BANGOR, Maine — Woodrow Cross, who started in business selling seed out of a wagon strapped to his pony in 1923, hasn’t stopped working since, and on Thursday, he celebrated his 100th birthday at the headquarters of the business he started more than six decades ago.

The Bradford native said he chose Bangor because it was far more developed than his hometown.

“I wanted to come to a bigger town, and I wanted my children to go to a bigger school,” the centenarian said at his party, as employees came up to hug him and take photos.

The family also liked “having a bathroom and indoor plumbing,” his son Royce Cross, who is the president and CEO of Cross Insurance, piped in.

“He stayed in Bangor because Bangor was good to him,” he said.

Woodrow Cross was 6 when he started selling seed to neighbors and farmers, the Cross Insurance website states.

“It was at this young age that Woodrow began to develop the skills essential to becoming a businessman and his own boss,” the website states.

After his father died at a young age during the Great Depression, a 21-year-old Cross took over running the family’s general store in Bradford and supporting his mother and siblings. He joined the Army during World War II, serving between 1943 and 1946, mostly in the Pacific.

Cross married his wife, Janette, in 1945, and started a family, which included five children. The family moved to Bangor in 1954 after he got out of the Army, and Cross started selling insurance out of his home on West Broadway as the Woodrow W. Cross Agency.

About a decade later, Cross had grown his business enough to hire his first employee and open a downtown Bangor office. He never stopped growing the business, and now Cross Insurance has 35 branches and about 800 employees spread throughout New England.

“I just love working for him,” Dolores Griffin, who works in operations at Cross Insurance, said Thursday as employees prepared for his birthday luncheon. “He’s just the greatest person. I think that is pretty much how everybody feels about him.”

Cross still heads to his office at Cross Insurance, where he remains chairman, at least twice per week, Griffin said. In addition to his oldest son, Royce Cross, who joined the agency in 1970, his grandson Jonathan Cross is the executive vice president of the company, and his grandson Woodrow Cross is an account executive. His late son, Brent Cross, once served as executive vice president.

Over the years, the family patriarch has been given a number of accolades, including the key to the city of Bangor this summer and an honorary doctorate of business administration degree from Husson University in May 2006.

The Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce announced in October that it will recognize Woodrow Cross with its highest honor, the Norbert X. Dowd Award, at its annual dinner in January, which is being held at the Cross Insurance Center. The year before the $65 million Bangor arena opened in 2013, Cross signed a $3 million, 15-year naming deal, and he was the first person to sit in an arena seat. He chose Seat 1, in Section 111. The company name also is on the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland.

“Mentoring new hires of all ages, supporting professional growth and encouraging community involvement have always been his business practice,” the chamber announcement states about Cross. “A strong work ethic, integrity, business acumen, perseverance and professionalism are but a few of the strengths we most admire in him. He is a longtime church member, and for decades a supporter of numerous civic and nonprofit organizations in and around Bangor.”

“He is a true Mainer at his core,” it states.

Cross is still a licensed insurance agent who doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon, according to a press release issued about his birthday.

“There is a lot more business left to do,” he said in the statement.