Independence, MO

The historic Drumm Farm Center for Children in Independence, Missouri has been helping children since 1929

CJ Coombs
Andrew Drumm Institute in Independence, Missouri.25or6to4, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Andrew Drumm Institute n/k/a Drumm Farm Center for Children built on a 370-acre working farm was an orphanage for boys. It's located in Independence, Missouri. In 1929, this facility provided education and support for boys who might otherwise be at a disadvantage.

Andrew 'Major' Drumm

Drumm was born on February 6, 1828, on a large farm in Ohio. He had 10 siblings. He helped on the farm and went to school and college.

In 1850, he spent over a year in the California gold mines as others did. In 1852, he went back to California and eventually owned a large ranch that was called Drumm Valley. He raised and sold hogs until he sold the ranch in 1865. Willoughby Bros. and Drumm, he operated a meat packing plant

In 1850, he spent over a year in the California gold mines as others did. In 1852, he went back to California and eventually owned a large ranch that was called Drumm Valley. He raised and sold hogs until he sold the ranch in 1865. Under the name Willoughby Bros. and Drumm, he operated a meat packing plant in San Francisco and returned to Ohio.

Drumm and his brother would make trips to Texas to buy Texas Longhorns and bring them back to Kansas. Drumm became somewhat of a cattle drive trail boss. He leased a large spread from the Cherokee Nation and set up a ranch raising and marketing cattle.

In 1886, Drumm married Cordelia Green who was from Liberty, Missouri purchasing their first home on Armour Boulevard. Due to his success, they could live in warmer climates down south during the winter months.

Drumm later became involved with the Kansas City livestock industry. He headed banks in Kansas and one in Kansas City, Missouri. The establishment of the Drumm Commission Company was so successful, that it expanded to East St. Louis and Chicago. He acquired the title of "Major" due to his success.

Drumm was always concerned for people who were less fortunate than himself. He became aware of other facilities in the country that helped the poor and needy. After visiting these places, he decided to add the idea of the Andrew Drumm Institute to his Will.

On April 14, 1919, at the age of 91, he died in San Antonio after becoming ill at a cattlemen's convention in Dallas. He is buried at Forest Hill Cemetery in Kansas City, Missouri. His wife, Cordelia, passed away at the age of 92 on October 7, 1937.
Andrew 'Major' Drumm (b. Feb. 6, 1828, d. Apr. 14, 1919).Added to Find a Grave by Misty Dawn in 2018.

In 1912, Drumm had his Will prepared, indicating that he wanted to create a facility that would serve as a home and school and a working farm for orphaned or indigent boys. In that same year, Drumm acquired a farm. He thought this would help boys regain their self-respect as well as teach agricultural skills.

After Drumm died, it took years to settle his estate, so the institute didn't open until 1929. The institute was pretty self-sufficient. The food that was raised on the farm could feed and earn money. Also, there was an endowment left by Drumm.

Chores assigned in the house or out on the farm were set up according to age and skill. They also received some allowance money.

The education of the boys was two-fold. Some of it was taught at the institute and some were learned at the local schools.

Up until 1944, there were 20 boys each year at the institute. As the home enlarged, they took in 35 boys. In the 1960s, there was an expansion, and by 1970, there were about 54 boys.

In the 1970s, however, laws and requirements changed the way the institute could function. They had to address child labor laws and requirements with state licensing. As far as the food production being self-sustaining in that manner, even this was limited because of changes.

So a golf course was developed on 209 acres which could provide a source of revenue. It's a beautiful course so I feel like I stood on a piece of history. The Drumm Farms Golf Club is semi-private and includes an 18-hole golf course and a 9-hole executive course.

Today, the institute is called the Drumm Farm Center for Children. On November 3, 2006, the Andrew Drumm Institute was added to the National Register of Historic Places. It's also considered a historic district because there are 10 buildings contributing to the significance of the historic value.

A four-acre garden and Drumm Market

Drumm staff and children plant a 4-acre garden and care for livestock. Children on campus participate in farm operations, giving them an opportunity to learn valuable life skills. The public is invited to shop at Drumm Market to help teach these skills to the children. (Source.)

The institute implemented changes including approval to begin admitting girls. An executive director and professional staff were added, and they were working closely with the Board of Trustees which added new members.

In time, the property was annexed into Independence, Missouri. Naturally, as times changed and the surroundings went from rural to urban, the changes implemented were necessary.

Since 1990, the Board of Trustees and permanent staff have managed and operated the institute. You can help support the Drumm Farm Center for Children in various ways. The center is located at 3210 S. Lee's Summit Road, Independence, Missouri 64055. Click here for more information.

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Multi-genre writer and author/publisher with a BA in Eng Journalism/Creative Writing. I worked in law firms for 30+ years and retired early to pursue writing. I was born into the Air Force, so you could say I'm from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. I love family, research, history, true crime, reading, art, and travel.

Kansas City, MO

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