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 (16), 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)

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: 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: Russell Abstract & Title, Adel 5th generation

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

1876: Decorah Greenhouses, Decorah private (retail florist)

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

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

How Rare Is It For A Company To Reach 100 Years?

I asked this question on my blog several years ago and decided it was time to update the answer now that I have done more research. Since that post, several companies founded after 1915 have joined the Century Club and, as one might expect, a few others have fallen away. As of 2020 I have identified at least 1200 businesses that have been in continuous, independent operation for 100 years or more. Though that is double the number in my original post on this topic, it is still just 0.02% of all companies in operation in the U.S. Less than 15% of Century Club members are public companies and of those privately-held, over 60% are generational family firms. The companies that make it to their 100th anniversary have found a way to prosper through world wars, economic depression and recessions, environmental disasters, changes in government regulations, globalization, quantum leaps in technology, and major shifts in social and cultural values. Decisions made long ago about company values and culture, investments, and relationships are what will help enable them through the crisis of 2020. Survival, not short-term profits or growth, may be the ultimate performance measure. 

Thursday, September 3, 2020



Indiana is the next mid-west state to highlight Century Club Companies and they have at least 24: five of them are public and 14 are generational family firms (61%). If you know of an Indiana company that has been in continuous, independent operation for 100 years or more and is not on this list, please post a comment!

1851: Smith & Sons Funeral Homes, Columbia City 5th generation (funeral services)

1863: 1st Source, South Bend public (banking & financial services)

1872: Lakeland Financial, Warsaw public (banking & financial services)

1873: Horizon Bancorp, Michigan City public (banking & financial services)

1876: Eli Lilly, Indianapolis public (pharmaceuticals)

1885: Clay City Pottery, Clay City 5th & 6th generations (stoneware)

1885: Steinkamp Home Center, Huntingburg 4th generation? (lumber & building materials)

1891: First Bank of Berne, Berne private (banking)

1891: Kokomo Opalescent Glass, Kokomo 4th generation (glass products)

1901: Perfection Bakeries (Aunt Millie's), Fort Wayne 3rd generation (bakery products)

1902: Centra Supply Company, Indianapolis (wholesale plumbing, electrical, HVAC & tool supplies)

1905: Leon Tailoring, Indianapolis 3rd generation

1910: Urschel Laboratories, Chesterton 4th generation/ESOP (manufacture food processing machinery)

1913: E.F. Marburger Fine Flooring, Fishers 4th generation (retail building materials)

1913: Flinn & Maguire Funeral Home, Franklin 3rd generation (funeral services)

1913: Maco Press, Carmel 2nd generation (printing & publishing)

1913: Taylor's Bakery, Indianapolis 4th generation (retail bakery)

1914: Coney Island, Fort Wayne 3rd generation (restaurant)

1916: Ottenweller, Fort Wayne 4th generation (metal fabrication)

1917: Goudy Brothers Boiler, Kokomo 5th generation (maintenance & repair services)

1917: Ziker Cleaners, Mishawaka 4th generation (cleaning services)

1918: Lima Elevator, Howe co-op (agricultural services)

1919: Cummins, Columbus public (manufacture machinery)

1919: D-A Lubricant, Lebanon private (manufacture engineered products)

1920: Matthews Feed & Grain, Matthews co-op (agricultural services)

Want to learn more about how these and other Century Club Companies have managed to prosper for over 100 years? See my book based on 10 years of research: Lessons From Century Club Companies: Managing for Long-Term Success available on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble online.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Wisconsin's Oldest Companies


Wisconsin has at least 43 Century Club Companies - 6 additions in just the last year. Ownership status of these companies is similar to the national average for 100-year-old companies, with 12% of them public and 88% some form of private ownership. Twenty-seven (64%) are generational family-owned firms; 3-5 are employee-owned (one is both 5th generation and employee-owned, another is a co-op); one is a mutual (sort of customer-owned). As always, please comment if you know of a company that should be added to this list or if you have a correction to any of the information.

