James W. Bell Co. , Inc.


1720 I Ave NeCedar RapidsIowa52402United States View Map


$2.4 Million




(515) 957-0400




(319) 362-4876


John Bell's grandfather, James W. (Jimmy) Bell founded the company which bears his name. He started the distributorship in 1923 from an office next door to Howard Hall, founder of what was known at the time as Iowa Manufacturing Co., which had also recently begun business. Jimmy Bell traveled throughout Iowa selling Iowa Manufacturing's crushing equipment as its first sales representative. When Jimmy Bell set up his business in 1923, road building was still in its infancy. Most roads were built with horse-drawn scrapers and paved with crushed stone. As more sophisticated construction methods were conceived, the construction equipment industry developed the machines and tools required to handle the ever-changing demands. The James W. Bell Company has kept pace with the changes and progression in the equipment manufacturing industry. The family-owned company is extremely proud of the level of accomplishment it has garnered by always providing the latest in equipment and expeditious service to its contractor customer base, both of which has brought industry-wide respect and recognition. The company has not always depended on its ability to sell and service construction equipment. During World War II, with most manufacturing dedicated to the production of military equipment, the company found itself without any equipment to sell. "So," said John Bell, "our company actually became a contractor and built runways for the Army Air Corps at bases in Texas. That's what kept the company going during the war. John's father, Jack Bell, started working for the company after he finished his tour of duty with the Air Corps in 1946, becoming president in 1968 after Jimmy Bell retired. Jimmy passed away in 1974. After the war years, construction activity began booming and James W. Bell Company built its present headquarters facility. With that construction boom, more and more equipment manufacturers were added to Bell's inventory, and the company expanded its territory across Iowa and into Nebraska. Branch facilities were constructed in Des Moines, Iowa in 1956 and in Fort Dodge, Iowa in 1976. In 1983, the Bell company entered the Nebraska construction market by opening a branch facility in Omaha. Business there increased to the point that Bell constructed a completely new Omaha facility on the city's western outskirts in 1991 and added sales, and parts and service representatives as well as expanding parts and service departments.

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