The Syracuse Chilled Plow Company was created in 1876, under the original name of the Robinson Chilled Plow Co. The company took on its more recognized name three years later. In 1910, as Deere & Company continued to expand its holdings in the agricultural market, the Syracuse Chilled Plow Company was enjoying success of almost $200,000 in annual profits. When Deere acquired the company, it was headed by W.W. Wiard, great-grandson of early-nineteenth-century plow maker, Thomas Wiard.
George Mixter recounted the story of the company's acquisition. "I went to Syracuse, telephoned Mr. Chase from the hotel. Mr. Chase and Mr. Wiard immediately came to my room. I stated the general conditions of the implement trade and asked if they would care to be associated with Deere & Company. They immediately telephoned for their private ledger and spread before me the facts. I was particularly impressed with the reliability of their figures and the character of the men. After some talk they retired to an adjoining room and in a short time returned and stated ina general way what kind of a deal they were willing to make with Deere & Company. I returned to Moline, stated the facts to the Executive Committee of Deere & Company, and immediately returned to Syracuse to consummate the deal.Accompanied by Mr. Wharton, we arrived at Syracuse on Saturday noon. During Saturday afternoon and Sunday and most of two nights, Mr. Wharton devoted himself to examining the books while I made a tentative appraisal of the property. And on Monday noon we handed Mr. Chase a draft of the National Park Bank for $400,000 as an initial payment on the deal. These details" he confided, "show how possible it is to do things rapidly under the right conditions."
"The arrangements for the Syracuse purchase were similar to the earlier ones," according to Wayne Broehl's book, John Deere's History, "though in this case a substantial amount was paid in cash. (The Syracuse shareholders received $400,000 in preferred stock, just $10,000 in common stock, and $940,000 in cash; C.A. Chase and W.W. Wiard also received personally some $28,000 each of Deere common stock.) The management of the Syracuse operation remained in the hands of Wiard and Chase, and the manufacturing operations were left in Syracuse. The only change from previous Syracuse operations was the selling through Deere branch houses instead of directly to the trade." Copyrightę 2003 Deere & Company Archives