History of Funeral Service in Princeville - From the 1920's to 2013
At the turn of the century (1900) there was at least one funeral home in Princeville operated by a man named Prouty. Little is known about this individual, other than he operated from a storefront on Main Street.
During the 1920’s there were two prominent funeral homes in Princeville.
The Tretheway Funeral Home was located at the southeast corner of Main Street (formerly Canton Street) and Cottage Grove. Edgar Tretheway operated the funeral home from this location until around 1950, when he retired and moved to be with family in California. Mr. Tretheway died in 1953; and his grave, as well as that of his wife, is located in Princeville Cemetery on the northwest side.
The Bullock Funeral Home was operated by J.C. and Maude Bullock. Their funeral home was located on the northwest corner of Tremont Street and Main Street. The Bullocks operated their funeral home until around 1946, when Maude’s brother-in-law, Floyd Bouton, returned from service in WWII and opened the Bouton Memorial Home on the northeast corner of High Street and Walnut Avenue, which now is the present-day location of Haskell-Hott Funeral Home.. J.C. Bullock also served the community as an optician and jeweler. Maude Bullock’s diploma from Worsham College of Embalming hangs in the entryway of Haskell-Hott Funeral Home, as an item of local interest.
Both the Tretheway and Bullock homes are now private residences.
In 1960, Francis and Lois Hammitt moved from Peoria to Princeville into the former Tretheway Funeral Home and opened Hammitt Memorial Home. In 1970, Fran and Lois purchased the Bouton Memorial Home and moved their funeral home to the Walnut Street location. The Hammitts continued to live in the West Main Street location for several years.
In 1991, Joe Hott left Peoria and began working for Fran and Lois Hammitt as a funeral director and embalmer. In 1992, Joe and Bob DeBolt formed DeBolt-Kidd-Hott, Inc. and purchased Wyoming Funeral Home, Wyoming, and Kidd Funeral Home, Toulon. Until 1994, Joe continued to work for the Hammitts, as well as assisting Bob in the operation of the two Stark County funeral homes. In 1994, Fran and Lois retired from funeral service and sold Hammitt Funeral Home to Joe and Bob; and the name of the funeral home was changed to Hammitt-Hott Funeral Home. Mary J. DeBord was hired as administrative assistant for the three locations, along with help from Joe’s wife, Mary Lou.
In November 2009, Bob retired from funeral service, and Joe hired Bert L. Haskell, Jr. to assist with the operation of the three funeral homes. On March 1, 2013, Bert and his wife, Veronica, purchased the three funeral homes from Joe and Mary Lou and now continue the tradition of a family-owned, caring funeral service for Princeville.
History of Wyoming & Toulon Funeral Homes
Cox Memorial Home was established in 1938 by Morrow “Skeet” Cox in Wyoming, IL. Skeet temporarily closed Cox Memorial Home from April of 1942 to December of 1945 so he could serve our country in the United States Army. He returned from the Army and re-opened at the current location on Galena Avenue.
Harold Kidd opened the funeral home in Toulon in 1925 and was a perfectionist in his work. Harold continued working as a funeral director for over 50 years. Eventually the business was taken over by his son Merlyn, who was schooled in Milwaukee.
In August of 1969, Merlyn became partners with Skeet, running the Cox Memorial Home. In 1973 Merlyn became the sole owner of the Cox Memorial Home, at which time he ran it under the new name of Wyoming Funeral Home. On June 13, 1983, Robert W. DeBolt came to work at the Wyoming Funeral Home.
Merlyn died on February 12, 1990. Robert W. DeBolt ran the funeral homes in Wyoming and Toulon for Merlyn’s wife, Caroline Kidd from February of 1990 until March of 1992, when Robert and Joseph B. Hott purchased the Wyoming Funeral Home, Wyoming, and Kidd Funeral Home, Toulon. In 1994 Robert added his name to the funeral home in Toulon and it became DeBolt-Kidd Funeral Home.
In 2010, Joseph changed the name from DeBolt-Kidd to Toulon Funeral Home.
Robert W. DeBolt retired on November 2, 2009, and Joseph B. Hott became sole owner of the three funeral homes, Hammitt-Hott, Toulon, and Wyoming Funeral Homes.
In February 2013, Bert L. Haskell, Jr. purchased all three funeral homes from Joseph Hott and changed the names not long after to Haskell-Hott Funeral Homes.