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Our History

One of Manhattan's oldest locally owned businesses, the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home has a proud heritage that began at the turn of the 20th century.

Our founder, James E. Ryan, began his career in 1902, in Lincoln, Kansas. Moving to Manhattan in 1919, he purchased an interest in the Manhattan Furniture and Undertaking Company. The location was in the old Montgomery Ward building in downtown Manhattan. In 1925, he established the Ryan Funeral Home at 616 Poyntz Avenue. Mr. Ryan, a progressive businessman, was one of the first to open a funeral home that was not related to a furniture store.

In 1939, Mr. Ryan sold his interest in the business to C.A. "Cab" Burliew who was an employee of the Southern Funeral Home and to Ferrol E. Cowan, who was an employee of the Ryan Funeral Home. The firm name was changed to Burliew-Cowan Funeral Home.

In the following years the funeral home business continued to grow and two new funeral directors, Ray N. "Buzz" Edwards and William D. Yorgensen, joined the funeral home staff. As Mr. Burliew and Mr. Cowan reached retirement age the ownership of the funeral home was purchased by Mr. Edwards and Mr. Yorgensen and the name was changed first to Burliew-Cowan-Edwards Funeral Home and later to Cowan-Edwards-Yorgensen Funeral Home.

For many years the local funeral homes shared in running the ambulance service, which was common in most communities. In 1959, due to the increased population, time constraints, expense as well as other factors, the funeral homes in Manhattan elected to no longer operate the ambulance service in addition to their funeral home businesses. The ambulance service was operated by a private entity for a brief period of time prior to be taken over by the city and later the county.

In the mid 1950's it was becoming increasingly obvious that our funeral home facility was no longer large enough to handle the number of services that were being conducted and it was decided that a new funeral home building was needed. A site was selected on what was then the edge of Manhattan and in 1959, the location of the funeral home was moved from 616 Poyntz Avenue into the new facility located at its current location of 1616 Poyntz Avenue. This newly constructed building reflected many new features that were state of the art and was built of cut stone to reflect the native rock so commonly used in the area. The wide open entry, glass walled staircase and large chapel are still features that reflect the dignity and beauty of the building.

In 1981, Douglas P. Meloan, a Manhattan native joined the funeral home staff as an apprentice. In 1988, at the time of Mr. Edwards retirement, Mr. Meloan purchased an interest in the funeral home and the name was changed to Edwards-Yorgensen-Meloan Funeral Home. Doug retired March 31, 2018.

Eric S. Londeen, a third generation funeral director from Chapman, Kansas, joined the funeral home staff as an apprentice in 1986. He would join the funeral home as a partner in 1993, and the name would be changed to reflect our current name of Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home.

Brian Waddington was raised in Belleville, Kansas, and had worked at other funeral homes in Kansas prior to joining the firm as a funeral director in 2005. He became a partner in the firm in 2013 and resigned in March of 2021.

In July of 2013, Shane D. Lohse purchased an interest in the funeral home. Shane is a native of Hanover, Kansas, and joined the firm as an apprentice in 2008.

We are proud that our funeral home heritage has been handed down through generations to employees of the firm. We certainly owe our success and continued growth to the many families who have placed their confidence in our funeral home over these many years and to our dedicated professional staff. It is our desire to continue on in the fine tradition of providing the same quality professional service that was started back in 1925.