1848: Richardson Industries, Sheboygan Falls 6th generation (manufacture wood furniture & building products) Note: Wisconsin became a State in 1848

1849: Menasha Corporation, Neenah 5th generation (manufacture packaging products)

1852: Bradley's Department Store, Delavan private (retail apparel)

1857: Northwestern Mutual, Milwaukee mutual (insurance & financial services)

1873: Kohler, Kohler 4th generation (manufacture plumbing & bathroom products)

1874: Elk Mound Seed, Elk Mound

1876: Jockey International, Kenosha 3rd generation (manufacture apparel)

1876: Saeman Lumber, Cross Plains 4th generation (lumber & building supplies)

1880: Usinger's, Milwaukee 4th generation (sausages)

1881: Schwaab Inc, Brookfield 3rd & 4th generations (manufacture stamp products)

1885: Home Lumber, Whitewater 4th generation (lumber & building supplies)

1886: S.C. Johnson & Son, Racine 5th generation (manufacture household products)

1888: Reynolds Transfer & Storage, Madison 5th & 6th generations (moving services)

1889: Jones Dairy Farm, Fort Atkinson 5th generation (sausage & meat products)

1890: J.H. Findorff & Son, Madison (construction)

1891: Schroeder Bros., Two Rivers 4th generation (retail apparel)

1894: Wiedenbeck, Madison 4th generation (metal fabrication)

1897: First Supply, Monona private (wholesale plumbing/HVAC)

1899: Seroogy's Chocolates, DePere 3rd generation (retail confectionery)

1900: Banner Bancorp, Birnamwood private (banking)

1900: Tomah Cash Mercantile Store, Tomah 4th generation (retail department store)

1902: Manitowoc Company, Manitowoc public (manufacture cranes/lifting equipment)

1903: Badger Corrugating, LaCrosse 5th generation + employee ownership (distributor of lumber & building products)

1903: Harley-Davidson, Milwaukee public (manufacture motorcycles) Note: numerous ownership changes over the years, including time as a subsidiary of another company

1904: Bliffert Lumber & Hardware, Milwaukee 4th & 5th generations (retail lumber & building materials)

1905: Badger Meter, Milwaukee public (manufacture meters & devices)

1905: National Presto Industries, Eau Claire public (manufacture small kitchen appliances)

1905: Wigwam Mills, Sheboygan 4th generation (manufacture textile products - socks)

1907: Kaap's Old World Chocolates, Green Bay private (confectionery)

1908: Holler House, Milwaukee 3rd generation (tavern & bowling alley)

1910: Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery, Ellsworth co-op (cheese & cheese curds)

1911: Beaver Builders Supply, Holmen 3rd generation (lumber & building materials)

1911: Jack Andrea, Kenosha 4th generation (retail cafe & gift shop)

1914: Neckerman Insurance Services, Madison private (insurance agency)

1915: Campbell Lumber & Supply, Superior employee-owned (lumber & building materials)

1916: Nina's Department & Variety Store, Spring Green 4th generation (retail apparel)

1917: Century Fence, Pewaukee 4th generation (pavement marking)

1917: Heiser Automotive, Milwaukee 2nd generation? (retail automotive)

1917: McFarlane Manufacturing, Sauk City 3rd generation (manufacture agricultural equipment)

1917: Oshkosh Corporation, Oshkosh public (manufacture trucks & equipment)

1919: Baird, Milwaukee employee-owned (banking & financial services)

1919: First National Community Bank, New Richmond 3rd generation (banking)

1919: Gordon Auto Parts, Racine 3rd generation (retail auto parts)

1919: Standard Electric Supply, Milwaukee 3rd generation (electrical products distributor & supplier)

1919: Woodman's Market, Janesville employee-owned (retail general merchandise)

1920: Snap-on Tools, Kenosha public (manufacture tools)

1922: Wells Print & Digital, Madison

To learn more about how these companies have prospered over 100 years and more, see the book based on my research: Lessons from Century Club Companies: Managing for Long-Term Success, available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble on-line

Monday, August 24, 2020

Oldest Companies in Illinois


Illinois has at least 70 Century Club Companies, 11 of which are public. 84% of the state's companies over 100 years old are privately owned and of those, 46 are generational family firms. Here is the list - please leave a comment if you see an error or if you know of a company in continuous, independent operation for over 100 years that should be added to this list. 

