Leon Farmer

February 15, 1905 - January 4, 1987


U.S. Calvary 1939

Leon Farmer was born on the family farm in Jackson County, Georgia, and when he was old enough to walk, he was put in the fields with his older brothers, father, and uncles. His first job off the farm was working for baseball great Ty Cobb packing apples. He joined the Army in 1923, but he didn’t weigh enough, so he stood on the scales and ate bananas and drank water until he satisfied the Army’s weight requirement. After completing boot camp, he was assigned to the U. S. Cavalry, where he became an expert with a sword, mounted and dismounted, and a pistol, mounted and dismounted.

He joined the Cavalry Detachment at the University of Georgia, teaching Advanced ROTC students to become Cavalry officers. Dean William Tate said that Sergeant Leon Farmer was Georgia’s finest rider, describing Sarge’s extraordinary feat of jumping his horse over a line of soldiers during the Cavalry exhibitions on campus. Sergeant Farmer was stationed with the Cavalry Detachment at the University of Georgia from 1923 until the it was abolished in 1939.


Father and Son 1978

He taught ROTC at the University of Georgia until World War II began and would later say that he never went to college, but he taught at the University of Georgia. During the War, he was an ROTC instructor at Athens High School until he retired on December 31, 1949 with 26 ½ years service. Sarge always said that the “Bo Weevil” put him in the Army, and the “Great Depression” and World War II kept him in it.

After selling Ford cars and Baby Ruth and Butterfinger candy bars, he entered the beer business in 1950, buying the company in 1956 and acquiring Anheuser-Busch products in 1958. He was President of the company for 25 years from 1956 until his retirement in 1983, winning numerous awards for sales, service, and recognitions for his contributions to his community. Sarge was honored for his many years of dedication and hard work at the company when the name was changed to “Leon Farmer and Company” on October 24, 1983.