It All Started With a Steel Plough
Our roots go back to 1837 and John Deere's one-man blacksmith shop. We're proud of this heritage and are excited about a future full of opportunities to help meet the world's growing need for food, shelter, and infrastructure.
In addition to being our company's founder and innovator of the self-scouring steel plough, John Deere was a father and active public servant.
He had nine children (Francis, Charles, Hiram, Jeannette, Ellen, Frances, Emma, Alice, and Mary) with his wife, Demarius Lamb.
One year after Demarius died, he married her sister, Lucenia.
He was an active abolitionist.
He hand-delivered books and candles to local schools.
Always the innovator, he cooled his Moline home using a large clay pipe that pulled cool air from the ground and circulated it through the house.
We get that question a lot. In fact, we have John Deere's bathing suit. Given to Deere & Company by William Hewitt, Deere family member and one-time president of the company, the suit probably dates to about 1870.
John Deere made this skillet as a wedding gift for a couple in Rochester, Vermont. It's one of very few items existing today known to have been made by John Deere.
In 1837, John Deere was a typical blacksmith turning out hayforks, horseshoes, and other essentials for prairie life. Then one day, a broken steel sawmill blade gave him an opportunity.