John Deere is one of the most well-known brands in the world. Since its start more than 180 years ago, Deere & Co. has done a lot to make the world a better place by making innovative farming and construction equipment.
Over 180 years later, this firm is still producing equipment with the same goal: to assist clients in being as productive as possible.
While Deere is well-known for its tractor models, these machines were not manufactured until 1918, when the business acquired the Waterloo Engine Gas Company.
Not only has this company made different kinds of equipment over the years, but it has also had different leaders, logos, and factories. All these moving parts make John Deere history so interesting to think about.
With a constant focus on innovation, agriculture, and people, Deere has made a lot of great advances that have gotten it where it is now and will get it where it will be in the future.
Who Invented John Deere?
John Deere Without John Deere, the man’s drive, the company would not have been possible.
Since 1837, when he made the first steel plow, Deere’s goal was to make it easier for farmers to do their daily work.
As the need for these plows grew, Deere moved his business from Grand Detour, Illinois to Moline, Illinois in 1848.
This was because Moline had better access to power and transportation than Grand Detour.
Just two years later, around 1600 plows had been made, and John Deere started to make more equipment.
The Hawkeye Riding Cultivator was the first ride-on plow, and horses pulled it. In 1863, this tool was first shown at the Iowa State Fair.
John Deere Tractor History
When we look back on times like these in the history of John Deere Tractors, it is important to know who was at the front of this success.
Charles Deere (1886 – 1907):
Before his father John Deere passed away in 1886, Charles Deere, the second son, assumed control. Deere established John Deere’s first branch house in Kansas City while serving as the company’s CEO by drawing on his expertise as a top salesman. These branch offices “provided important field data that influenced the development of new products,” Charles Deere contributed significantly to the history of John Deere by assisting the business in becoming one of the leading manufacturers of implements in the nation by the time of his passing in 1907.
William Butterworth (1907 – 1936):
William Butterworth, Charles Deere’s son-in-law, had been an assistant buyer for Deere & Company for only 15 years when he was named president of John Deere in 1907.
The contemporary Deere & Company was created due to the consolidation of 11 plants and 25 sales groups under his direction.
During his tenure as company president, the entire product range grew further; this included the firm’s entry into the combine harvester market in 1912 and its entry into the tractor industry with the acquisition of the Waterloo Engine Gas Company in 1918.
Before passing away in 1936, Butterworth was elected to the US Chamber of Commerce after retiring in 1928 and became the first chairman of the business board.
Charles Deere Wiman (1928 – 1955):
Charles Deere Wiman, the great-grandson of John Deere, joined the firm as a line worker and succeeded his uncle William Butterworth as president in 1928. Wiman fought tirelessly to assure John Deere’s continued prosperity despite the difficulties brought on by the Great Depression.
The result was the 1934 debut of the groundbreaking Model A tractor, which was quickly followed by the Model B the following year.
This crucial aspect of John Deere heritage wouldn’t exist if employees didn’t feel so committed to the firm.
William Hewitt (1955-1982):
William Hewitt became president of Deere & Company after his father-in-law, Charles Deere Wiman, passed away in 1955, just two years after joining the company as a territory manager in California.
From that point on, the business started to build itself as an international corporation by buying stock in a German tractor manufacturer and obtaining property in Monterrey, Mexico, in 1956.
Under Hewitt’s direction, John Deere welcomed new four- and six-cylinder tractors as it increased its global footprint. In 1960, these models—known as the “New Generation of Power”—were formally unveiled.
Robert Hanson (1982-1990):
Robert Hanson was able to make his impact on John Deere history despite not being related to the founder.
After William Hewitt retired from the company in 1982, Hanson was appointed president of Deere & Company before being chosen as chairman and CEO.
During challenging recessions in the 1980s, Hanson assisted the business in exceeding sales targets and helping it stay afloat. This upward trend persisted, and in 1985 John Deere established John Deere Health Care, Inc. to join the healthcare industry.
Hans Becherer (1990 – 2000):
Hans Becherer emphasized principles that had played significant roles in John Deere history since the invention of the first steel plow when he was elected chairman of Deere & Company in 1990 following Robert Hanson’s retirement.
Massive transformations, including creating a new operational division for Deere’s lawn and grounds-care equipment business, were made possible by a commitment to ongoing innovation and worldwide expansion.
Throughout Becherer’s leadership, the business maintained its position as a pioneer in precision farming and modern ag technologies.
Additionally, under his direction, Deere & Company established a long-term partnership with the PGA and inaugurated the John Deere Pavilion in 1997.
Robert W. Lane (2000 – 2009):
Robert W. Lane was aware of what it would take to assist Deere & Company in achieving maximum worldwide expansion since he has handled a variety of activities within the Worldwide Construction Equipment Division.
The corporation was able to reach world-class status in asset efficiency and ROI by adopting the SVA (Shareholder Value Added) model.
This includes updating dealer groups to serve customers better and upgrading conventional plants worldwide.
Lane was followed as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Deere & Company by Samuel R. Allen, now the company’s Chairman and CEO, in 2009.