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From a historical perspective, farming has been the lifeblood of West Tennessee since the first days when pioneer families traveled from the east coast to break ground in the wilderness that was this area. 

 Great advances in technology and changes in the economy may have altered farming tremendously, but that same farming tradition still runs deep around the Gleason community.  The Spain Bros. Milling Company caters to farmers located not only in Weakley County but also from Carroll and Henry Counties.

Linda Spain - Ally Spain - Keely Spain -  Gene Spain

On December 1, 1973, Gene and Bobby Spain purchased the milling operation from Paul Brundige who had been in business for fifty years or so. Their business operated behind the drug store. A little crunched for space, the Spainís decided to purchase more land and expand. 

The old cotton gin property behind the Gleason First United Methodist Church would soon serve this purpose as it was purchased in 1982 from Lofton Perry Fuqua, John Bennett Fuqua, and J. S. and Jack Denney all of Milan, Tennessee.

 

Mike Spain, Gene Spain, Mark Spain, Robert James

The old gin was disassembled, and the building that housed it was repurposed as a fertilizer blending plant. So, for a time, they operated out of two locations in downtown Gleason; however, since 2007, they have been operating solely from the old cotton gin location. 

 Bobby passed away suddenly in 2005, and Geneís sons Mike and Mark purchased their uncleís share of the business and came into the fold. Currently located behind the Gleason First United Methodist Church, Gene, Mike, and Mark service the farming community around the area in more ways than one; from selling seed to fertilizing fields, they do it all. 

 Scales on site allow farmers to bring in their bounties of wheat, soybeans, and corn to be loaded, weighed, and bought. 

 The wheat and some soybeans are sold to Cargill in Hickman, Kentucky, to be used for grain, feed, and other purposes. The soybeans are destined for a crushing plant in Cairo, Illinois. 

 The corn goes a county over to an ethanol plant in Obion County. The Spainís and their 6 employees service roughly 25,000 acres with their sprayers. Lime, 10,000 tons of it, and fertilizer are spread over 35,000 acres with their spreader trucks.

 On average, one to two million bushels of wheat, soybeans, and corn come through the milling operation every year.

(Story by Ben Rollins)

 

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