Community building gets $12,000 in donations

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Building believed to be built during 1940s

The Butterfield Community Building Committee recently received $12,000 in donations, including $10,000 from First State Bank and $2,000 from George's Poultry, for improvements to the city's community building.

Improvements planned include upgrading the heating and air conditioning system, remodeling the restrooms, improving the kitchen, painting the building and purchasing new banquet tables.

"We have several things we needed to do," said Barbara Ray, treasurer for the city's community building committee. "The building was purchased several years ago for a community building, and this committee is responsible for maintaining it. We're going to make some modifications to the bathroom and paint it and just make it better."

Ray said the building houses city hall and is available to the community for a variety of events, such as family reunions and business meetings. She believes the remodel will not only complete needed repairs and greatly-improve the building, and also encourage residents to use it more.

Walmart also chipped in, donating paint for the building.

The building is believed to have been built sometime during the 1940s era, according to Glen Garrett, chairman and CEO of First State Bank, who grew up in Butterfield.

"I grew up right across the street from the building," Garrett said. "So it's got a good, warm place in my heart from my childhood."

Garrett said he thought it was originally built to be a store, and at one point in time, a family grocery store operated there, but he said it had been many things over the years.

"My dad had a welding shop across street from the building, and my stepmother had an eating joint and night club across street," he said. "Dad started a shop there [in Butterfield] in about 1929, and ran it until late 1950s as a repair shop for farming equipment. So, I spent a lot of time around there. And then, in the early 1960s, Bill Roller and I started G&R Machine works in my dad's shop building. Later, we moved to Purdy, and it's now RM Industries, which is owned by Roller's boys."

In addition to the sentimental connection to the city and building, which partly prompted the donation, there was also a financial and community need.

"It takes a lot of money to do a lot of things and it needed repairs," Garrett said. "We've got a lot of bank customers in that area and the bank has been good to me and I felt an obligation to help. The donation was from First State Bank. That's what community banks are supposed to do, help their communities.

"We had a list of things that needed to be done, and there's no use half-doing something, but doing it to where it would amount to something. So, that was what we felt like it would take to do the job right. I was on the committee that brought George's Poultry to Butterfield, [the Barry County Industrial Development Corporation]. With George's at the edge of town, it has been good for Butterfield and has brought a lot of people here."

"Garrett has a lot of fond memories of Butterfield and tries to help them out as often as possible," said Landon Fletcher, vice president of First State Bank. "He's made donations to the fire department there and now has made this donation to improve the community building. It's his hometown."

For additional information about the Butterfield Community Building Committee, including reserving it for a special event, people may contact George Edie Ulmer at 417-235-4940 or Barbara Ray at 417-847-2734.

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