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)