1834: Galena Gazette Publications, Galena
1837: Deere & Company, Moline public
1838: Comstock-Castle Stove, Quincy 6th generation
1845: Brunswick, Mettawa public
1848: Knapheide Manufacturing, Quincy, 6th generation                  
1848: Maze Lumber, Peru, 6th generation
1854: Hoskins Building Center, Elizabeth
1855: Baird & Warner, Chicago 5th generation (real estate services)
1857: Iwan Ries & Co., Chicago 5th generation (tool manufacturing)
1857: Klein Tools, Lincolnshire, 5th generation
1857: Zengeler Cleaners, Northbrook, 5th generation
1864: R.R. Donnelley & Sons, Chicago public (printing & publishing)
1865: American Hotel Register, Vernon Hills, 3rd & 4th generations (manufacture hospitality products)
1865: Law Jones Funeral Home, Savanna 2nd generation
1870: The Tablet & Ticket Company, West Chicago 5th & 6th generations (display & signage products)
1873: Follett, Westchester 5th generation (publisher educational products) 
1875: Anderson's Bookshops, Naperville 5th generation
1875: Oswald's Pharmacy, Naperville 6th generation
1880: Citizens State Bank, Lena public
1882: Siemer Milling, Teutopolis 4th generation + ESOP
1885: Cretors, Wood Dale 5th generation (manufacture popcorn machines)
1886: Gonella Baking, Schaumburg 4th generation
1887: John Boos & Co., Effingham 3rd generation? (manufacture butcher block)
1888: Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park public
1888: Louis Glunz Beer, Lincolnwood 3rd, 4th & 5th generations
1888: Matot, Bellwood 4th generation (manufacture dumbwaiters)
1889: Northern Trust, Chicago public
1890: A.M. Castle & Co., Oak Brook public (metals distribution)
1890: Great Lakes Dredge & Dock, Oak Brook public
1891: Alexander Lumber, Aurora 4th generation
1891: Bulley & Andrews, Chicago 4th generation (construction)
1892: Lambrecht's Jewelers, Wilmette 4th generation
1893: Moline Wheel, Moline 3rd generation
1893: Vienna Beef, Chicago
1894: Miner Enterprises, Geneva (manufacture rail car components)
1895: Stanford Grain, Stanford (agricultural co-op)
1896: Ed Miniat, South Holland, 4th generation (meat wholesaler)
1896: Tootsie Roll Industries, Chicago public + 2nd generation
1897: Glik's, Granite City 4th generation (retail apparel)
1898: American Nickeloid, Peru (manufacture metal products)
1898: Vita Food Products, Chicago
1903: Morton Buildings, Morton employee-owned
1905: Earlville Farmers' Coop Elevator, Earlville 
1905: Horween Leather, Chicago 4th & 5th generations
1906: Kirchner Building Centers, Kansas 4th generation
1906: Sloan Valve, Franklin Park 4th generation (manufacture plumbing systems)
1908: C.C. Wagner, Summit 5th generation (lumber & building products)
1911: Milledgeville Home Center, Milledgeville
1912: Illinois Tool Works, Glenview public
1912: Lemfco, Galena 5th generation (manufacture iron castings)
1913: ILMO Products, Jacksonville 4th generation (wholesale industrial gases)
1914: DaValle Jewelers, Harwood Heights 3rd generation
1914: IRMCO, Evanston 4th generation (industrial lubricants)
1914: Mechanical Devices, Bloomington 3rd generation
1914: P.J. Hoerr, Peoria 3rd generation (construction)
1914: Vogue Tyre & Rubber, Mount Prospect 
1914: Waukegan Roofing, Wheeling
1916: Boeing, Chicago public (HQ moved from Seattle 2001)
1916: Ideal Industries, Sycamore 4th generation (manufacture tools)
1917: Chicago Clock, Clarendon Hills 4th generation (retail clocks)
1917: Fellowes Brands, Itasca 4th generation (manufacture office products)
1917: Radio Flyer, Chicago 3rd generation
1918: Pearl City Elevator, Pearl City agricultural co-op
1919: ConAgra, Chicago public 
1919: Crescent Electric Supply Company, East Dubuque 3rd generation? (wholesale electrical products)
1919: Elgin Industries, Elgin 3rd generation (manufacture vehicle components)
1919: Griffith Foods, Alsip 4th generation (food products)
1919: Michuda Construction, Tinley Park, 5th generation
1919: Wahl Clipper, Sterling 3rd & 4th generations (manufacture personal grooming products)
1920: Darvin Furniture, Orland Park 3rd generation (retail mattresses)

