Rooks Co., Kansas Funeral Homes

Last Updated June 10, 2006

Both the Plainville Funeral Home and the Stockton Funeral Chapel have beautiful home pages and can be reached by clicking the appropriate link below.
 The Moore-Overlease Funeral Home also has a beautiful home page including something I believe is exciting from a genealogy stand point, a Genealogy Request form. Please check it out by clicking the appropriate link below and then clicking the Genealogy tab.  They have a Stockton Chapel and a Plainville Chapel.

I would like to add information about the history of all funeral homes of Rooks County.  If you can provide information even on defunct funeral homes please contact me.  I would like to thank Mike Kemp; and Ron and Cindy Overlease for providing valuable information to genealogists researching their Rooks County ancestors.

Plainville Funeral Home  Moore-Overlease Funeral Home  Stockton Funeral Chapel  Smith-Moore-Overlease Funeral Home

History of the Stock Funeral Chapel provided by Mike Kemp, Manager.
The Stockton Funeral Chapel was established in September 2005 and is located in the building of the St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, 805 North Cedar in Stockton, Kansas.  Mike Kemp is the current Manager and can be contacted at
funerals@ruraltel.net or by telephone at 785-425-6255.

History of the Plainville Funeral Home provided by Mike Kemp, Manager.
The Plainville Funeral Home was established in 1928 as the Mosher Funeral Home by two Mosher brothers and one's wife.  Mike believes that it existed earlier than
that in the town of Codell.  It has been bought and sold several times.  Their records date back to about 1905.  Mike is going to do some research and put together a history
 for publishing.   I know it was formerly knows as the Ballard Funeral Home. The Plainville Funeral Home is located in the same place from when it was the Ballard Funeral Home, 302 Southwest 2nd Street in Plainville, Kansas.  Mike Kemp is the current Manager and can be contacted at
funerals@ruraltel.net or by telephone at 785-434-2700.

History of the Moore-Overlease Funeral Home provided by the More-Overlease Funeral Home.
Their history is published on-line on their web page under the tab About Us .  They are located at 723 North 1st Street in Stockton, Kansas.  You can contact  Ron and Cindy Overlease at
over@ruraltel.net or by telephone at 800-492-9848.

History of the Mosher Funeral Home and the Mosher-McMillin Funeral Home taken from the Plainville Kansas Centennial Book. published in 1988
In October, 1928, the Mosher family opened the funeral home in Plainville, which has provided the city and surrounding community with continuous service for 60 years.  Although portion of the ownership and active participation changed during this time, there was always a Mosher active in the management of the business until 1987.  Roy A. and Thelma Mosher were the original operators of Mosher's Funeral Service.  They opened a hardware and furniture store at 220 West Mill and conducted the funeral business from the store.  In 1938, they purchased the former W. H. Bartlett home and after additions and remodeling were completed, the funeral business was moved to it current location at 320 West Second.  The second floor of the building was converted into an apartment for the family's use.  They occupied the apartment until 1968, but it is now used as office space for the funeral home and Wheatland Memorial Company.  R. A. was active until his retirement in 1971.  His brother, Amos W. Mosher, joined the firm in 1935 following his graduation from embalming school.  With the exception of time spent in the military service, he was an active partner until his death in 1958.  R. A. and Thelma's son Gail attended embalming school after completion of  military service and received his funeral director's license in 1950.  Gail continued to work with is parents until their retirement.  From 1971-1987, he and his wife Ruby were the sole operators of the funeral home.  They expanded to include a memorial business by founding Wheatland Memorials Company.  In June, 1987, Gail and Ruby sold the funeral home and Wheatland Memorial Company to Dan and Carol McMillin.  The McMillin's continue the long tradition of excellent service and quality care established by the Mosher family.   (
Note from Shelly Haas, granddaughter of R. A. Mosher -
My grandfather was R. A. Mosher, one of the founders of Mosher Bros. Funeral Home, and my Dad was Gail A Mosher, my mother is Ruby Mosher and together they ran the funeral home after my grandparents retired. I have asked Mom about the Ballard Funeral Home, and she says our funeral home was never known as Ballard, and did not start nor was it ever in Codell. Maybe there was a Ballard Funeral Home in Codell at one time, and the records ended up at 320 S.W. 2nd somehow. My grandparents moved to Plainville from Lucas shortly after my Dadís birth to open the funeral home in Plainville. It operated without a building for several years before they bought I believe the Bartlett home and turned it into the funeral home.)

History of the Smith Funeral Home and the Smith-Moore Funeral Home taken from the Plainville Kansas Centennial Book. published in 1988
Although Doug and Diedre Moore have owned the Smith-Moore Funeral Home in Stockton for two years, the business itself dates back to 1901, when it was established by J. T. Smith a Stockton businessman.  He had owned a hardware store for more than 10 years before starting the funeral business.  When J. T. died in 1917, his son Frank M. Smith, took over the business.  Changes were taking place in funeral service, as with everything else, and the Smiths kept stride.  In 1937, Frank and his wife, Eva (Brobst) Smith, converted her large family home into a funeral home and memorial chapel-one of the first funeral homes in Northwest Kansas.  the facility has undergone extensive enlargement and remodeling since that time.  After Frank's death in 1948, his son, John Brobst Smith, went into partnership with his mother to continue the business.  He represented the third generation of Smiths to operate the family firs.  John was active in professional associations, elected president of the Kansas Funeral Directors Association in1938 and serving two 3-year terms on the State Board of Embalmers.  Although he is no longer associated with the funeral home, he and his wife Roma own and operate Smith's gift shop in Stockton.  In May, 1952, Elton Smith accepted a position as funeral director and embalmer at the funeral home.  Although he was not related to the Smith family, coincidence dictated that he leave the name of the firm as the Smith Funeral Home when be became the owner in 1976.  He had previously bought half interest in the business in 1969.  Shortly before retiring from the funeral home, Elton established Smith's Monuments, which he and his wife Marcella continue to operate.  Doug and Diedre Moore purchased the firm in July, 1986, changing the name to the Smith-Moore Funeral home at that time.  Doug had worked at Mosher's Funeral Home in Plainville for the previous eight and a half years, and Diedre taught English and journalism at Plainville High School for eight years.  While continuing the firm's historical tradition of thorough service, the Moores strive to maintain a relaxed, friendly atmosphere and to help families through this difficult time with as little stress as possible.  They are proud to be a part of Rooks County's heritage.

History of Hornish & Grimes Hardware taken from Woodston The Story of a Kansas Country Town 1885-1985 by Leo E. Oliva
In 1910 Hornish & Grimes Hardware added undertaking to their business and purchased a hearse.  The Swank Hardware, successor to Hornish & Grimes continued their undertaking business into the 1930's, afte which such services were no longer available in Woodston.

History of Dunlap & Still  taken from Woodston The Story of a Kansas Country Town 1885-1985 by Leo E. Oliva
Dunlap & Still, the other hardware and furniture dealers in Woodston, also entered the undertaking business in 1910.

Other funeral homes operated in Rooks County area over the years and who to contact for previous funeral information:
Ballard Funeral Home - contact the Plainville Funeral Home
Mosher Funeral Home - contact the Plainville Funeral Home
Mosher-McMillin Funeral Home - contact the Plainville Funeral Home
Smith Funeral Home - contact the Moore-Overlease Funeral Home
Smith-Moore Funeral Home - contact the Moore-Overlease Funeral Home
Smith-Moore-Overlease - contact the Moore-Overlease Funeral Home

Vital Statistics

Brenda Reeder  Rooks County Coordinator