“We are proud to celebrate our 150th anniversary,” says company president Don Wesdell. He attributes their success to their employees’ hard work and dedication, investor support from Rock Island and—recently—Blue Sage, customers, distributors, and the Evansville community.
We are grateful for the blessings that have been bestowed upon Baker,” he adds.
Baker started in the 1870s a goal of building a steam engine. However, company leaders quickly realized that steam engines were not profitable, so they pivoted to manufacturing windmills. By 1926, Baker was selling windmills worldwide. The company survived the Great Depression and World War II, and even thrived during those challenging times. In 1953, Baker developed the pitless unit, which it says revolutionized the water well industry. The company continued to innovate and grow and, in 1977, acquired Haight Pump. In 2008, it further diversified by buying Campbell Manufacturing.
The company now has three divisions:
- Baker Water Systems produces water well accessories and filtration products under the Campbell, Monitor, and Monoflex brands. Those products include a range of materials for high-capacity groundwater wells, booster stations for municipal and industrial use, and well monitoring products for environmental use.
- Haight Pump, which designs and produces gear pumps and positive displacement pumps for the OEM and process market.
- Casting Division, which pours and machines gray and ductile iron castings for Baker Water Systems and Haight as well as for OEMs and machine shops.
The company held a 150th anniversary celebration on September 16. Baker received a special legislative citation from Wisconsin State Senator Mark Spreitzer and State Representative Clint Anderson. Evansville Mayor Dianne Duggan also expected was expected to deliver remarks.