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History

History

Derfelt Funeral Home has been serving Galena, Baxter Springs, Oswego, Columbus area families for years. We are honored to be a part of the rich history of this community and plan to be a part of it for many years to come.

Galena Kansas

Our Beginnings

The Derfelt family roots run deep into the soil of Southeast Kansas. In fact, John Derfelt homesteaded his family here long before the City of Galena was incorporated. His son, also John Derfelt helped his father build the first brick building in this city. It was John Olin, one of the third generation of Derfelt’s who began the legacy of funeral directing.

J. O. Derfelt, in addition to being a Funeral Director, was a Baptist minister, an auctioneer, and a one-time Postmaster of Galena. He joined with Rev. Dow Booe, another well known area minister, to purchase Allison Funeral Home in 1948.

In the early 1950’s, J. O’s son, Roy L. Derfelt joined the firm as Funeral Director and Embalmer. Soon afterwards, Rev. Booe sold his business interests to Roy Derfelt. The business has been a family owned and family operated mortuary ever since.

Our Legacy

In the 1970’s, Roy’s sons both joined the business, professionally. Being raised in a family business, both of the boys began helping their dad while in high school. John was the oldest sibling and Jerry was the youngest. (There are two sisters sandwiched between them in age.) But it was in 1972 that John acquired his professional licenses and Jerry followed suit in 1974.

The Derfelt family was known throughout the area for the ambulance service they maintained out of the funeral homes.

In 1976, the Derfelt family chose to incorporate registering as Derfelt Funeral Homes, Inc.

Our Future

It was in 1977 that the Derfelt family purchased the Schurman Funeral Home in Baxter Springs, KS and changed its name to Derfelt’s Baxter Chapel. John moved to Baxter Springs to assume the position of manager there, leaving Jerry in Galena to manage here. Even though there are two mortuaries, the Derfelt family considers it one business with two locations.

In 2009, Jerry and Peggy became sole stockholders of Derfelt Funeral Homes Inc. They will continue to search for ways to improve the traditions maintained for three generations. They will continue to do their best to give all they can to help their friends and neighbors at times when their help is most needed.



Baxter Springs, Kansas

The Derfelt family roots run deep into the soil of Southeast Kansas. In fact, John Derfelt homesteaded his family here long before the City of Galena was incorporated. His son, also John Derfelt his father build the first brick building in this city. It was John Olin, one of the third generation of Derfelt’s who began the legacy of funeral directoring

J. O. Derfelt, in addition to being a Funeral Director, was a Baptist minister, an auctioneer, and a one-time Postmaster of Galena. He joined with Rev. Dow Booe, another well known area minister, to purchase Allison Funeral Home in 1948.

In the early 1950’s, J. O’s son, Roy L. Derfelt joined the firm as Funeral Director and Embalmer. Soon afterwards, Rev. Booe sold his business interests to Roy Derfelt. The business has been a family owned and family operated mortuary ever since.

Our Legacy

In the 1970’s, Roy’s sons both joined the business, professionally. Being raised in a family business, both of the boys began helping their dad while in high school. John was the oldest sibling and Jerry was the youngest. (There are two sisters sandwiched between them in age.) But it was in 1972 that John acquired his professional licenses and Jerry followed suit in 1974.

The Derfelt family was known throughout the area for the ambulance service they maintained out of the funeral homes.

In 1976, the Derfelt family chose to incorporate registering as Derfelt Funeral Homes, Inc.

The Future

It was in 1977 that the Derfelt family purchased the Schurman Funeral Home in Baxter Springs, KS and changed its name to Derfelt’s Baxter Chapel. John moved to Baxter Springs to assume the position of manager there, leaving Jerry in Galena to manage here. At the end of 2008, John retired from the family business. The Baxter Chapel is now managed by Kyle Wade, who joined the Derfelt's in 2006. Even though there are two mortuaries, the Derfelt family considers it one business with two locations. In 2009, Jerry and Peggy became sole stockholders of Derfelt Funeral Homes Inc. They will continue to search for ways to improve the traditions maintained for three generations. They will continue to do their best to give all they can to help their friends and neighbors at times when their help is most needed.



Oswego Kansas

It was in 1910 when John Ruhland started his funeral and furniture business in Columbus, Kansas. The first location was on the southeast corner of the square in Columbus. The business was known as the Jones-Ruhland Funeral & Furniture Store. It was years later when John Ruhland purchased the Jones family interest and moved the funeral home to the corner of Elm and Indiana where it was a funeral home. Mr. Ruhland operated the business until January of 1953 when the business sold to L.D. and Marcella Murdock.

Mr. Murdock passed away in 1975 and at the time the business was operated by Mrs. Murdock and her two sons, Larry and Gene Murdock. In June of 1978, the Murdock family took over the Jorden Funeral operation, this joined two of the older funeral homes in the state. The firm name was now known as the Jorden-Murdock Funeral Home, and evolved to become Murdock Funeral Homes of Columbus and Oswego.

In May of 2011, both branches of Murdock Funeral Home were purchased by Derfelt Funeral Homes, and joined our family as the 3rd and 4th location. Since then, we have focused our goal towards continuing the legacy in Southeast Kansas that has been set forth by four generations of Derfelt's in the funeral industry.

Derfelt Funeral Home | (620) 783-1371
1116 Main St., Galena, KS 66739

Derfelt Funeral Home | (620) 856-2345
328 E. 12th St., P.O. Box 616,
Baxter Springs, KS 66713

Derfelt Funeral Home | (620) 795-2115
203 Illinois St., Oswego, KS 67356

Derfelt Funeral Home | (620) 429-2795
132 E. Pine St., Columbus, KS 66725


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