Funeral homes have held an important place in the social and religious rituals of our nation, and family owned funeral parlors have shown remarkable endurance over the years. The Lohr & Barb Funeral Home is the oldest established business in the city of Elkins, WV and Randolph county, founded in 1889. Then shortly after the devastating flood of 1985, a second location was established to also serve families in the Tucker County area. Both locations are still functioning as a family business.

Etna M. Kelly, the noted business historian, once observed, "…for reasons unknown, seed companies and funeral homes - symbolic of life and death - seem to last a long time." Ms. Kelley wisely observed that business responds to basic needs.

The oldest seed company recorded in Kelley's business directory is D. Landreth Seed Co., established in Philadelphia in 1784, but later moved to Baltimore.

Almost as old, and still functioning as a family business, is the Rogers Funeral Home in Frankfurt, Kentucky. Started in 1802, it is in its sixth generation. Next door in Indiana, Gardner & Son Funeral Home has been operating since the state came into the Union in 1816. Other notable funeral homes include Holman's Funeral Service in Oregon (1854), Davis Funeral Chapel in Kansas (1855), J. Henry Stuhr Inc. in South Carolina (1865), and the Lohr & Barb Funeral Home in West Virginia (1889).

Elkins 304-636-4440   120 First Street •  P.O. Box 1027 • Elkins, WV 26241

Parsons 304-478-2300   312 Main Street • Parsons, WV 26287
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