The Sparta Economy Engine News

| June/July 1996

  • Sparta nameplate

  • Sparta nameplate

20601 Old State Road Haubstadt, Indiana 47639

Here is the beginning of a story about a company that eventually became the Hercules Gas Engine Company.

Today, when you drive east from Highway 37 into the village of Sparta, Michigan, a very attractive sign will greet you.

The village, as it is called, is located some 15 miles north, northwest of Grand Rapids. According to the clerk in the village office, there were 3,968 people in Sparta for the 1990 census. The 1910census listed 1203 people living there during the time that the following story takes place, 1908 - 1913.

Then, as now, communities were looking for ways to attract new industries and businesses. The Business Men's Association in the village of Sparta was no different. They had come up with a way to raise funds to use as an incentive to prospects. They would bond the village for $20,000 for an electric light plant. That apparently was legal. However, everyone knew that the money would be used otherwise. On August 6, 1908 a referendum was held and the bonding issue passed 234 to 23. A two-thirds majority was necessary so it passed easily. Actually, the money raised would be used for cash and facility incentives to prospective industries.

In August of 1908 the Luens Pump Company of Dayton, Ohio was interested in locating in Sparta; however, they had demanded too much incentive from the village and they were turned down.


Gas Engine Magazine A_M 16Gas Engine Magazine is your best source for tractor and stationary gas engine information.  Subscribe and connect with more than 23,000 other gas engine collectors and build your knowledge, share your passion and search for parts, in the publication written by and for gas engine enthusiasts! Gas Engine Magazine brings you: restoration stories, company histories, and technical advice. Plus our Flywheel Forum column helps answer your engine inquiries!

Be sure to take advantage of the Square Deal Subscription Program.

  • No Missed Issues.

  • No Renewal Notices.

  • No Additional Cost.

The Square Deal Subscription Program is designed as a paperless transaction with automatic renewals at a preferred low rate.   With advanced electronic notification, a 100% satisfaction guarantee and an easy opt-out plan, the Square Deal Subscription Program is the best value, risk free, eco-friendliest way to subscribe.

Facebook YouTube