For more information about how these and other Century Club Companies have survived over the decades, see my book: Lessons from Century Club Companies: Managing for Long-Term Success available in paperback or as an ebook from Amazon or Barnes & Noble

Monday, August 17, 2020

Minnesota's Oldest Companies


Minnesota has 30 companies that have been in business for 100 years or more. Interesting industry concentrations reflect the nature of the state: there are 4 lumber yards and 2 window/door companies; 3 agricultural co-ops and 3 large agricultural products/food companies. Though over half of the companies are generational family firms, Minnesota has a larger percentage of old public companies - 30% - than seen in other states. (Nationally, only 14% of Century Club Companies are public.) Here is the list - as always, if you know of a company that has been in continuous, independent operation for over 100 years and should be added or have any corrections to the information provided, please leave a comment.

1865: Cargill, Minnetonka, 6th generation, agricultural products

1866: General Mills, Golden Valley, public, food products

1870: Tennant, Minneapolis, public, manufacture cleaning equipment

1877: Patterson Companies, St. Paul, public, wholesale medical equipment

1883: Alexander Lumber, Owatonna, private, lumber yard/home center

1886: Fred W. Radde & Sons, New Germany, 5th generation, auctioneers

1886: Shaw/Stewart Lumber, Minneapolis, private, architectural lumber & millwork

1891: Hormel, Austin, public, deli meats/food processing

1896: Schmitt Music, Brooklyn Center, 3d & 4th generations, retail musical instruments

1897: Molin Concrete Products, Lino Lakes, 5th generation

1899: Glamos Wire Products, Hugo, private, wire products for lawn & garden

1901: Tenvoorde Ford, St. Cloud, 3rd & 4th generations, retail autos

1902: 3M, St. Paul, public, conglomerate (business & consumer products)

1902: Hemmingsen's Transfer, Alden, 4th generation

1902: Target, Minneapolis, public, retail stores

1903: Anderson Corp., Bayport, family (generation?) and ESOP, windows & doors manufacturing

1905: C.H. Robinson, Eden Prairie, public, freight transportation

1905: Farmers Elevator, Pelican Rapids, agricultural co-op

1905: Meadowland Farmers Coop, Lamberton, agricultural co-op

1905: Red Wing Shoes, Red Wing, 3rd generation, footwear manufacture

1905: Wheaton-Dumont Cooperative Elevator, Wheaton, agricultural co-op

1912: Marvin Windows & Doors, Warroad, 4th generation, windows & doors manufacturing

1913: Simonson Lumber, St. Cloud, 3rd generation, lumber & building products

1914: Toro, Bloomington, public, manufacture lawn care equipment

1915: Donaldson, Bloomington, public, manufacture air filters

1915: Kruse Lumber, Rochester, 2nd generation, lumber & building products

1916: Bernick's, St. Cloud, 4th & 5th generations, beverage distributor

1916: Hubert White, Minneapolis, 3rd generation, retail apparel

1917: Cooper's Foods, Chaska, 3rd generation, retail groceries

1919: Jefferson Lines, Minneapolis, 3rd generation, bus transportation

1920: Bemidji Woolen Mills, Bemidji, 4th generation, apparel manufacture and retail sales

1920: Ostbye, Minneapolis, 4th generation, jewelry manufacture

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Ohio's Oldest Companies


My post on Michigan's oldest companies received so much interest I decided to take a look at other states that benefit from having a number of Century Club Companies. Ohio has at least 72 companies that have prospered for 100 years and more. Of these, 13 are public and at least 44 are generational family firms. (One, Smuckers, is both publicly-traded and run by 5th generation family.) If you know of a company that has been in continuous, independent operation for over 100 years and should be added to this list, or have a correction to any of the information provided here, please let me know.

1803: Golden Lamb (restaurant & hotel), Lebanon Run by the family that purchased it in 1926 - generation?

