Its First Hundred Years
There appear to be no written records of why, when or by whom the town was named Sparta. However, here as elsewhere in the county, many of the early settlers came from Tennessee. It is known that J. J. Bruton's mother came from Sparta, Tennessee, and it is believed that Sparta was named for her home town.
Henry Harrison Lee, called Harrison, an early settler, was one of the representative men of the community during its founding and early development. He came with his parents by wagon from Tennessee in 1851 when he was 13. Harrison's father, James H. Lee, homesteaded 160 acres. The family lived on the homestead until 1875 when it was sold and the Lees moved to a farm on Finley Creek, about eight miles from Sparta, where the elder Lee died in 1887.
Harrison Lee enlisted in Company B, 24th Missouri Infantry in 1862 and saw service in the Union Army through 1864. In 1863 he married Mary M. Hyde, daughter of Houston Hyde. Mr. Lee bought part of the Hyde farm as well as a portion of his father's land and lived there until 1875 when he bought a farm on Finley, about three miles from Sparta. In 1887 he bought eighty acres adjoining the town on the East and made that his home until his death in 1925. He was