The site of Hemingford was first settled by Canadian immigrants in the summer of 1885. A town company was organized in 1886 and land was sold to the Lincoln Land Company which formally platted the townsite. The cluster of frame and sod buildings was named in honor of Hemmings Ford, the Settlers' former home.
Much of Hemingford's early history involved the location of the Box Butte County seat. After the county was created from southern Dawes County in 1886, the courthouse was built in rival Nonpareil. Later, in an 1890 election, Hemingford secured the prize with the backing of the Lincoln Land Company which wished to promote the community's growth. County offices remained here until 1899 when voters designated Alliance the permanent county seat in still another bitterly-fought election. The courthouse was moved on the Burlington railroad from Hemingford to Alliance.
This area became noted for the production of alfalfa seed and potatoes. In 1930, 1,893 carloads of potatoes were shipped from Hemingford and the town was known as the "Potato Capital of the World". Today Hemingford remains an important agricultural center for the northern panhandle.