1812: Rider's Inn, Painesville

1833: Austin Powder (industrial explosives), Cleveland

1836: Stevenson Manufacturing (agricultural service), Wellsville

1839: Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati public

1840: Candle-Lite, Leesburg private (manufacture candles)

1840: End of the Commons General Store, Mesopotamia

1842: Verdin Company (bells), Cincinnati 6th generation

1845: Wise Funeral Service, Bucyrus 5th generation

1846: Powell Valves, Cincinnati 3rd generation?

1847: Cleveland-Cliffs (mining), Cleveland public

1855: Schoedinger Funeral Services, Columbus 6th generation

1860: Requarth (lumber, kitchens), Dayton 5th generation

          Wilson Bohannan Lock, Marion 7th generation

1866: Baker & Baker Jewelers, Marietta

          Huntington Bancshares, Columbus public

          Sherwin-Williams, Cleveland public

1868: Gordon Lumber, Fremont

1870: Graeter's (ice cream), Cincinnati 5th generation

1871: Ritter's Office Outfitters, Mansfield employee-owned

1872: Ohio Valley Banc Corp, Gallipolis public

1873: Schantz Organ, Orrville 4th generation

1877: Greif (packaging & containers) Delaware public

1880: Freeport Press, New Philadelphia

1881: Seeger Metal & Plastics, Toledo 5th generation

1882: Ohlman Greenhouse, Toledo 5th generation

1885: Belden Brick, Canton 5th generation

          Gibson's Bakery, Oberlin 4th generation

1886: Mennel Milling, Fostoria 5th generation

1887: W.H. Fay (steel haulers), Cleveland 2nd generation

1888: Coyle Funeral & Cremation Services, Toledo 5th generation

1891: Acme Fresh Market, Akron 5th generation

1892: Rieck (HVAC contractor), Dayton 4th generation

1895: Lincoln Electric, Cleveland public

1896: Hill & Griffith (die casting), Cincinnati

1897: Smucker's, Orrville public & 5th generation

1898: Goodyear Tire & Rubber, Akron public

          Robertson's Building Center, Malvern 3rd generation?

1899: Timken Company, North Canton public

          Wayne Savings Bancshares, Wooster public

1900: Block Communications, Toledo 3rd generation

          French Oil Mill Machinery, Piqua 4th generation

          McNerney Companies (office furniture, construction, real                       estate), Northwood 4th generation

1901: Fifth Avenue Floral, Columbus

          Kuhlman Corp (construction products), Maumee 5th generation

1902: Hyde Park Lumber & Design Center, Cincinnati 4th generation

1905: E.F. Boyd & Son (funeral services), Cleveland 4th generation

          Fremont Company (sauces & pickles), Fremont 4th generation

1906: American Electric Power, Columbus public

          American Greetings, Cleveland

1907: Bolin-Dierkes Funeral Home & Crematory, Zanesville 3rd                   generation?

1908: Cellar Lumber, Westerville 4th generation

          Graves Lumber, Copley 4th generation

1909: Ansonia Lumber, Ansonia 4th generation

          Geiger Brothers (contractors, engineers), Jackson

1910: Elford (construction), Columbus

          Henry Bierce Supply (building materials), Tallmadge 3rd                       generation

          Toledo Ticket (printing), Toledo 4th generation

1911: Woolpert (architecture, engineering), Dayton

1914: Bard Manufacturing (HVAC equipment), Bryan 4th generation

1915: Kottler Metal Products, Willoughby 4th generation

          Midmark (medical products), Dayton 4th generation

          Ruhlin (construction), Sharon Center 3rd generation, ESOP

1916: Ondrus Hardware, Toledo 3rd generation

          Walt Sweeney Ford, Cincinnati 3rd generation (and more?)

