John Deere History FAQ’s

When and where was John Deere born?
John Deere was born in Rutland Vermont on February 7, 1804.

Why did John Deere move to Illinois, and why did he begin making plows?
John Deere moved to Grand Detour, Illinois in late 1836, in reaction to difficult economic times in the east. Deere was a skilled blacksmith, and his services were greatly needed in the growing town. While there, Deere encountered the problems of local farmers who had difficulty in scouring their plows in the rich prairie soil. In 1837, Deere polished a broken steel saw blade and used it to build a self-scouring plow.

Did John Deere build the first steel plow?
Yes and No. John Deere was one of many individuals working on the perfection of a self-scouring plow that would work in the prairie soil. Deere's blacksmithing skills were in high demand , and the development of his self-scouring steel plow was a by-product of this work.

What was the name of John Deere's wife? How many children did he have?
John Deere married Demarius Lamb on January 28, 1827. They had nine children during their thirty-eight year marriage. Demarius died in 1865, and the following year Deere married her sister, Lucenia Lamb, a common custom at the time.

How many presidents has John Deere had?
Deere has had nine presidents: John Deere, 1837-1886; Charles Deere, 1886-1907; William Butterworth, 1907-1928; Charles Deere Wiman, 1928-1942, 1944-1955; Burton Peek, 1942-1944; William Hewitt, 1955-1982: Robert Hanson, 1978-1985; Hans Becherer, 1989-2000; and Robert Lane, 2000-present.

Were any of the company's presidents related to John Deere? 
Every president until Robert Hanson, named in 1978, was related to John Deere. Including Deere himself, this is a span of six presidents and 141 years.

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