In The News

Upcoming events Butterworth Center, Deere-Wiman House

This article originally appeared in the Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus

Area residents know that John Deere invented the self-scouring plow. But they may be less familiar with the early industrialist’s influence on the city of Moline and agribusiness across the region. “The Other Things John Deere Did” is the subject of an Evenings at Butterworth presentation on Friday, Oct. 19, by renowned local historian Roald Tweet.

Deere’s invention of the self-scouring steel plow was so important in turning the tall-grass prairie into America’s breadbasket that it has obscured his other contributions in the popular imagination. However, Deere also played an active role in local government and society, and was a strong industry leader during a period of time when America’s agricultural manufacturing sector experienced rapid and unprecedented growth.

A faculty member at Augustana College for four decades, Tweet has pursued a lifelong study of the history and culture of the Mississippi River and this region. Since October 1995, he has written and narrated “Rock Island Lines,” a regular segment aired on radio station WVIK, Augustana’s National Public Radio affiliate. A staff member of Mississippi Valley Writers Conference, Tweet received the Studs Terkel Humanities Service award from the Illinois Humanities Council in 2006.

Roald Tweet in “The Other Things John Deere Did,” honoring the 175th anniversary of Deere & Co., 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 19, Butterworth Center, 1105 8th St., Moline, Ill. No charge for admission; refreshments following. Event funded by the William Butterworth Memorial Trust. For more information, call (309) 743-2701;

The Oct. 26 installment of “Fridays at Deere-Wiman” will feature internationally renowned pianist Leon Bates. Acclaimed by critics all over the world, Bates will perform at the historic Deere-Wiman house as part of the Quad City Arts Visiting Artist Program.

One of America’s leading concert pianists, Bates has performed with many major U.S. symphonies, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Detroit Symphony and Boston Symphony.

He has also performed extensively with international symphonies and orchestras, establishing a strong reputation with audiences all over the world. He is known for his unique ability to connect with young people, performing as many as 50 residency programs in a single season.

This event is part of the Fridays at Deere-Wiman House series funded by the William Butterworth Memorial Trust, and the Quad City Arts Visiting Artist Program. Pianist Leon Bates, 3 p.m., Friday, Oct. 26, Deere-Wiman House, 817 11th Avenue, Moline, Ill. Admission: free; refreshments following. For more information, call (309) 743-2701;