Site Sees Slight Changes “The Myers-Farnsworth-Buck Saga”
Years come and go and when even slight changes in appearance occur at familiar places, public curiosity follows.
Such is the case at 103 Cemetery Street, Hughesville, where some buildings remain nearly a century.
On Jan 8, 2009, Farnsworth Farm Supply sold to Buck Lumber Company and another local family became stewards of the site.
Buck Lumber has been a longtime neighbor with a store, offices and warehouse complex.
Spokesman Rodney Buck shared plans for the new acquisition but not before hearing accounts from family of former owners.
James E. Myers, Hughesville, son of the late J. Emerson Myers, told of his family’s ownership from 1945 through Jan 1, 1970. “My father began selling Oliver farm equipment in 1940 from the former Harold Temple farm in Moreland Township near Lairdsville. It had been the Harvey Myers farm but after granddad’s death, his widow Sarah Arthur moved to Muncy.
“I was seven when dad purchased Brady McCarty’s coal yard in Hughesville. A frame building butted Railroad Street where coal was dumped from the train’s hopper cars. Dad transformed it into a warehouse for machinery storage and baging fertilizer,” Myers said.
He also recalled a tiny office building with scales and a small three-bay truck garage changes into a storage space for bins holding repair parts.
“It was 1951 when the cement block office building was erected on the corner,” Myers said.
Employees included full-time mechanic Earl Eichenlaub, with Bob Harding and Orville James being combination truckers, laborers, handymen. “I spent five years there with part-time workers added to payroll during busy seasons,” Jim said.
Selling 50 plows within one year earned Myers the title “Plow King,” so said people at the Oliver Company’s Harrisburg branch. “I’m guessing they were the Plowmaster #100 model,” said Myers.
The son could only estimate number of Oliver tractors sold saying from best to leanest years a maximum of 24 to a minimum of six.
New Holland, known for haymaking machinery, was sold a few years until the company insisted dealers stock a $100,000 inventory. “That’s when dad told them to take their franchise down the road. And too, by this time Oliver produced balers,” he said.
Baugh’s fertilizer, with 2,000 tons dispensed annually, was a big part of the business as were seeds. Farmers sold their harvests to Myers which were then run through a cleaner and resold first to Seaboard Seed Company of Philadelphia, then to Stanford Seeds.
When Myers sold the business, he remained for a two-year transition period with succeeding owners; nephew Wayde and wife Phyllis Derrick Farnsworth.
Mrs. Farnsworth shared that “Many happy times were spent there by our children Barry, Lynn, Beth Ann and Carey. Occasionally Sunday afternoons found our youngsters running feed bag carts and playing hide-and-seek in many corners in the warehouse.”
At various times into and during adulthood, all were involved in the business except Lynn who succumbed to leukemia at age 11. Wayde was directly involved in management/sales while Phyllis served as secretary/bookkeeper.
When recalling employees, Phyllis said, “For a short time in 1975, nephew J. Howard Langdon worked while awaiting the successful results of his bar exam. Longtime laborers held over from the transition were Eichenlaub and Howard Charles. Harold Bender was another competent worker.”
Numerous were customers both locally and beyond, from places such as Emporium, Tunkhannock, Long Pong, Hudson, Ny as well as NY, WV and DE.
Many came during the 10-day end of the year appreciation open house, visiting family in the area or just see where Hughesville’s located.
In 1969, the White Motor Cooperation bought Oliver, Minneapolis Moline and Cockshutt, combining them into one entity known as White Farm Equipment Company.
“In 1975, Sperry-New Holland approached us to sell parts and equipment which until June 2005 was a successful enterprise,” Mrs. Farnsworth said.
Inventories also consisted of large volumes of parts, fertilizer, seeds, animal feed and diary supplies.
A new 60 by 100 foot structure was erected in 1981, a multi purpose block building for additional storage and repair shop.
Thirty nine years passed during the Farnsworth family’s stay and time came again for children to race bag carts through the warehouse. This time it was the next generation, Dakota and Brittany, children of Beth Ann Farnsworth and husband William Wright.
Carey Farnsworth continues using his mechanical knowledge, as in addition to his regular job, is often called to repair Oliver tractors for area collectors.
Meanwhile, Randy Buck assures us little of the view at number 103 will change. “We’ve removed some additions tacked on to main buildings, with the remaining used for additional storage,” he said.
And so today, another chapter begins as Buck Lumber continues linking the past to the present. Builders in new home construction in nearby developments, Bucks have also respected the past by purchasing and rehabilitating several sites, most notability the former Main Street School which hold fond memories for many.