Price Funeral Home started its funeral service to county citizens in 1895 in Clearmont, Missouri. In 1902 John P. Price purchased Brown Furniture Store and Mortuary in Maryville, and his tradition of caring for those in their time of need began here. A partner, Charles M. McNeal, stayed with the Price family for a number of years. In 1929 the Prices moved to their present location at 120 East First Street, and the furniture side of the business was closed.
All of John P.'s sons, Clun, Harry and John, were involved in some capacity. Clun became an apprentice to his father in 1913 to learn embalming techniques. John began his work here at the age of 15 and went on to graduate from William Mortuary School in Kansas City, Kansas, in 1929. Clun and John later ran the business together and were both involved in community organizations.
Harry worked the floor covering part of the furniture business until it closed. He and his wife, Bess, resided in the upstairs apartment of the funeral home until 1966. She served for many years as accompanist for funerals.
One long-time employee, Morris Kelley, groomed and kept the team of carriage horses that pulled the early-day hearses. Price Funeral Home also provided the ambulance service during that time, a service they continued until the Nodaway County Ambulance District was formed in 1970.
Additions were made to the original 1929 building in 1963, the same year they were incorporated. In 1987, offices were added and a new front was given to the structure.
In addition to physical changes, the funeral home also experienced change in personnel. They looked beyond the Price family when Philip Bram and Richard Dowden became stock holders in the corporation. Philip continued to be associated with the funeral home until suffering a stroke in 1996. After that, his health dictated that Richard and his wife, Patty, become the sole owners.
Over the years, many things have changed in the mortuary industry, but the standards of care from the people at Price Funeral Home have stayed the same. As Clun stated in a 1981 article, “As individuals and as a firm, we have tried to stand for everything good for our county and our community.”
Excerpts taken from an April 19, 2007 article in the Nodaway News Leader.