In 1906, Charles E. Williams Sr. purchased Palmer Marble & Granite Works at 214 West Street in Iola Kansas. He called his establishment Williams Monumental and Marble Works. After three years, Williams moved the monument shop to 301 S. Washington Avenue. In 1936, he sold half of the Washington Avenue lot and built a new shop on the remaining half, at 11 West Broadway.
Mr. Williams died in 1937 and stewardship of the business fell to his wife and brother-in-law, Fred Steele, who was regarded as one of the finest monument craftsmen in the area and who remained with the company until his retirement in 1969.
Charles Williams Jr. took over the firm in 1948 and the company's name was officially shortened to Williams Monuments. During their ownership the Williams', father and son, superintended projects of significant meaning to the community like the erection in Highland Cemetery of the 35-foot tall American Legion monument - whose white Georgia marble didn't so much as wobble when a tornado hit soon after installation in the spring of 1922 - and the monument to Iola Coborn raised in the old cemetery in 1964.
In 1974 the younger Williams sold the business to Charles O. Barnett. Barnett had worked for Williams since 1971 as an engraver and designer. In the fall of 2002, Terry Ellis purchased the business and operated it until his untimely death in 2017.
In 2012 Reuben Feuerborn, third generation owner of Feuerborn Family Funeral Service, and Nick Durand formed Upright Monuments in nearby Garnett and began producing monuments and growing a successful business. In December of 2017 the duo purchased Williams Monuments from the Ellis estate. They are currently expanding their presence in southeast Kansas by establishing a new sales office in Iola and constructing a new state of the art production facility in Garnett.
With this investment, both the history and the future of Williams Monuments will remain secure for the coming generations.
Reuben is the third generation owner of Feuerborn Family Funeral Service with a passion for cemetery monuments. He developed the unique method of monument setting that makes our process unmatched in the industry.
Owner/Operations & Setting
Nick and his skilled crew transport your monument to the cemetery and set it with great care. They will also reset existing stones to ensure their legacy for future generations.
Monument Design & Sales
Dan takes great pride in assisting you in the design of a personalized memorial for your loved one or yourself. He is happy to meet with you in person or provide you a design through email.