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Carlson-Geisendorf Funeral Home History

In May of 1906, Lon Smith and his son, Rush, came to Salina after purchasing the Phillip Young Undertaking establishment which was located at 131 N. Santa Fe. In 1909 they purchased and moved to the Roach Building at 141-143 South Santa Fe where they combined the furniture (formerly the Ganett Furniture Store) and undertaking business.

In 1916 Rush Smith and his father Lon purchased the ground at the corner of Ninth and Iron and started building the Lon Smith and Son Funeral Directors. Eighteen months later the business was moved to the location, which was one of the first funeral homes to be built exclusively as a funeral home. For many years hearses were driven by horse, but when the automotive hearses began to appear, Rush Smith was one of the first to make these available for families. In 1918, Rush Smith purchased the funeral business from his father, Lon who continued to operate the furniture business downtown and helping to assist in funeral services until his retirement, when he sold the furniture business to the Gebhardt and Jilka Furniture Company.

On July 1, 1959 the funeral home and business was sold to James L. Geisendorf and his wife Marjorie. On January 1, 1986, the Geisendorf's sold the funeral home and business to Roger and Tedi Brent, who had been long time employees of the Geisendorf's.

In 1997, the Brent's sold the funeral home and business to Carriage Services in Houston, TX. who continued ownership until November 2002 when the funeral home and business was sold to Mike and Helen Carlson.

Since 1916, the funeral home had been located at 401 W. Iron but now is located at the state-of-the-art location of 500 S. Ohio. Complete with it's own crematory.

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