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Fuller Funeral Homes - History

Fuller Funeral Homes - History

In 1856, Henry W. Winkler and his brother, Julius F. Winkler, opened Winkler Furniture Company and an undertaking service in Lexington.   This was four years after the famous Saluda disaster, the worst Steamboat catastrophe in Missouri River history.    The explosion of the steamboat, Saluda, carrying Mormons westward toward Utah, left at least 135 dead, mostly unidentified.   There was no formal undertaking business in Lexington at that time so local churches gathered and buried the dead.   The two Winkler brothers, Henry and Julius started the funeral service and it remained in the Winkler family until 1943, known as the Winkler Funeral Home. The funeral home is located at 1720 South Street in Lexington.   The furniture factory opened by the original Winkler brothers sat just east of the present funeral home.   This factory not only made caskets, but a line of fine furniture and trim which became very popular throughout this part of Missouri. Later a second Winkler generation took over the furniture and funeral business, they were Albert Winkler and Oswald Winkler, sons of Julius F. and Henriette Winkler.   They managed a retail furniture store in downtown Lexington, plus the furniture factory and undertaking business until about the turn of the century.   Later a nephew of Oswald and Albert Winkler, E. J. Fegert, assumed the funeral operation and served as its president until his death in 1935.   During Mr. Fegert’s years as head of the Winkler funeral business, his two uncles died, Albert Winkler in 1924 and Oswald Winkler in 1929.    Following the death of E. J. Fegert in 1935, Karl Winkler, son of Albert Winkler, assumed the management until his death in 1940.   In 1943, Forest Tempel bought the home, changing its name to Tempel Funeral Home.   Forest Tempel’s first wife was Katherine Winkler.   In 1960, the funeral home was sold to Harold Walker and Walter Vaughn and the name was changed to Vaughn-Walker Funeral Home.   In 1968 Mr. Walker bought Mr. Vaughn’s interest in the business.    In 1968 Kenneth Nadler joined the Walker Funeral home and in 1972 Kenneth Nadler became part owner of the firm. In 1982 Nadler became the sole proprietor of the funeral home.

In October of 2003 Steven Fuller purchased the funeral home from Kenneth Nadler.   The Fuller relocated to Lexington from Columbus Junction, Iowa where Steven had worked for 22 years at the Stacy-Lewis Funeral Home.   Steven had managed the Stacy-Lewis Funeral Home for the past 12 years.   The Fuller strives to continue the excellent service the funeral home has provided to this community and introduce some new community services programs that worked well for their community in Iowa.   Since relocating here the Fuller has felt very welcomed by the community and enjoys the sense of community pride and history of Lexington.

Ralph O Jones Funeral Home - History

Ralph O Jones Funeral Home - History

The Ralph O. Jones Funeral Home has been a part or the Lafayette County for approximately 150 years. First known as Chris Wagner & Sons, it began in the Mount Hope Community, located just south of Odessa, in the mid 1800's. The family owned business offered a variety of services including milling cabinets, furniture and undertaking.

In 1878, the railroad came to Odessa and offered new possibilities for Lafayette County. Later that year, Chris Wagner brought his business, which he still operated with his sons, to Odessa. The small company operated in a building near the new railroad tracks, located at the corner of Main Street and Second Street.

Ben Blincoe and his sons, Clifton and Horace, bought the business from the Wager family in 1902 and found Blincoe & Sons. They continued all facets of the company, undertaking, cabinet making and furniture at 101 South Main Street. Shortly there-after, downtown Odessa suffered a large fire and the one-story building burned. However, the Blincoe family re-built, replacing the small building with a large, modern two story building which became known simply as the "Blincoe Building", to Odessians.

Tragedy struck the Blincoe family in 1953 and 1954 when Ben, Horace and Clifton all passed away within months of each other. Ralph O. and Irene O. Jones bought the furniture store and undertaking business from Mrs. Myrtle Blincoe in 1954 and continued operation out of the Blincoe building. On January 2, 1958 they moved the undertaking business and their six small children to the current location at 306 South Second Street. The home already had a rich history, built in 1906 by County Commissioner Judge Tom Gann for this private residence.

In 1988, Ralph O. Jones passed away and Mrs. Irene O. Jones sold the business to their son, Larry P. Jones and his wife, Carole. They raised their two small children while remodeling the funeral home in three stages and expanding the parking lots.

Steven E. Fuller purchased the Ralph O. Jones Funeral Home from Larry P. and Carol J. Jones in August 2009. In 2010 Fuller began a remodeling project that included adding 2 ADA handicapped restrooms as well as making a common room and painting and wallpapering the entire funeral home.

The Ralph O. Jones Funeral Home is not just a building. It's a continuation of a Lafayette County tradition that began in the middle 1800's. Family owned and operated and "community Centered". We don't just work here we "live" here. This is where our history was and where our future will be.

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