Gorden Funeral Residence will mark its 108th year in Allegan, but the firm actually dates back to the 1880's - in the community of Burnips - where Joseph Gorden, a furniture dealer, was called on to supply caskets for local funerals.
In those times, embalming was not required and furniture stores handled caskets more or less as a sideline. Gorden had heard that a teacher from the Worsham College of Mortuary Science would hold a one-day session in embalming in Grand Rapids and decided to attend.
This marked the beginning of the Gorden Funeral Residence. His son, Glenn, worked with his father for several years, then attended college and taught school. In 1908 he decided school teaching was not for him so he moved to Allegan to establish a funeral home, after taking special training and passing state board examinations.