Trout Funeral Home was founded as a family business in November of 1936 by Ernest M. Trout and his three sons, Ernest M. Jr., Jack, and Jim. The original funeral home was located at the corner of Oak and Grand Avenue. The Trout family purchased the present facility in 1943 from the estate of C.F. Calkins, early Kay County pioneer.
The building originally served as the bank at Cross before being moved to Ponca City to the corner of First and Grand to become the First National Bank. It was moved to its present location in 1907 and, after some additions to the structure, became a private home. The home faced Elm Street until April 5, 1912, when it was damaged by a tornado. The Greek Revival style home was rebuilt facing Grand Avenue and the three floored nine thousand square foot building was the town's largest privately-owned home until E.W. Marland built the Marland Mansion.
The Calkins owned a prosperous mercantile business and were known for their magnificent art collection, including ornate tapestries, an extensive array of Oriental paintings, and numerous works by well-known American artists. The Oriental objects were of the same genre as the noted Matzene Collection at the Ponca City Public Library. (Gordon Matzene was a frequent visitor to the Calkins' home.) The alabaster chandelier that hung in the drawing room of the residence is now in the entry hall of the funeral home.
The Trout Family founded their funeral home on the principles of "Character, Confidence, Value, and Trust." In addition to handling funeral services, they also operated a 24-hour-a-day ambulance service until 1968. The Trout Family was active in many facets of Ponca City life. E.M. Trout, Sr. was elected to the school board in 1929 and served for thirty-six years, twenty-nine as President of the Board. When he retired in 1965, he was honored by having the new elementary school named after him. E.M. Trout, Jr., later served as mayor of Ponca City.
In 1977 Steve and Terry Huston purchased the business. Soon after purchasing the building, the Huston's remodeled the interior, and in 1987 a complete renovation of the structure was begun. Phase One included a state-of-the-art embalming and preparation room, new electrical, plumbing, and air conditioning, along with the addition of a stateroom and office. Phase Two, begun in 1991, was the completion of the new chapel, additional off-street parking, and three new state rooms. Gill-Lessert Funeral Home, Kay County's oldest family-owned funeral home (founded in 1894), merged with Trout Funeral Home in 1993, and M.G. Lessert joined the Trout staff. In early 1994, the first modular selection room in the state of Oklahoma was installed at Trout Funeral Home.
In 2003 Mike and Jo Phenix purchased the Trout Funeral Home and Resthaven-Sunset Memorial Parks and began a new generation of caring for Ponca City families, insuring the community of continuous family ownership.
See what families have to say
Many families reach out after the conclusion of the services to let us know how much our support and guidance meant to them in their time of need, and we’re honored to receive such heartfelt praise. We feel that these messages speak for themselves and we’d like to share them with you.
If you feel we’ve gone above and beyond in supporting you through this difficult time, or would simply like to reach out and say thanks, contact us to share your thoughts. It means the world to us to hear from you and know that we’ve made a difference.
Smith-Gallo Funeral Home
The Smith family's funeral home legacy in Logan County began back in 1893 when Job and Mary Smith came from Albany, MO and Scotland to homestead on a farm east of Guthrie, about two miles south of Meridian, OK. Job Smith, back then, used his spring wagon and team of mules to transport the deceased to cemeteries in and around the Meridian area. To Job and Mary Smith eight children were born, with two of the children eventually entering into the undertaking business. Ray Smith was born at the Meridian homestead in July 1900. He married Rachel Pinnick of Kansas and then moved to Carman, OK. Ray Smith got a job there working with an undertaker; that is where Robert J. Smith, Sr. was born. After moving back to the Guthrie area, Ray Smith worked for C.C. Clothier's Undertaking Parlor. In 1929 Ray and Rachel Smith founded Smith-Gooch Funeral Home in the location now known as the Stone Lion Inn. His partner, Gooch, only stayed with him for about four months, and in 1936 Smith bought and moved to the current location at 220 North First Street.
At one time there were three generations of Smiths working at the Smith Funeral Home - Ray and Rachel Smith, Bob and Marylee Smith, Sr., and Bobby and Barbara Smith, Jr. They all worked together for about nineteen years. Marylee and Bob, Sr. passed away in 1985 and 1986, respectively, just four months apart. Ray Smith's death came shortly after in 1987. Bobby Smith, Jr. was part owner until his father and grandfather passed away, then he became sole owner of the business in 1988.
The chapel facility was built in 1963 and then in 1989 Bobby and Barbara Smith added on the 4,800 square feet addition. They wanted to get everything on the ground floor so there were no steps to climb anymore.
The new addition allowed the funeral home to accommodate up to seven viewing rooms if needed, offices, garages, and new bathrooms to make the Smith Funeral Home a state-of-the-art facility.
Bobby and Barbara Smith continued to manage and operate Smith Funeral Home since 1988. In 1992, while attending University of Central Oklahoma, Ben Gallo came to work with the Smiths. Ben did his apprenticeship at Smith Funeral Home, and once out of college, Bobby and Barbara Smith offered him a job, and he has been here ever since. On October 11, 2005 Bobby and Barbara Smith partnered with Ben Gallo, with the name changing to Smith-Gallo Funeral Home. The Smiths offered this partnership because they believed Ben had the same work ethic as they did and will proudly carry on the Smith family tradition. They continued the partnership, until Bobby passed away in January 2013 and Ben became the sole owner. Many things have changed since the early 1900's; things wear out, values change, stability and performance are rare. We are proud that the families of Logan County have allowed us to serve them for so many years. We will strive to continue the tradition of excellence that Ray and Rachel Smith started in 1929. We will learn from our history and proceed to the future while carrying on the traditions of the past.