          Wangler Hardware, Fort Recovery 5th generation

1917: LEWCO (industrial equipment), Sandusky 2nd generation

          Parker Hannifin (industrial controls), Cleveland public

          RMS Freight Systems, Roseville 2nd generation

          Rulli Brothers (retail grocers), Youngstown 3rd generation

1919: Mill-Rose (industrial brushes), Mentor 4th generation

          Schauer Group (insurance agents), Canton 4th generation

1920: Copp Systems (security services), Dayton

If you'd like to learn more about how companies such as these have managed to survive for 100 years and more, you can find my book Lessons from Century Club Companies: Managing for Long-Term Success at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Companies Celebrating 105th Anniversaries in 2020

The 27 companies founded in 1915 that are still prospering in 2020 show an industry concentration not often seen in Century Club Companies: 11 of them are associated in some way with the construction industry. One follower has speculated this is because of the strong local relationships and reputations that are necessary to succeed in the construction business and, as readers of my book Lessons from Century Club Companies: Managing for Long-Term Success know, being an active community supporter is one of the five longevity factors uncovered in my research. I also find it interesting that three of these companies are confectioners - yum! Though five of the companies celebrating their 105th anniversary are manufacturers, just two are public. At least 17 are generational family firms. Here is the list:

Attman's Delicatessen, Baltimore MD (3rd generation)

Baker Roofing, Raleigh NC (3rd generation)

Black & Veatch, Overland Park KS (ESOP)

Birnn Chocolates of Vermont, South Burlington VT (4th generation)

Campbell Lumber & Supply, Superior WI

Charles River Bancorp, Medway MA

Commercial Metals, Irving TX (public)

Cramer's Home Building Centers, East Stroudsburg PA (3rd generation)

Delaware North, Buffalo NY (3rd generation)

Donaldson Company, Bloomington MN (public)

Gannett Fleming, Camp Hill PA

General Agency, Mount Pleasant MI (5th generation)

Haven's Candies, Portland ME

Hubbell, Roth & Clark, Bloomfield Hills MI (3rd generation?)

Kogetsu-Do Confectionery, Fresno CA (3rd generation)

Kottler Metal Products, Willoughby OH (4th generation)

Kruse Lumber, Rocherster MN (2nd generation)

Lanzafame Furniture, Pittsburg CA (3rd generation)

Mannington Mills, Salem NJ (4th generation)

Midmark, Dayton OH (4th generation)

Patrick Lumber, Portland OR

Rygwelski's IGA, Rogers City MI (4th generation)

Ruhlin, Sharon Center OH (3rd generation)

Union Bank & Trust, Monticello AR

Weidel Real Estate, Pennington NJ (4th generation)

Western Specialty Contractors, St. Louis MO (3rd generation)

William P. Meyer, Stamford CT (4th generation)

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Michigan's Oldest Companies, Updated

Having received several comments on my 2014 post about Michigan's oldest companies, I decided it was time to update this list. Thank you, readers, for your interest and information. Michigan has over 150 Century Club Companies, four of which began even before Michigan became a state in 1837. I look for companies that have been in continuous, independent operation for over 100 years. Any additional information you might have to update this list is appreciated!

Note: This data base does not include companies that have declared bankruptcy, such as General Motors which was founded in 1908 but declared bankruptcy in 2009. I also have not listed family farms unless they have a commercial presence.  

1825: Keeney and Miller Orchards, Erie MI (6th generation)

1827: Northville Lumber, Northville MI (6th generation)

1828: George Jerome & Co, Roseville MI (6th generation)

1831: New Hudson Inn, New Hudson MI

1846: Martin's Shoe House, Monroe MI
          Yaeger's Shoes, Monroe MI (5th generation)

1850: Preusser Jewelers, Grand Rapids MI
          Raymond Hardware, Port Sanilac MI

1852: Schaefer & Bierlein, Frankenmuth MI (6th generation)

1853: SmithGroup, Detroit MI
          Staffan-Mitchell Funeral Home, Chelsea MI (2nd generation)

1854: Feigi's Interiors, Saginaw MI

1858: Winglemire Furniture, Holly MI (5th generation)

1859: Judd Lumber, Dowagiac MI (4th generation)

1860: Graafschap Hardware, Holland MI (7th generation)
          Langeland-Sterenberg & Yntema Funeral Homes, Holland MI (5th & 2nd generations)

1864: Independent Bank, Ionia MI (public)
          Johnston Boiler, Ferrysburg MI
          Rupp Funeral Home, Monroe MI (5th generation)

1865: Hubbard Supply, Flint MI
          Kositchek's, Lansing MI (4th generation)

1868: Frankenmuth Insurance, Frankenmuth MI
          Sieb Plumbing, Heating & AC, Monroe MI (5th generation)

1870: Challenge Machinery, Norton Shores MI
          Star of the West Milling, Frankenmuth MI (4th generation)

