Thrive acquires old funeral chapel
One of Iola’s most historic houses, the long-time home of the Waugh, Yokum and Friskel Memorial Chapel, has been acquired by Thrive Allen County.
Now, Thrive will take the next six months or so to decide what to do with the property, built as a residence in the waning days of the 19th century before being converted into a funeral home.
The property, at 16 N. Buckeye St., was acquired earlier this month from Feuerborn Family Funeral Service.
The purchase includes the former funeral home building — which was built as a residence for F.S. Bennett in 1897 — as well as four vacant lots west of the funeral home and a paved parking lot to the south.
“There’s a lot of potential here,” noted Lisse Regehr, Thrive’s deputy director for outreach and advocacy. The property is zoned as commercial, is adjacent to downtown Iola and lies within a newly established Kansas Opportunity Zone.
During the interim period, an upstairs apartment in the former funeral home will be used as rental housing.
Thrive invites the public to weigh in on how they would like to see the property used. To share your thoughts, call Thrive’s office at (620) 365-8128, post on Thrive’s Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ACCORDING to Register archives, father and son David and Thomas Waugh purchased a mortuary from Flora Adams and Jay Hesser in 1929 at the corner of Jefferson and Jackson avenues.
The business relocated to 16 N. Buckeye when the Waughs bought the house from S.M. Sifers in May 1938. The Waughs then renovated the home in 1941.
The mortuary became Waugh Yokum Funeral home in 1965, and Waugh, Yokum & Friskel in 1982. The funeral home was acquired by Garnett-based Feuerborn in 2016 and relocated to the old Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints east of Iola later that year.