Edward Martin Nielsen
Edward Nielsen bought the Columbus Chevrolet franchise in 1926. Soon after, the dealership moved to the 13th Street site where it remained for the next 70 years. Nielsen Chevrolet-Buick was in business one day short of 74 years. Ed expanded his car business by opening dealerships in Osceola, York, and Humphrey. Dealerships in North Platte, Scottsbluff, Cheyenne, Wyoming and Kearney were also purchased during the 1930s.
Locally, Ed was the Finance Drive Chairman to raise the initial funds for the Platte County Agricultural Society and then served as President of the Society in 1944.
Fairleigh Dickinson, Jr. and Henry P. Becton, Sr.
Fairleigh S. Dickinson, Jr. and Henry P. Becton, Sr., sons of the founders of BD, assumed management of the Company in 1948. During their 24-year tenure, BD expanded worldwide, made the successful transition to sterile disposable products and became a public company.
The first BD facility outside New Jersey was opened in Columbus, Nebraska in 1949 with 15 associates manufacturing thermometers in a 25,000 square-foot plant. In 2010, BD in Columbus employed 1,700 associates in two facilities totaled almost 750,000 square feet.
Marion Van Berg
In 1933, Marion Van Berg sold his farm near Aurora and moved his family to Columbus to start his first livestock sales in an old warehouse on 26th Avenue. In 1936 he built the sale barn on the property the Columbus Sales Pavilion still occupies in 2008.
He operated one of the nation's most successful thoroughbred horse racing stables from 1937 to 1970. In the early 50's, his youngest son Jack joined him at the nation's racetracks and between them they broke more national racing records.