Thursday, January 25, 2018
Century Club congratulations go out to 11 companies founded in 1868 and celebrating 150 years in business this year. All are privately-owned, and six are generational family businesses. Six are services companies (two banking; one insurance; one funeral home; one plumbing, heating & A/C; and one photography). Three are retail businesses (a bakery, a paint store, and a lumber yard); and two are manufacturers (one of building products and one food products). 150 years of continuous operation is an amazing feat - please join me to celebrating the following companies:
Bachrach Photography, New York City, NY (and other locations). Their founder took the only photo of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and has photographed every U.S. head of state since. 4th generation.
Benjamin Obdyke Inc. Horsham, PA (Philadelphia suburb). A leading supplier of building moisture management products, ridge vents, and rain screens.
Budeke's Paints & Decorating, Baltimore, MD. One of the oldest independent paint retailers in the U.S. now run by 5th generation family.
Citizen's National Bank of Texas, Waxahachie, TX (and 8 other Texas locations). CNB claims to be the third oldest independent bank in Texas. Now run by 4th generation of the Singleton family.
Frankenmuth Insurance, Frankenmuth, MI Business, home, auto, life - Frankenmuth Insurance provides them all through a network of local independent insurance agents. They say insurance should be boring - forgettable and drama free!
Gordon Lumber, Fremont, OH. Lumber and building materials for contractors and retail customers.
Gorham Savings Bank, Gorham, ME. Commitment to community (one of the 5 key longevity factors exhibited by Century Club companies) is deeply ingrained in this locally owned and operated bank. Their motto: "It's not how big your bank is. It's how much your bank believes in you."
McIlhenny Company, Avery Island, LA. You know them for their Tabasco sauce (longevity factor #2 is having a unique core strength - literally a secret sauce for the McIlhenny's), they are now run by 6th generation family.
Naegelin's Bakery, New Braunfels, TX. Claims to be the oldest continuously operating bakery in Texas, it is now run by 2nd generation Granzin family, who took over from the 3rd generation Naegelins in the 1980s. They they kept the Naegelins' recipes (their secret sauce) and are especially proud of their famous apple strudel.
Proctor Funeral Home, Camden, AR. They don't say much about themselves, but the reviews talk about the "helpful and caring people, especially in a difficult time" and describe it as the best funeral home in the area.
Sieb Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, Monroe, MI. Claiming to be the oldest family-owned plumbing and heating company in the United States, this 5th generation business does residential and commercial projects.
Congratulations to all nine companies - and best wishes for at least another 50 years to celebrate 200 years!
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
The year is 1843. John Tyler was President of the United States (the Vice President post was vacant). Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart" is published. The first major wagon train headed for the American Northwest set out in May from Missouri with over 1,000 pioneers. And the John Baumann Safe Company was established in St. Louis. Now in its 5th generation of family ownership and still providing residential, commercial, and automotive locksmith needs in addition to safes and security systems. In line with many other Century Club Companies, they say it is their "personal service, experience, and long-term relationships" that have enabled them to succeed for 175 years.
Another company that began in 1843 and has lasted to celebrate their 175 anniversary in 2018 is Frederick Mutual Insurance Company of Maryland. Before there were insurance companies, communities realized that neighbors needed to band together to protect each other from fire loss. This "mutual" concern and cooperation was the driving force behind the establishment of companies such as Frederick Mutual. By sharing in the protection risk, generations of individuals and businesses are able to insure their homes and businesses. Owned by the policy holders, this unique form of business has enabled Frederick Mutual's survival over the long term. As they state on their website: "Since 1843 the founding principle of our company has been Peace of Mind. We are still here for the benefit of the public and are owned by our policyholders."
Tuesday, January 2, 2018
200 Years: Eaton Funeral Homes, Needham, MA - 6th generation funeral home founded 1818
205 Years: Cooper, Erving and Savage (law firm), Albany, NY - founded by a son of James Fenimore Cooper in 1813
220 Years: Alan McIlvain (Pennsylvania) and J. Gibson McIlvain (Maryland) - 7th generation lumber companies founded by Hugh McIlvain in 1798