It is unusual when a family-owned and -operated business observes its 100th anniversary of existence. Modern Auto in Washington has been owned and operated by members of the Feltmann family since 1919.

Second, third and fourth generations of the Feltmann family are now associated with the company that was founded by John H. Feltmann in a small building on Elm Street 100 years ago.

It is one of several businesses in Washington that has been in the same family for 100 or more years. Bleckman Machine Supply Inc. ranks as the oldest, dating back to 1834. Bleckman is nearly as old as Franklin County, which is observing its 200th anniversary this year.

To remain in the same family for 100 or more years requires outstanding cooperation among family members and a commitment that is remarkable. Many family businesses do not make it beyond the second generation.

To have fourth-generation family members associated with a company is unusual. We doubt if there are many General Motors dealerships in the country that can match the Feltmann family record.

What’s the secret to the Feltmann family’s many years of being in business? “It’s Old-Fashioned Service,” family members told The Missourian.