The John Deere- Lindeman Co.

Crawler pictured plowing snow

Gordon Stroven

Content Tools

14038 68th Avenue, Coopersville, Michigan 49404

A brief history of the growth and success of the company.

When J. D. and H. W. Lindeman organized the company in 1922, they had a combined capital of $250. The original company was formed in 1923 by Jesse Lindeman and his brother Harry Lindeman and the partnership was expanded in 1925 when Ross W. Lindeman, another brother, joined the organization.

Jesse Lindeman who lived and worked on an Iowa farm migrated to Yakima, Washington. He soon realized that the standard agricultural equipment then available was inadequate to meet the problems of the western farmers. This is when the Lindeman disc-harrow was placed on the market and Lindeman became a large manufacturing company. It was known through out the country as the Lindeman Power Equipment Co. of Yakima, Washington.

In a period of 15 years the staff increased from 2 to 42 men.

In 1930 the firm suffered two setbacks. Harry Lindeman died and the depression brought additional problems.

In these next couple years was when they began the relationship with John Deere Plow Co. which was the results of the Lindeman-John Deere crawler tractor.

The Lindeman Co. had been selling the John Deere orchard type wheel tractor and was very impressed with its economical and efficient horsepower, and wanted to equip it with tracks. So the engine and transmission was purchased from John Deere Tractor Co., but the final drive, steering clutches, track assemblies and some of the attachment were designed, and assembled by the Lindeman Co. to complete the crawler tractor operating unit.

Further expansion occurred at this time in 1934 when Joseph F. Lindeman, another brother, joined the organization.

It was in 1937 that the 'BO' Crawler hit the market and was built until 1947 according to what J. F. Lindeman told me, in writing to me. Mr. Lindeman also sent me an original parts manual, for which I thank him.

I wrote back to Mr. Lindeman asking for the total 'BO' Crawlers built and serial nos. from beginning to end. If I receive this, I will publish later.

On Dec. 13, 1946 John Deere & Co. Moline, Ill. announced the acquisition of most of the assets of the Lindeman Power Equipment Co. and became the second West Coast factory to join the John Deere organization. The other one is Killefer Manufacturing Corp., Los Angeles, Calif.

At this time plant employees numbered 350 to 400 people.

I feel honored to own one of these 'BO' crawlers pictured here plowing snow this winter with my fifteen year old son Jeff driving it. I bought it late last summer. It runs and works real good, but not restored yet. It has the original blade, with cylinders in pipes to blade. I would appreciate from the owners of these units if they would write me, giving me serial nos. and the likes and dislikes. I want to thank those men who already have .written me and hope that I have answered some of these questions. I received a letter from Bill Hersh, Falls City, Neb. who gave me many serial nos. and information.

One of our club members, Sharon Schut, has one restored that looks like it just come out of factory. Many people that come to our show, 'River Bend Steam and Gas Assoc. of Allendale, Michigan', really appreciated this piece of machinery. I hope to have mine there this year also.

Other 'BO' crawlers accounted for are five in Michigan, one in New York, one in Indiana, one in Minn., one in Iowa, nine in Neb., 'not all home yet from Wash.' and around eight from the state of Wash.

Well this is what I know of the 'BO' crawler and that they were used in the orchards and in the timber lands to haul out logs. Forgive me if any mistakes and I'll republish any additional information that is sent to me THANKS

I have permission from Joseph F. Lindeman, Yakima, Washington to print the above article.

My 'BO' Crawler pictured plowing snow this winter, with my fifteen year old son, Jeff, driving it. Courtesy of Gordon Stroven, 14038 68th Avenue, Coopersville, Michigan 49404

6 HP Fuller & Johnson Saw Rig acquired during a fishing vacation. Courtesy of Gordon S. Nelson, Box 86, Chisago City, Minnesota 55013

Nine HP Galloway Saw Rig purchased from John Koshak, Ely, Minnesota - 1974. Courtesy of Gordon S. Nelson, Box 86, Chisago City, Minnesota 55013

Matt Saari, 72, of Maple, Wisconsin is shown with seven of his collection of thirty one gasoline engines he has restored to mint condition. Courtesy of Vince Plesko, Route 2, Box 39, Superior, Wisconsin 54880

Many people have seen this engine and nobody knows what it is. Water-hopper is shaped like a New Holland. It is the first Waterloo Boy? A couple of men seem to think it is. Courtesy of Gordon Stroven, 14038 68th Avenue, Coopersville, Michigan 49404