Louis B. NeumillerBack to
Caterpillar Tractor Company
Founder of Junior Achievement of Central Illinois, Inc.
Louie B. Neumiller graduated from Peoria High School in 1914 after working at the family business while attending school. After working a few odd jobs, he earned his first position with The Holt Manufacturing Company in East Peoria, IL as a stenographer and blueprint clerk. In 1925, Holt Merged with C.L. Best Tractor Company to form the Caterpillar Tractor Company at which time he became the general parts manager and was charged with consolidation of the department from the two companies. Through his success and customer service, he was noticed by the new company leadership. In 1932, he was promoted to service manager and became the first director of industrial relations in 1937, being selected as a vice president later that year during which time he led the company’s first labor negotiations.
In October of 1941, Louie was elected President of Caterpillar, becoming Chairman of the company in 1954. Louie also founded Junior Achievement of Central Illinois in 1946 after learning of the organization while on business on the east coast. Under his leadership as Chairman, Caterpillar broadened the product line from 3 to 11 machine families, acquired Trackson Company, grew from 16,000 to more than 36,000 employees, and opened 13 new factories. Retiring as chairman and chief executive of Caterpillar in 1962, he remained a director until 1968.