The Kemper Story
Kemper Distinctive Cabinetry was founded on February 9, 1926 as Kemper Brothers, Inc. by George E. Kemper, Paul W. Kemper and Ray L. Headington in Richmond, Indiana, a small Midwestern town with a rich heritage of manufacturing. The company initially manufactured wardrobes, chifforobes and dresserobes. In 1927 a line of wooden kitchen tables with porcelain tops was added.
In 1928 the first free-standing kitchen cabinets (known today as "Hoosier cabinets" because of their Indiana origins) were put into production followed quickly by dish cabinets and broom cabinets. After World War II the single-family home building boom started; portable kitchen cabinets lost their popularity and in January of 1956 Kemper Bros. was one of the first companies to act on the desire for built-in wood cabinets.
In January of 1965, Kemper Bros. merged with The Tappan Company as a wholly-owned and operated subsidiary. In 1979 A.B. Electrolux of Sweden purchased all segments of The Tappan Company and with the acquisition of White Consolidated Industries in 1986 became W.C.I., which included a cabinet group. In 1998 the cabinet group was purchased by MasterBrand Cabinets, a subsidiary of Fortune Brands and the second-largest cabinet manufacturer in the United States.