UNDER THE SPREADING CHESTNUT TREE

Often people think John Deere built the first tractor – but tractors weren’t designed until the late 1800s, early 1900s.

What John Deere did do, is invent a plow with a polished steel blade that allowed midwestern dirt to slide off. (Midwestern clay dirt is different from New England sandy dirt.)

As more and more farmers clamored for their own plow, Deere realized he would need to move near the Mississippi River so that steel could more easily be delivered to him – so the Deere family left Grand Detour and headed for Quad Cities.

The “Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree” title refers to the poem I learned in sixth grade. I had to practice and practice and practice it to such an extent, I think my mom could recite it by osmosis.  The poem is about the village blacksmith.

 

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