For years, Nebraska has been associated with its vast amounts of farms and crop fields. Without the proper equipment, farmers alike would not be able to maintain their fields and thrive. At times when technology was limited and all farm work was done by hand, various tools were required to maintain a farm. With this in mind, Charles B. Dempster started Dempster Company 1878, known today as Dempster Industries, and manufactured the necessities needed while also providing many new settlers with steady jobs working at the company. Nearly 133 years later, Dempster Industries continues to supply farm equipment and is known as the oldest manufacturer of windmills in the nation. Dempster Industries has been a fixture in the Beatrice business community by supplying early settlers with steady jobs and equipment to allow the community folk to prosper.
In the spring of 1857, a steamship by the name of Hannibal made its way up the Missouri River filled with passengers with one goal in sight: finding a place in the West to settle and start a new life. The men onboard created the Nebraska Association, which included merchants, doctors, lawyers, masons, bricklayers, an engineer, and a surveyor (Jackson Dobbs). The committee began in Nebraska City and later headed west where they discovered the Big Blue River. They knew their new settling ground has just been discovered and they named the area Beatrice. The town of Beatrice was officially incorporated October 29, 1858 (Beatrice Nebraska: Community Facts). Besides the population heavy towns of Omaha and Lincoln, Beatrice is often considered today as the largest manufacturing city in the state of Nebraska (Mckee).
Charles B. Dempster was born on a farm in the town of Carpentersville, Illinois, forty miles northwest of Chicago, in January of 1853 (Mckee). Dempster received very little school education as he was needed by his father on the farm doing chores, allowing him to only attend school for short periods of time during the winter months. Soon after the great Chicago fire in the fall of 1871, he left home with the intention of attending school at the Elgin Academy during the winter, but changed his mind and ultimately obtained many different jobs to earn money for the next couple of years such working at a dry goods store and selling sewing machines (Dempster). After a few years of working these low wage jobs, Charles Dempster decided to move to Nebraska, believing that there were better opportunities in the Midwest. Dempster arrived in Beatrice on July 28, 1878 (Dempster).
Dempster Company, later renamed Dempster Mill Manufacturing Company and eventually Dempster Industries, was founded two days after the arrival of Charles Dempster. The civil war had ran its course at this point and many American and immigrant families felt the need to move to the Midwest at places the government offered them homestead land. C.B. Dempster, fully aware of the vast migration, realized that new settlers would need tools and...