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Background of the John Deere tractor in our family

The John Deere fever has hit our family. It all started, as I remember it, with my Grandpa and Grandma shown on the left. Not realizing how popular the two-cylinder tractor would become as a collectible item, it had little impact on my thoughts as a child when on the farm with my Grandpa as he maintained his 240 acre farm with an Avery tractor, then trading for a John Deere model M, which he later traded for a 420 standard. In 1968, when he sold the farm and moved closer to town, he brought with him a 1010 special. Sometime during the era of the 420 is where my experiences with John Deere was embedded in my memory.


My other Grandparents, pictured on the left & right, were  Farmall owners. I worked on their farm more than any, either working the soil, or in the hay field. I also had plenty of times driving the C to a dreaded fence row that needed mending. Grandpa tilled his 280 acre farm with a C and also had two Ford 2Ns, one with a front-end loader. He tended cattle, sheep, chickens, and pigs. The crops he grew were minimal, just enough to support the livestock he raised. He slaughtered some cattle, pigs, and chickens, but just enough to feed the family. The front-end loader came in handy when it was time to clean out the sheep barn. Doing so with the wind to your back was an added bonus. As I grew up, I actually had more hours on the Farmalls than the John Deeres. However, the times I did have on the two-cylinders have been stuck in my mind for many years now.


I was raised outside of a small town with a population of only 650 people. It was very rural and we also had a Farmall Cub, which Mom says I drove to town all the time. The cub is still at the home place. My Dad bought that tractor back in the 60's. In the early 1970's, at the age of 17, I raised my right hand and joined the U.S. Navy. I left the rural community and served over 22 years, retiring as Chief Petty Officer.

My Dad started his adult life as a married man and  mechanic with an International Harvester dealership. He then changed career paths and went to work for a Gunstock Factory. This factory started out in a two car garage. With his help and dedication, and 39 years of employment, that Gunstock factory was the largest in the nation. Dad retired from this plant  in 1993. He then worked another 10 years at another "custom" gunstock plant, which was a spin-off of the original. He is now fully retired and enjoying his golden years. In 2003 he thoroughly reworked a 40' windmill and erected it next to one of his barns. Mom is still working. She's been the church secretary since I can remember. She hasn't slowed down at all and now has several grand children, as well as great grand children, who consume most of her day. She doesn't know when she'll retire.


Sometime during the 1980's, Dad bought his first John Deere to use around his acreage, which kept growing as he bought the neighbors place. A few years later he bought the neighbor's neighbors place. His first two-cylinder was a 420 utility. After his retirement, he got the John Deere bug and now has a very impressive collection. Within this website you will see pictures of Dad's collection, as well as pictures of the tractors that I have, and those owned by one of my brothers. The John Deere bug seems to have gone on from one generation to the next in the Meyer family, and from the way my youngest son and grandson are enthused about John Deere's, it will continue yet a couple more generations.

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