ostbye, Minneapolis MN 4th generation

Piemonte Ravioli, New York City NY

PPL, Allentown public

Scholastic, New York City, NY public & 2nd generation

Snap-On-Tools, Kenosha WI public 

Switlik Parachute, Trenton NY 4th generation

Two Rivers Cooperative, Pella IA co-op

Thursday, October 1, 2020



Kansas has at least 21 companies over 100 years old; half are generational family-owned businesses, two are employee-owned and only one is public. Four are funeral homes (one in its 7th generation) and four are financial institutions (including the public firm). As always, if you have corrections to this information or know of a Kansas company that has been in continuous, independent operation for 100 years or more and is not on this list, please leave a comment. (Note: there are several Kansas City businesses over 100 years old, but they are located in Missouri. I'll do Missouri next.)

1855: Davis Funeral Chapel, Leavenworth 7th generation (funeral services)

1856: Exchange Bank & Trust, Atchison private (banking & financial services)

1856: R.C. Perine & Son, Topeka 5th generation (welding services)

1857: McCaffree-Short Title, Leavenworth private (real estate services)

1858: Great Western Manufacturing, Leavenworth 2nd generation? (manufacture sifting machinery)

1868: Byrd Memorial, Atchison private (stone memorial products)

1876: Tillie's Flower Shop, Wichita 3rd generation (retail florist)

1886: Legacy Bank, Colwich 3rd generation (banking)

1887: Jost Funeral Home, Hillsboro private (funeral services)

1892: Anderson Office Supply, Newton 5th generation (retail books, office supplies & miscellanea)

1893: Capitol Federal Financial, Topeka public (banking & financial services)

1893: Newcomer Funeral Services, Topeka 4th generation (funeral services)

1903: A.L. Huber General Contractor, Overland Park 4th generation (construction)

1905: Home Lumber, Ashland employee-owned (lumber & building materials)

1908: Golden Star, Overland Park 3rd generation (manufacture cleaning products)

1908: Massman Construction Company, Overland Park 4th generation (heavy civil and marine construction)

1910: Offerle Co-op Grain & Supply, Offerle co-op (agricultural services)

1915: Black & Veatch, Overland Park employee-owned (architecture, engineering & construction)

1916: Brennan Mathena Funeral Services, Topeka private (funeral services)

1916: Brier Payne Meade Insurance, Topeka 4th generation (insurance agency)

1917: American Bank, Baxter Springs private (banking)

Friday, September 25, 2020

Iowa's Oldest Companies


Iowa has many Century Club companies - probably more than I have identified. Below are the 47 I have in my data base, only two of which are public; 30 are generational family firms. If you know of an Iowa-based business that has been in continuous, independent operation for 100 years or more, please let me know by posting a comment.

1852: Breitbach's Country Dining, Balltown 6th generation (restaurant)

1854: Hands Jewelers, Iowa City 4th generation (retail jeweler)

1854: Saboe Jewelry, West Union 2nd generation (retail jeweler)

1855: Morrison Brothers Company, Dubuque 3rd generation (manufacturing equipment)

1856: AY McDonald Manufacturing, Dubuque 5th generation (manufacturing medal products)

1856: Gilcrest/Jewett Lumber, Waukee private (lumber & building materials)

1856: Hubbell Realty, Des Moines 5th generation (construction & development)

1856: Laufersweiler-Sievers Funeral Home, Fort Dodge 5th generation (funeral services)

1866: Kurtz Hardware, Des Moines 5th generation (wholesale hardware)

1870: Klauer Manufacturing, Dubuque 5th generation (metal building products)

1870: Molo Companies, Dubuque 4th generation (petroleum/HVAC products & services)

1872: Chesterman Company, Sioux City 5th generation (beverage bottler & distribution)

1872: Von Maur, Davenport 4th generation (department store)

1876: Lenz Monuments, Dubuque private (stone memorial products)

1877: Mechanical Air Systems, Mason City private (HVAC/plumbing contractor)

1878: Home Mutual Insurance Association of Carroll County, Manning mutual (insurance carrier)

1883: The Adams Company, Dubuque private (manufacturing metal parts)

1887: Cottingham & Butler, Dubuque 3rd & 4th generations (insurance broker)

1890: EJ Voggenthaler, Dubuque 4th generation (steel building materials)

1890: Engquist Lumber, Harcourt 4th generation (lumber & building materials)

1890: Marshalltown, Marshalltown private (manufacturing tools)

1891: H.L. Munn Lumber, Ames 5th generation (lumber & building materials)

1892: Geisler Brothers Company, Dubuque 5th generation (HVAC services)

1892: Seiffert Building Supplies, Davenport 2nd generation (lumber & building materials)

1893: Abeln Abstract & Title Company, Dubuque 2nd generation (real estate services)

1893: Mulgrew/Perfection Oil, Tamarack Park 4th generation? (petroleum products)

1893: West Bancorp, West Des Moines public (banking & financial services)

1894: Union-Hoeman Press, Dubuque 3rd generation (commercial printing)

1897: Kintzinger Harmon Konrady, Des Moines private (law firm)

1898: FEH Design, Des Moines private (architects)

1903: Conlon Construction, Dubuque 4th generation (construction)

1903: Lisle Corporation, Clarinda 3rd, 4th, 5th & 6th generations (manufacturing tools)

1904: Hartig Drug, Dubuque 4th generation (retail drugstore)

1904: Spahn & Rose Lumber, Dubuque 4th generation (lumber & building materials)

1905: Atlantic Bottling, Clarinda 3rd generation (beverage bottling & distribution)

1905: Farmers Lumber, Rock Valley co-op (lumber & building materials)

1907: Smith Funeral Homes and Cremation Service, Grinnell 5th generation (funeral services)

1909: Bauman's, Mount Vernon private (retail apparel)

1910: Fidelity Bank & Trust, Dyersville private (banking & financial services)

1910: Remsen Farmers Cooperative, Remsen co-op (agricultural services)

1911: Employers Mutual Casualty, Des Moines public (insurance carrier)

1914: American Pop Corn (Jolly Time), Sioux City 4th generation (popcorn & snacks)

1916: Lime Rock Springs/Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Dubuque, Dubuque 4th generation (beverage bottling & distribution)

1917: G&L Clothing, Des Moines private (retail apparel)

1920: O'Conner, Brooks & Co., Dubuque private (CPA/accounting services)

1920: Two Rivers Cooperative, Pella co-op (agricultural services)

1920s: Carter Printing, Des Moines 4th generation? (printing & publishing)

[1925: Pella Corporation, Pella 3rd generation? (building products)]

Learn more about how these companies managed to thrive for a century and more in my book Lessons From Century Club Companies: Managing for Long-Term Success available  in paperback and as an eBook from Amazon and Barnes & Noble