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Five Century-old Businesses Thrive in Jefferson County

Generation after generation, these five enterprises continue to serve and inspire the people of Jefferson County, AR.

By Livability.com on July 22, 2014

Staying in business for 100 years is proof positive that a company has the ability to adapt and change with the times. Take Ralph Robinson & Son Funeral Directors located on Cherry Street in Pine Bluff. Five generations have operated the establishment since its inception in 1890, including current “son” Scott, who helped usher the business into the digital age and meet newfound expectations that a funeral home serve as a de facto event planner.

Simmons First National Bank, which has been operating in Pine Bluff since 1903 and now includes branches in 55 communities in Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri, has seen the banking industry move from pencil and paper to supercomputers. Today, the publicly traded company is stronger and larger than ever, thanks to its recent $53.6 million acquisition of Metropolitan Bank, which allows Simmons the opportunity to expand its presence in central and northwest Arkansas.

Another centenarian that has grown its service area beyond Arkansas is Pine Bluff Sand and Gravel, which operates a 16,000-square-foot office complex in White Hall. Although its core business is sand and gravel excavation and delivery, the company is also known for its concrete and asphalt services, and currently operates in a half-dozen states.

Stability has been the staple of Bridges, Young, Matthews & Drake PLC, which has rendered professional legal services under the Bridges name since 1888 and has called Eighth Avenue in Pine Bluff home since 1967. In 2006, the firm opened a second location in Hot Springs to accommodate the needs of clients in that part of the state.

Renowned for its charming atmosphere and exquisitely landscaped grounds, upscale Pine Bluff Country Club is the most recent area business to achieve century status. The exclusive club celebrated its centennial in April 2014, joining another exclusive club of century businesses.

Learn more about what it’s like to work in Jefferson County.

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