DES MOINES, IOWA — William Tindell Jr. is a retired Deere and Company tool maker from the Dubuque Deere plant. When he stopped working in 1994, he decided he needed something to do.
“I got started in 1989. We were coming from Omaha ,Nebraska and we got in Dyersville. I said to my wife ‘sure, I would love to start a collection.’ What could I collect now that I was going to be retired?,” said Tindell. “She said ‘what about John Deere?’ So, we stopped at Dyersville. In my first unit that I got was what was Shar bought me and that’s right here.”
It was a yellow John Deere road grader, like ones once built in Dubuque. From there he kept going, to accumulating around twelve hundred units of tractors and implements from a number or Deere historic eras.
He’s also collected classic cars.
“I always wanted a Corvette but when I was younger, growing up got married, we had four children and I just started at Deere’s and I had a good job but back then, I just couldn’t afford one,” said Tindell.
The retiree said he feels everyone needs a good hobby in retirement.
“I think you get into something you know it would help their minds and you know it does me if I didn’t have this I don’t know what I do,” said Tindell.
Many of Tindell’s tractors were made by Ertl Company of Dyersville. He went to school with one of the Ertl boys when he lived in Dubuque so that is another reason he wanted to collect the John Deeres.
As his collection goes Tindell has a regret from his time at Deere.
“But to go down in the line to get on the tractor to drive it, I would know nothing about a driving,” said Tindell. “That’s one thing I regret that I never went down and drove one, but I never did.”