John Deere was a blacksmith who was born in Vermont but moved to Gand Detour, Illinois in about 1837. He made durable hoes, hayforks, shovels and steel plows. His son Charles Deere joined his father in business as a bookkeeper at age 16 after graduating from a Chicago commercial college in 1853. Deere and Company built their first plow-making factory on the Mississippi River near Moline, Illinois in 1859. Today John Deere is one of the world's largest manufacturers of farm machinery world wide.