In 2003, I worked as a consultant to R.M. Wade & Co., a 5th-generation family-owned business.
This year—2015—the company is celebrating its 150th anniversary with an absolutely fascinating website, which I urge you to visit. The website includes actual documents and photos from the company’s history, film footage from old ads, newsreels about farm equipment, and—my personal favorite—a poem written by R.M. Wade, himself, about his wagon train journey to Oregon in 1850.
The story behind the company’s success has been described in this Portland Business Journal article and will also be featured in Family Business Magazine.
As you know, it is extremely unusual for family-owned businesses to last this long. Wade’s longevity is a tribute to the family—their intellect, their willingness to change, and, most important, their focus on maintaining strong family relationships.