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 -
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
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)