Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens


WILLIAM CLINTON FARMER. One of the successful business men of Springfield, who has mounted the industrial ladder unaided is William Clinton Farmer, organizer and manager of the Electric Bottling Company. He has been a close observer of modern methods and is a student at all times of life as we of the twentieth century live it, and is therefore a broad-minded man of affairs, who is no doubt destined to still greater accomplishments in the future.

Mr. Farmer was born in Milford, Illinois, January 11, 1866. He is a son of William Wallace Farmer and Melissa (Willis) Farmer. The father was born on a farm near Attica, Indiana in 1843, and was a son of pioneer parents of that place, and there he grew to manhood and worked on the home farm, and received a country school education. Leaving the homestead when he became of age he went to Milford, Illinois, where he engaged in the grocery business, married and remained there until 1879 when he removed with his family to Emporia, Kansas, and engaged in the live stock business, handling imported horses, for the most part, the first ever sold in Lyon county. He remained there until 1886 when he located in Osceola, St. Clair county, Missouri, where he engaged in the livery and transfer business until his death in November, 1908. Politically he was a Democrat, and fraternally was a Mason. Melissa Willis, mother of our subject, was a native of Ohio, married Mr. Farmer in 1865, and her death occurred in 1909.

William C. Farmer received a good education in the schools of Milford, Illinois, and Emporia, Kansas. He studied pharmacy and went in the drug business in Collins, St. Clair county, Missouri, in 1887, continuing the same successfully for a period of twelve years, then went to Osceola as agent for the Pabst Brewing Company, of Milwaukee, where he remained until 1905 when he came to Springfield as distributor for that company, continuing with the same until 1907, giving the firm eminent satisfaction in every respect. Desiring to go into business for himself he organized the Electric Bottling Company in 1907, which has proven to be one of the leading concerns of its kind in southern Missouri, and he is now owner and manager of the same. It is located at 545,West Phelps avenue, but was first started at the same number on South Campbell street. It was successful from the first, under Mr. Farmer's able management and has rapidly grown in volume and importance with increasing years until its products are now finding a ready market over a wide territory, and are regarded as of a superior quality. A variety of popular carbonated beverages is manufactured here. About four hundred cases a week were manufactured at first, but this output has increased to three thousand bottles daily, the present output. The plant was retained at its first location for four years, then moved to its present convenient location, a substantial one-story brick building with nine thousand feet of floor space, with a capacity of two carloads per day. The plant is equipped with every modern device for the rapid manufacture of high-grade stuff, and fifteen competent assistants are constantly employed. A sterilizing and washing machine has just been installed at a cost of over six thousand dollars. Everything about the place is kept ship shape, is thoroughly sanitary and managed under a superb system. The principal products of this well-known plant are coco-cola, Farmer's root beer, ginger ale and sodas of such flavors as orange, lemon, cherry, cream, grape, strawberry, lemon and lemon sour. A specialty is made of Polar distilled water, one hundred per cent puire, having a capacity on this product of seven hundred gallons daily, and a very large sale is made from this department alone. Pabst "Blue Ribbon" beer is also handled.

Mr. Farmer was married in July, 1888, to Myrtle Pritchard, of Waubleau, Missouri. She was born in 1868, and she received her education at the Christian College of that place. She is a daughter of J. E. and Elizabeth (Orr) Pritchard. Her father devoted his active life as millwright.

To Mr. and Mrs. Farmer four children have been born, namely: Wallace E., born on April 23, 1889, is assisting his father in the bottling works, William C., Jr. born in 1891, is engaged in business with his father; Pauline (Mrs. Hykraft, Jr., of Nevada, Missouri) was born in 1893; and Vesta, born in 1895.

Politically, Mr. Farmer is a Democrat. Fraternally, he belongs to the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and the Loyal Order of Moose.

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