Charles B. Dempster opened a retail pump and windmill shop in Beatrice in 1878. The Dempster Mill Manufacturing Company began producing windmills, pumps, water tanks, towers, well machines, and related equipment in 1886. The company's success led to nationwide sales, and by the 1920s, Dempster boasted branch houses in six other states. The company, still located in Beatrice, continues to manufacture ag-related products as Dempster Industries, Inc.
Fairbury Iron Works was founded in 1890 and manufactured its first windmill in 1899. In 1900 the company was renamed Fairbury Windmill Company. The company ceased windmill production in 1961, although many Fairbury windmills are still in use today.