Farm Office Desk Donated to School
Enter Longview Farm Elementary School and you will see in the visitor’s waiting area a very special item. This past summer the school received a piece of Longview Farm history - an original desk that was once used on the Farm.
The desk came from the Farm Office Building. Following are the recollections of Dr. Glen Buell. Dr. Buell’s father, Roy, worked on the Farm for 42 years. The elder Buell arrived on the Farm in 1930 with his wife and there they raised their four sons. Mr. Buell held many positions while at Longview including General Manager.
“Inside the front door (of the Farm Office building) is a small entrance area with (a swinging gate and) doors to (wings) on the right and left. There were tables on either side of the swinging gate and a large map of the farm on one of the walls. On one of the tables ... was a pigeon-hole box for mail. The mail was delivered to the office, then picked up and distributed by the Department Managers.
There were ... desks for the different department managers that were housed in that office. The double desk (the one donated to Longview Farm Elementary school) was huge and was located near the back wall. It was (a) primary workspace for the office staff (usually one or two persons), so it received a lot of wear.
The phone numbers (on the desk) ... are Lee’s Summit numbers (Langsford Funeral Home). For many years there were two phones on the desk, one with Kansas City numbers (our exchange was Springdale) and a second phone for Lee’s Summit. This phone had a crank to get the operator who would connect you with your number (It may have been a party line). I do not remember an exchange being involved. Our Springdale number was changed while I was in college, but I do not recall the new exchange. The BR exchange may have been included with that improvement. I believe that the crank system to get the Lee’s Summit operator was located on the left side of the desk if you are sitting at the desk and facing the General Manager’s office. The crank apparatus would be about one-foot square or less.
My father’s office was in a room on the right. This room had a passage into the General Manager’s office.
During my growing up years ... the room to the left of the main entrance ... and the upstairs were occupied by workers in the cattle department. Also to the left was the (office) safe or vault. It was a small room with a steel door and a combination lock.
The left wing has a private door to (a) walnut paneled room. Mr. Combs suffered from Parkinson’s disease and when it became apparent that it would be progressive, that room was paneled and converted into a private office for him. The farm maintenance manger made a desk for him. (Another) safe was in that room (and) was for Mr. Combs’ personal papers.”
Many thanks go to Mr. Dean Goodman for donating the desk and providing historical information about where it came from. Thank you Mr. David Gale for putting Mr. Goodman in touch with the school about the donation. And to Dr. Glen Buell, thank you for the wonderful memories you have shared.
Lori Strong - R. A. Long Historical Society Member
CLICK HERE to go back to menu at top of page.