As with other furniture companies of the day, the McLaughlin Furniture and Undertaking Company provided the Marceline community with furniture, household goods, and embalming and funeral services. The business was established in eighteen-ninety-two by Robert McLaughlin and assisted by his brother James. James McLaughlin was employed by his brother until nineteen-oh-seven, when he purchased the business from Robert.
The McLaughlin Furniture and Undertaking Company moved to different buildings in Marceline, including where the Uptown Theater is now located, before settling in this place in nineteen-thirteen. It was a large enterprise, which occupied the portions of the building that are currently brick-front then light colored on the corner.
The line of goods sold here were said to compare favorably in both quality and price with that found in larger establishments in the bigger cities. A nineteen-thirteen article described how two courteous assistants took special pains in catering to the wishes of the large throng of people making this place their headquarters.
In addition to the furniture business, James McLaughlin and his wife Blanche were licensed embalmers and conducted funeral services. An elegant line of burial clothing, caskets, and funeral goods were available. It was said that the McLaughlin’s owned the finest hearses in this section of Missouri. It is interesting to note that in as late as nineteen-thirty-eight, Blanche McLaughlin was the only female embalmer in Linn County or the adjacent counties.
James McLaughlin completely remodeled this building in nineteen-thirty-two. The corner portion of the building, which had an old Miners meeting hall upstairs, was converted into a beautiful chapel, with a seating capacity of one-hundred fifty persons.
The McLaughlin Furniture and Undertaking Company remained in business until the early nineteen-fifties. The last funeral was conducted in this building in two-thousand-seven.