- Leslie J. Stegh
Deere, John (07 February 1804–17 May 1886), manufacturer, was born in Rutland, Vermont, the son of William Rinhold Deere, a tailor, and Sarah Yates, a seamstress. His formal schooling was limited, and he became an apprentice blacksmith at age seventeen. He worked for several blacksmiths in Vermont before opening his own shop while in his mid-twenties. Deere’s craftsmanship was highly regarded, but his luck was bad and his businesses failed. So in 1836 he left behind his pregnant wife, Demarius Lamb (whom he had married in 1827), and four young children (they eventually had nine) and joined the westward movement, heading for Grand Detour, Illinois. His family followed him the next year....