Lee’s Summit plumber near me is what my customers type when they need someone fast. Sometimes being a 24 hour emergency plumbing company can be an adventure. The work is hard but rewarding. One of my greatest joys is the people. I especially enjoy my lee’s summit plumbing customers.
I’ve had hot water heater installations at midnight. A garbage disposal repair on a Sunday afternoon is common. And a sump pump repair on a spring evening is expected. Clogged drains are the most common. But it’s always the people I remember.
Lee’s Summit is a big city with a wide range of people and cultures. I remember this one slow Wednesday morning I responded to an elderly gentleman’s leaking plumbing call. I was fortunate it was a slow day. His name was James. He had a leaking kitchen drain pipe and quite a few other things that I found. He asked me to fix them and I obliged.
Now what you need to know about my job is that I work around a lot of elderly people. They’re my favorite kind of customer. They have a lot of miles on them and a lot of stories. While I worked Jim started telling me a story. The story of his city.
In the latter half of the 19th century there was a small town called Strother. It was, like most small towns then, next to the railroad tracks. This railroad was the Missouri Pacific. Strother was only about one and a half square miles and boasted a robust 100 residences. Of course, today that town is Lee’s Summit, it’s over 65 square miles and has over 95,000 people. It was founded by a fella named William B. Howard. A few years later the name was changed to Lee’s Summit.
Now the “Summit” portion of the name comes from the fact that Lee’s Summit is the highest point on the railroad line between St. Louis and Kansas City. But the origin of the “Lee” portion of the name is disputed by historians. Some say it comes from Robert E. Lee since the founding of the city was so close to the end of the civil war. Others say the name is in memory of an early settler, Dr Pleasant Lea. The misspelling is supposed to be due to railroad sign painters.
Leaking Water Pipe Fixed
I interrupted him briefly to let him know I had finished repairing the leaking water pipe. It was a relatively simple soldering job. But I had to explain to him that his hot water heater was leaking from it’s rusty base. It was probably time to replace it.
He smiled at me knowing from my pained expession that I hated giving him bad news. And he told me he’d be happy to have a new hot water heater installation. I appreciated his quick response. Sometimes people don’t react so well when you have to give them bad news. I started my next task and Jim got back to his story.
Back To Jim’s Story
Lee’s Summit’s most infamous citizen was Cole Younger, called “The Last of the Great Outlaws” by author Homer Croy. Apparently, soldiers drove Younger to a life of crime after his father was killed. While Union forces were enforcing Order #11, the command issued in 1862 to burn homes belonging to those with Southern ties, Younger and his brothers were credited with saving many of the homes in Lee’s Summit, one of which belonged to William B. Howard. Order #11 helped to unify the southern population in Missouri and compelled Younger to join the Confederate guerrilla band known as Quantrill’s Raiders. Cole Younger was arrested after an attempted bank robbery in Northfield, Minnesota. After 25 years in prison, Cole Younger was paroled in 1901. Three years later, Younger returned to Lee’s Summit where he lived as a model citizen until his death in 1916. His grave is located in the Lee’s Summit Historic Cemetery.
Garbage Disposal Replacement
Jim stopped for a moment and asked if I had time to for a garbage disposal repair since I was about finished with his hot water heater replacement. The phone wasn’t ringing today so I had time. But really I was enjoying his company and his history lesson of Lee’s Summit. So I cleaned up my work area and moved to the kitchen sink. I noticed water leaking from the bottom of the garbage disposal and knew what that meant. The seal between the grinder chamber and the electrical components of the disposal had been compromised by either drain cleaner or some previous jammed grinding chamber. He needed a new one.
I recommended either the Insinkerator Badger 5 or the stainless steel Insinkerator Contractor 333. He opted for the upgraded version saying he didn’t want to have to mess with it again. Then he began his tale once again.
Jim’s Story Continues
On a Sunday morning in 1885 while most of the people were in church the dry wooden structures of the downtown area burst into flame. A detailed account of the fire, as printed in the April 16, 1885, issue of The Lee’s Summit Journal, stated the buildings burned “…like greased wood”. Virtually the entire business district was destroyed and the losses were $87,000 and 25 buildings. But the citizens being of hearty stock soon began rebuilding.
Drain Cleaning and Sump Pump Repairs
I dropped my pliers loudly in the middle of his story. It startled Jim to the point of briefly stopping his story. This gave me an opportunity to mention the obvious kitchen drain clog he’d been living with and the failed sump pump I’d noticed during the hot water heater replacement. Jim smiled and with a patient wave of his hand said, “This will hopefully be the last time I have to call you.” Then snickered slyly and relented with his story.
Jim’s Tale Comes To An End
A Kansas City lumberman named R. A. Long began building his dream almost 30 years later. That dream became Longview Farm. In 1912, Mr. Long purchased approximately 1,700 acres in the southwest portion of Lee’s Summit. The farm included five major barn groups and 42 buildings. When completed and functional, Longview Farm became internationally known for the horses and livestock contained within its white rail fences and was one of only three dozen such showplace farms.
With the sump pump replacement completed and the kitchen drain clog unclogged, Jim wound down his story. He thanked me. I thanked him for his company and enthralling story of the hard working and resilient people of Lee’s Summit. I cleaned my work space, completed all paperwork, shook hands with the old man and went on my way.
I still think about Jim and the time we spent together. I don’t wish plumbing problems on anyone. But I do hope to hear from Jim again.