from the archives
By Karen Urbec, MLIS
Archivist and Digital Collections Specialist
Two recent acquisitions to Vizcaya Museum and Garden’s archives are banking checks that were paid to William Deering in 1883. These checks were drawn on the Kenton Savings Bank of Ohio, and include stamps on front and back as well as a machined center hole and cut that were made during the cancellation process. The check dated October 1, 1883 is for $403.06 and the check dated October 6, 1883 is for $79.85.
William Deering was James Deering’s father, and in 1883 he was just beginning to gain enormous success with the Deering Harvester Company.
A Problem Solved
He had been in the agricultural machine business since 1870, and in 1879 Deering and his colleague, John F. Appleby, pioneered a harvesting reaper with an automatic twine binder. Machines to harvest wheat and other crops had been created in the early 1830s, but until then, there was no efficient and mechanical way to bind the bundles of hay.
We don’t know for sure how William Deering used these funds, but we do know that the Deering Company became International Harvester and the fortune that helped build Vizcaya.
William Deering Checks
Take a close-up look at the checks now in Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archives.