Willard Lamb Velie, John Deere's grandson, became a success in his own right manufacturing three vehicles that represented the changing times and technology of the early 20th century.
Old Maude. a Velie invention
Mr. Velie founded the Velie Carriage Company in Moline in 1901. True to the family agricultural tradition, the company manufactured farm wagons and buggies.
Technology was changing, however, so in 1908 the company entered the horseless carriage business, introducing "Old Maude." Though several local companies made automobiles, Velie's was far and away the most successful local effort. More than 75,000 Velie automobiles were made between 1908 and 1928.
In 1926, a Velie company engine powered and enclosed-cabin monoplane built by Don Luscombe and Clayton Folkerts of Bettendorf. They later became partners with Velie, forming the Mono Aircraft Corporation.
In 1929 a Velie Monocoupe piloted by Phoebe Omlie recorded a world altitude record over the Quad-Cities.
Mr. Velie died in 1929.