Thursday, May 24, 2012

Milky Way Farms!

During the Depression, a well known candy bar brought a little sweetness to Giles County, TN.  Frank Mars put his now famous confection, the Milky Way Bar, on the market in 1920, and he made a fortune of several million dollars.

Ten years later, he bought land in Giles County, and he started a farm there.  In time, he owned 3,500 acres there.

At the time, things were bleak in Tennessee, as they were in many other areas of the country.  However, Mars farms, which began as his bobby, brought some prosperity to the area. In the beginning, the farm employed 600 people directly.  Not only that, but many local businesses were tapped for the farm's development, and many more people were thus indirectly employed by the Milky Way Farms.  This was a huge boon to the local economy.

Once the farms were up and running, the direct employment and the money spent in development dropped; however the farms still benefited the area.

In April of 1934, Frank Mars died at age 51, and he was buried in a mausoleum on one of the highest hills on his farms.  People filling 12 Pullman cars came down from Chicago for the funeral.  In 1944, Mars' widow, Ethel, had his body moved to Minneapolis.

In the spring of 1945, she sold the farms.


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