Saturday, December 31, 2022

Welcome to the Century Club: Class of 1922


Here is the list of companies that have been in continuous, independent operation since 1922 and are our newest members of the Century Club. Just one company is publicly traded (First National Bank Alaska) but it is also 3rd generation. 

Congratulations to these firms celebrating their 100th year in business in 2022:

Barden Lumber, Boyne City MI 4th generation (lumber & building materials)

Coffin Shoe Company, Knoxville KY 3rd & 4th generations (retail)

Copaken Brooks, Kansas City MO 3rd generation (real estate development) 

El Charro Cafe, Tucson AZ 3rd generation 

Ewing Irrigation and Landscape Supply, Phoenix AX 3rd generation (wholesale)

First National Bank Alaska, Anchorage AK public & 3rd generation

Haartz Corp, Bloomfield Hills MI 3rd generation (manufacture auto parts)

Jones Financial Corp (Edward Jones), St. Louis MO employee-owned

Kirwen's Supermarket, Gibonsburg OH 3rd generation

Pennsylvania Paper and Supply, Scranton PA 3rd generation (paper products)

The Lake Forest Shop, Lake Forest IL private (retail apparel)

Shamrock Foods, Phoenix AZ 3rd generation (food products)

Star Grocery, Berkeley CA 2nd generation

State Farm Insurance, Bloomington IL mutual

USAA, San Antonio TX mutual (banking)

Wells Print & Digital, Madison WI private (printing & publishing)

NOTE: Since it is very possible I've missed some, please post a comment if you know of a company that should join this list. 

Monday, November 14, 2022

125th Anniversary Celebrations for 16 Firms in 2022


At least 16 U.S. businesses started in 1897 are still operation today, 125 years later. This remarkable achievement is not limited to certain industries or states or type of business - though 12 of the 16 (75%) are generational family businesses. Four of the companies are public, with one (Smucker's) run by 5th  generation family. Representing 15 different industry categories and 11 states, here is the list:

Artkraft Strauss, New York City NY, 3rd generation (special construction trades)

Becton, Dickinson & Co, Franklin Lakes NJ, public (medical equipment)

Chelsea State Bank, Chelsea MI, public (banking & finance)

Clark Family Orchards, Palisade CO, 7th generation (food products/peaches)

First Supply, Monona WI, 5th generation (wholesale plumbing/HVAC)

Glik's, Granite City IL, 4th generation (retail apparel)

Gordon Food Service, Grand Rapids MI, 4th & 5th generations (wholesale grocery products)

Kintzinger Harmon Konrady, Dubuque IA, private (legal services)

Middlesex Water, Iselin NJ, public (utility)

Molin Concrete Products, Lino Lakes MN, 5th generation (building products)

Parker Flavors, Baltimore MD, 4th generation (food & beverage products)

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

Smucker's, Orville OH, public & 5th generation (food products)

Skerbeck Family Carnival, Escanaba MI, 6th & 7th generation (entertainment)

Tecla, Walled Lake MI, 4th generation (manufacturing/metal fabricator)

United Pickle Products, New York City NY, 5th generation (food products)

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Congratulations on 150 Years in Business


At least 11 U.S. companies were founded in 1872 and are celebrating 150 years of continuous, independent operation in 2022; five are generational family-owned, three are public. Join me in congratulating them (and leave a comment if you know of more)!

Champion Bridge, Wilmington OH

Chesterman, Sioux City IA 5th generation

First National Bank of Fort Smith, Fort Smith AR 5th generation

Kimberly-Clark, Irving TX public

Lakeland Financial, Warsaw IN public

Matthew's Pub, Portland ME

Meyer Music, Grand Rapids MI 3rd generation

Michigan Supply, Lansing MI 

Ohio Valley Banc Corp, Gallipolis OH public

Russell Abstract & Title, Adel IA 5th generation

Von Maur, Davenport IA 4th generation

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

4th Edition of "Lessons from Century Club Companies" Now Available


This book is the result of over 10 years of research on thousands of companies - large and small, public and private - attempting to identify practices and policies century-old companies use to survive for the long term. The 2022 edition includes an updated list of Century Club Companies, through those founded in 1921. Even though a number of companies have been added since the last edition, the overall number of CCCs has remained fairly stable at around 1350.  Of those dropping off the list (because they closed, were acquired, or broken up) 17% were public. This statistic is interesting because only 11% of CCCs overall are publicly-traded. The percentage of publicly-owned "old" companies has been steadily dropping since I first published my research in 2016. Another interesting statistic: 13% of the CCCs who have publicly-traded stock also have generational family members actively involved - in management and/or on the board.


Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Oldest Companies in Maine


Maine has nearly 30 companies that have been in business for over 100 years; just one of them, Auburn Bancorp, is publicly-traded and 10 are generational family-owned firms. Over 1/3 are financial institutions and 4 of those are mutuals. There is a well-known retailer (L.L. Bean), 3 manufacturers, a few lumber yards, and a variety of retail businesses. Here is the list - if you know of a Maine company in continuous independent operation for over 100 years that is not on this list, please leave a comment.

1660/67 Seaside Inn, Kennebunkport, 9th generation

1816 Hodgdon Yachts, East Boothbay, 5th/6th generation

1821 Bartlett Yarns, Harmony

1827 Saco and Biddeford Savings, Saco, mutual

1835 Hussey Seating, North Berwick, 6th/7th generation

1844 S.W. Collins, Lincoln (lumber & building supplies), 5th generation

1848 Hancock Lumber, Casco, 6th generation

1848 Macomber, Farr & Whitten, Augusta (insurance agents)

1852 Bangor Bancorp, Bangor

1852 Bath Savings Institution, Bath, mutual

1856 Skowhegan Savings Bank, Slowhegan

1866 Garland Manufacturing, Saco (tools), 6th generation

1866 Norway Savings Bank, Norway

1868 Gorham Bancorp, Gorham

1870 Androscoggin Bancorp, Lewiston, mutual

1871 Kennebunk Savings Bancorp, Kennebunk, mutual

1872 Matthew's Pub, Portland

1878 Geiger, Lewiston (printing & publishing), 5th generation

1887 Auburn Bancorp, Auburn, public

1888 Augusta Fuel (AFC), Augusta

1888 Rockland Savings Bank, Rockland

1889 Bangor Publishing, Bangor, 4th generation

1902 Amato's, Portland (restaurant)

1908 Dennis Paper & Food Service, Hampden (wholesale groceries), 100% employee-owned

1909 Ripley and Fletcher Ford, South Paris

1912 L.L. Bean, Freeport, 4th generation

1913 Hub Furniture, Portland, 3rd/4th generation

1915 Haven's Candies, Portland

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Milestones of 200+ Years for These Century Club Companies


Fourteen Century Club Companies celebrate amazing anniversaries in 2022. Just one of them (Wiley) is publicly traded, though the involvement of the founding family is ongoing. Join me in congratulating the survival of these companies for 200 years and more:

200 years: Stuard Funeral Home, Ardmore PA, 6th generation, founded 1822

205 years: Atkins & Pearce, Covington KY, 7th generation, producer of high performance textiles

                 Claflin, Warwick RI, medical equipment distributor, founded 1817

210 years: Bear Funeral Home, Churchville VA, 6th generation

                 Rider's Inn, Painesville OH, founded 1812

215 years: John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken NJ, 6th & 7th generation, publisher of academic materials, founded 1807 (also listed on the NYSE)

220 years: Rogers Funeral Home, Frankfort KY, 7th generation, founded 1802

225 years: Birkett Mills, Penn Yan NY, founded 1797

                 Gruber Almanack, Hagerstown MD, 8th generation

                 Wayside Inn, Middleton VA, founded 1797

230 years: Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, New York NY, law firm founded 1792

270 years: Caswell-Massey, Edison NJ, soap & fragrance producer, founded 1752

                 Philadelphia Contributionship, Philadelphia PA, mutual insurance company founded 1752                   by Benjamin Franklin

355 years: Seaside Inn, Kennebunkport ME, 9th generation, founded 1667 or earlier (perhaps 1660)