1871: French Paper, Niles MI (6th generation)

1872: Meyer Music, Grand Rapids MI (3rd generation)
          Michigan Supply Company, Lansing MI

1873: Sempliners Bride & Formal, Bay City MI
          White Insurance Agency, Fremont MI

1874: Votruba Leather Goods, Traverse City MI

1875: Daniel Orr Sons Hardware, North Branch MI (5th generation)
          Keep & Martinson Lumber, Tekonsha MI

1876: Bahle's, Suttons Bay MI
          Bissel Homecare, Grand Rapids MI (3rd generation)
          Dickinson's Hardware, Fennville MI (3rd generation)
          R.C. Hendrick & Son, Saginaw MI (5th generation)

1877: Ebonex, Melvindale MI (3rd generation)

1879: Masters-LaLonde Shoes, Alpena MI

1881: Groskopfs Luggage, Grand Rapids MI (4th generation)

1882: Alexander Dodds, Grand Rapids MI
          Dekker's Jewelry, Zeeland MI
          Sleder's Family Tavern, Traverse City MI
          Yale Expositor, Yale MI

1883: Chris Engel's Greenhouse, Detroit MI (6th generation)
          EJ (East Jordan Iron Works), East Jordan MI (4th & 5th generations)
          Golden Shoes, Traverse City MI
          Wolverine World Wide, Rockford MI (public)

1884: Grand Rapids Label, Grand Rapids MI (4th generation)

1885: Central Michigan Paper, Ada MI
          Hayden & Sons Hardware, Cassopolis MI
          Reusch Jewelers, Cheboygan MI (4th generation)

1886: American Seating, Grand Rapids MI
          Newberry News, Newberry MI

1887: Edge-Sweets (ESCO), Grand Rapids MI

1888: Varnum, Grand Rapids MI

1889: Carhartt, Dearborn MI (4th generation)
          Homer Monumental Works, Homer MI
          Siegel Jewelers, Grand Rapids MI (4th generation)

1890: Church's Lumber Yards, Auburn Hills MI (4th generation)
          Muskegon Awning & Fabrication, Muskegon MI
          Oliver Products, Grand Rapids MI
          Pomeroy Funeral Homes, Croswell MI (3rd generation)

1891: Bauer's Jewelry, Saginaw MI
          Krzyske Brothers, Waltz MI
          O-Leary Paint, Lansing MI (4th generation)
          Owens-Ames-Kimball, Grand Rapids MI (employee-owned)

1892: Johnson's Studio & Camera Shop, Chegoygan MI (4th generation)
          Mapes Furniture, Sunfield MI (4th generation)
          Vail Rubber Works, St. Joseph MI (4th generation)
          Women's Life Insurance Society, Port Huron MI

1893: Dittrich Furs, Detroit MI (5th generation)
          Henry the Hatter, Detroit MI (2nd generation)
          Young Bros. & Daley, Lansing MI
          ZR Graphics, Zeeland MI (4th generation)

1894: Buckley Shoes, Bad Axe MI
          Eikenhout, Grand Rapids MI
          Frankenmuth Woolen Mill, Frankenmuth MI
          Metcalf & Jonkhoff Funerall, Grand Rapids MI (5th generation)

1895: Kirlin Lighting, Detroit MI (4th generation)
          W.W. Fairbairn & Sons Alanson MI (5th generation)

1896: Donckers Candies & Gifts, Marquette MI

1897: Chelsea State Bank, Chelsea MI 
          Gordon Food Service, Grand Rapids MI (4th generation)
          Tecla, Walled Lake MI (4th generation)

1898: Detroit Store Fixture, Detroit MI
          Mosher's Jewelers, Port Huron MI (4th generation)

1900: Armstrong International, Three Rivers MI (5th generation)
          Dykstra Funeral Homes, Holland MI (3rd generation)
          Fris Supply Shop, Holland MI (5th generation)
          Getz's, Marquette MI (4th generation)
          Gilbert Chocolates, Jackson MI
          Mans Lumber, Trenton MI (4th generation)

1901: Chelsea Milling (Jiffy Mix), Chelsea MI (3rd generation)
          DeVries Jewelers, Grand Rapids MI
               Kindel Furniture, Grand Rapids MI
          Michigan Ladder, Ypsilanti MI

