Sparta Economy Engine News


| August/September 1996



20601 Old State Road Haubstadt, Indiana 47639

It's not very often that there is information from a former employee available. Back in 1976 Ray Miller of Fort Erie, Ontario, wrote to the Sparta Township Library asking for information about the Holm Machine Manufacturing Company. They referred him to Phil Bradstrum who was still living at the time. Below is the content of Mr. Bradstrum's reply:

E. Phil Bradstrum, 22 Centennial Avenue, Sparta, Michigan 49345, February 20, 1976

Ray Miller & Sons, 2815 Niagara Blvd., Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada

Dear Mr. Ray Miller,

Your letter to the Sparta Library turned over to me for a reply about the Holm's Mfg. Co. This was a new company formed by Sears, Roebuck and Company and Holm's. Money furnished by Sears and know how by Holm's. At this time, Holm's was associated with the Northwest Engineering Company, makers of marine engines and concrete machinery at Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Coming to Sparta, Michigan, a clause in the deal was that Sparta was to furnish money to build the plant. Having no money for such a purpose, they bonded the village for $20,000 to build a park, as it was illegal to bond for manufacturing plants in the state of Michigan at that time, so a loophole was found. We came to Sparta November 17, 1908. About 1912, Sears bought out Holm's and they operated the company until 1914 when they sold 51% of the stock to Hercules Buggy Company of Evansville, Indiana. They moved the company that same year. The Economy Engine was the only brand name in manufacturing in Sparta. I do not have information or names of the officers of the company, likewise no literature, books or parts lists on the engine.