Pratt Monument: Putting artistic expression into an economically acceptable range

Celeste Edwards
Pratt Tribune
Pratt Monument is located at 1305, East First Street, Pratt, Kansas.

Most people don’t think about art when they look at a memorial, nor do they think about the artistic process and the creative side of it.

Pratt Monuments deals with monuments, benches, fireplaces, signs, countertops, and much more. A type of stone that they specialize in is granite, although they are excellent using any type of stone.

Lori Jones, owner of Pratt Monuments said that helping others creativly express their love was her favorite part of the business.

“I’m able to use my artistic background. The families are so appreciative of us and we help guide them and make it as easy for them as we can at a difficult time,” Jones said.

Pratt Monuments is a monument store located on 1305, East First St. They have been in business for 114 years, and Jones has been the owner for 40 years.

“Our busiest time of year is spring and fall,” Jones said. “The normal work day consists of opening up and getting to work in the shop.”

Helping customers find what they need for a good price is a priority at Pratt Monuments.

“They [customers] don't have to spend an exorbitant amount of money on these monuments, and it’ll be just as nice,” Jones said. “We don't have to get greedy with these people. It’s a fine line because it's not our business to tell them what to buy. We just want to guide them.” 

Living in a small town, paired with the recent COVID-19 pandemic, has affected the business in many ways. One of these ways being that the amount of customers coming in, in-person, has decreased. 

“We weren’t hit as hard as a lot of the U.S., but the industry has been kept pretty busy,” Jones said.

COVID-19 has also affected the amount of time it takes to make monuments.

“I think in the past year my biggest challenge has been getting products cut and polished in a timely fashion, last year it wasn’t timely at all and that was mainly due to COVID-19, she said.

Since Pratt is a very rural town, there are fewer customers. Cities like Wichita and Hutchinson get more customers. They could get 1,000 orders a year, while Pratt may only get around 100 to 150.

“Pratt is kind of a trading hub,” Jones said. “We have people come to town that maybe need to come to Skaggs Ace Hardware, and stop by. So, it's nice that Pratt is kind of a hub for the rural trade area.”

Those looking for a headstone or or memorial item from Pratt Monuments are welcome to stop by their business at 1305, East First Street, Pratt, Kansas.