1902: Crandell Funeral Home, Fremont MI (4th generation)
          Holland Peanut Store, Holland MI (4th generation)
          Visser Farms, Zeeland MI (4th generation)

1903: Ford, Dearborn MI (public; 4th generation)
          Freestone Pickle, Bangor MI (5th generation)
          Herter Music Center, Bay City MI
          Smith Floral & Greenhouse, Lansing MI

1905: Bulman Products, Grand Rapids MI
          Herman Miller, Zeeland MI (public)
          Holiday Bar, Grand Rapids MI (3rd generation)
          Lovewell's Corner Store, Lupton MI
          Milkins Jewelers, Wyandotte MI (4th generation)
          Padnos, Holland MI (4th generation)
          Schaafsma Heating & Cooling, Grand Rapids MI
          Stevens Worldwide Van Lines, Saginaw MI (5th generation)

1906: Frankenmuth News, Frankenmuth MI
          Kellog's, Battle Creek MI (public)
          LoPiccolo Bros Produce, Detroit MI (3rd generation)
          Sherriff-Goslin, Ypsilanti MI (4th generation)

1908: Armaly Brands, Walled Lake MI (3rd generation)
          Chelsea Lumber, Chelsea MI
          George W. Auch, Pontiac MI
          Harvey Ellis Devereaux, Southfield MI
          Irwin Seating, Grand Rapids MI (4th generation)

1909: Cascarelli's of Albion, Albion MI
          L.L. Johnson Lumber, Charlotte MI (4th generation)
          Schuler's Restaurant & Pub, Marshall MI (4th generation)
          Superior Sports Store, Holland MI (4th generation)
          Vredeveld's Shoes, Fremont MI (4th generation)

1910: Acme Manufacturing, Auburn Hills MI (4th generation)
          Indian Trails, Owosso MI (3rd generation)
          Koeze, Grand Rapids MI (4th generation)

1911: Skaff Furniture & Carpet, Flint MI (3rd generation)
          Whirlpool, Benton Harbor MI (public)
          Wm.B. Eerdmans Publishing, Grand Rapids MI (2nd generation)

1912: Steelcase, Grand Rapids MI (public; 3rd generation)

1913: Buis Mattress, Holland MI (4th generation)
          Gezon Motors, Grand Rapids MI (3rd generation)
          Lokers Shoes, Holland MI (4th generation)

1914: Amstore, Grand Rapids MI
          Becharas Brothers Coffee, Highland Park MI (3rd generation)
          La Grasso Bros. Produce, Detroit MI (4th generation)

1915: General Agency, Mount Pleasant MI (3rd generation)
          Hubbell, Roth & Clark, Bloomfield Hills MI
          Rygwelski's IGA, Rogers City MI (4th generation)

1916: Auto-Owners Insurance Group, Delta Township MI
          Crain Communication, Detroit MI (2nd generation)
          Crane's, Fennville MI (4th generation)
          Koegel Meats, Flint MI (3rd generation)
          Krupp Farms, Comstock Park MI (4th generation)
          Michigan Lumber, Flint MI (3rd generation)
          Seitz's Tavern, Chelsea MI (3rd generation)
          Walbridge, Detroit MI (2nd generation)

1917: Acme Group, Bloomfield Hills MI
          American Coney Island, Detroit MI (3rd generation)
          E.W. Smith Insurance Agency, Wyandotte MI
          Penning Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electric Grand Rapids MI             (3rd generation)
          SpartanNash, Byron Center MI (public)
          Stanco Metal Products, Grand Haven MI (4th generation)
          Wolverine Mutual Insurance, Dowagiac MI (3rd generation)

1918: Medler Electric, Alma MI (employee-owned)
          Terryberry, Grand Rapids MI (4th generation)

1919: Lamour Printing, Monroe MI
          Reno Agency, Wayland MI
          Rowerdink, Grand Rapids MI
          Scully-Monroe Agency, Monroe City MI (2nd generation)
          Whipple & Co, Moorestown MI

1920: Alpha Bar, Sault Ste. Marie MI (3rd generation)
          Dawn Foods, Jackson MI (3rd generation)