Biography of W. G. Holland

W. G. HOLLAND. When a grain of wheat is cut across the middle and examined under a glass the central parts are found to be composed of a white substance; if the grain is dry this interior readily becomes a pearly powder. Near the outside of the kernel the texture is more compact, and at the surface it becomes horny. This added firmness is produced by the increasing quantity of gluten as the analysis advances from center to circumference. Under-standing the structure of the grain, it has been the object of the miller to separate the various parts, so as to get different grades of flour. It is the gluten which gives to flour its strongest property, and it is in the nice separation of this constituent that the roller process excels. As one of the finest examples of the application of this process and machinery generally to the manufacture of fine flour the Sparta Roller Mill deserves a detailed description.

This concern was established in 1891 and is owned by H. H. Lee, J. J. Bruton and W. G. Holland. The cost of erecting the mill was $7,000 and it is well equipped with the full roller system, having three double set of rollers. The capacity per day is fifty barrels, the power being a forty-horse power engine. The brands, especially the ” Extra Patent ” and Belle of Sparta, are well known in the south part of Missouri and north Arkansas. The mill is located a quarter of a mile east of Sparta, is three stories in height, and its owners are doing a good business. Mr. Lee resides near the mill and Mr. Bruton, who is one of the representative men of the county, understands every detail of the business.

Our subject, W. G. Holland, was born in Christian County, Missouri, August 19, 1862, the son of James M. and Ann (Jones) Holland, natives of Tennessee. The parents were reared in their native State, but after marriage removed to Missouri, and were pioneers of Christian County. Mr. Holland has a good farm six miles north of Sparta and he and wife are highly esteemed in the community. They reared a family of eight children, five of whom are still living: Jasper N., who is engaged in farming near the home place; John R., who resides in Springfield; Lucy A., wife of J. W. Chaffin, resides near the old place, and Mary, who is the wife of James W. Cox, resides near Ozark.

The original of this notice was next to the youngest of the family. He was early trained to the duties of farm life and attended the schools of his neighborhood, securing a fair education in the same. In 1880 he began clerking in a dry goods store for Vinton Bros., and remained with them four years, when he came to Sparta. Here he clerked in the store of John Harebeck for three years and then embarked in the drug business at that place, continuing the same for these years. After this he opened a store, put in a stock of clothing and gent’s furnishing goods, and carried this on for two years, after which he became a member of the firm that built the Sparta Roller Mill. In politics Mr. Holland is a Democrat, and an active, public-spirited citizen. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, Sparta Lodge No. 296. He selected his wife in the person of Miss Ottie Bruton, daughter of Hon. J. J. Bruton, and one child has been born to this union, Norah Ann. Mr. and Mrs. Holland reside in Sparta, and are highly esteemed there. The families are all members of the Baptist Church, except our subject, who is undenominational in religion. Mr. Holland’s push and energy have brought him to the front, for he started out with limited means and what he has accumulated is the result of his own industry.



A Reminiscent History of the Ozark Region: comprising a condensed general history, a brief descriptive history of each county, and numerous biographical sketches of prominent citizens of such counties. Chicago: Goodspeed Brothers Publishers. 1894.

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