Family shares love of John Deere with town

Sindts went from selling products to displaying them in museum

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KEYSTONE — John Deere has a large presence in this Benton County town.

Driving around town, you will see residents riding John Deere mowers on their well-manicured lawns. Turning off Highway 30, the large P&K Midwest dealer is one of the first buildings you will see.

Until January 2012, the town’s John Deere products were sold by the Sindt family: Darold Sindt and his sons John and Derrick.

Now, the Sindts run a museum in town that’s home to hundreds of antique tractors, ranging from the 1916 Waterloo Boy Model R that Derrick Sindt said has “probably has spent more time on trailers than in the field” to John Deere 4020s from the 1970s.

“I don’t have a favorite,” said Derrick Sindt as he walked through one of the museum buildings earlier this month. “The older and odder the better.”

Darold Sindt took the John Deere business over from Fred “Fritz” Schneider in 1968, and Derrick said he started doing little jobs around the shop around 1972.

“You could say I grew up in the business,” Derrick said.

The Sindts open their museum by appointment; there are no set hours. Derrick said sometimes tour buses filled with John Deere fans from other countries come by Keystone on their way to the company’s factory in Waterloo.

The Sindts also deal in older parts, and help those interested in procuring antique John Deere materials.

“A lot of people want a tractor like their grandpa had or that they used to own,” Derrick Sindt said.

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