In 1850 (or 1852), Benjamin Warder
co-founded Warder, Brokaw & Child Company, and paid $30,000 for patent rights to "The Champion," a combined reaper & mower invented by William N. Whiteley. Warder's company manufactured the machines, but distribution was shared, at first, with Whiteley and others. By 1860, the Springfield firm was just Warder & Child. In 1866, it was reorganized as Warder, Mitchell & Company, with John J. Glessner and Asa S. Bushnell as junior partners. Senior partner Ross Mitchell retired in 1880, and the firm became Warder, Bushnell & Glessner Company.
It manufactured harvesting machinery reapers, binders, mowers and hay rakes under the "Champion" brand name.Warder and Bushnell managed the factories in Springfield, which covered 20 acres.[ The company opened a branch office in Chicago in 1865, headed by Glessner, which grew to become its most profitable: in 1871, the Chicago office sold about 800 machines; in 1884, it sold 25,000 machines. By 1886, the company employed more than 1000 workers, and was exporting to foreign countries In 1908, the 2,000,000th Champion machine was sold.
Springfield, nickname, "The Champion City," comes from the company's brand name.