Farmer Funeral Home
Thomas B. Farmer homesteaded near Exeter, Nebraska in 1869. He farmed, but soon began to use his ability with wood and construction. For many years he was the only contractor in Exeter and built the first school and some of the current Methodist Church. He also built many of the old barns that still stand around the community of Exeter. He was soon asked if he would make coffins and assist in preparing bodies for burial.
His son, Pauley R. Farmer, saw the work his father did and went to mortuary school. In 1917 he established a licensed funeral home (and furniture store) on the east side of the north end of Main Street in Exeter. In 1927, he moved the funeral business and began operating the Farmer Funeral Home at its current location.
Two of his four children became funeral directors. Burton W. Farmer, the oldest son, and Paul H. Farmer, the youngest son. Pauley R. Farmer was killed in an automobile accident just east of McCool on the old U.S. 81 in 1935. At the time of his death, Burton was licensed and was assisting his father. Paul was in college and later, in 1937, returned to Exeter and helped in running the Farmer Funeral Home with his brother, with help from their Mother. Burton left the business for a short period of time to move to Kansas City and Paul continued to operate the family business for their mother Ellen (Nellie Delaney) Farmer.
When Paul was drafted in 1941, Burton and his wife Loy returned home and operated the business. Their Mother died in 1946. That year Burton and Loy purchased the Farmer Funeral Home from the family. Burton and Loy (and their daughter Connie) lived in the funeral home, sharing their home and their lives with those who had lost loved ones. Loy was most active in the operation of the funeral home.
Burton died in 1977 and in March of 1978 Loy sold the funeral home to her nephew P. R. Farmer, a licensed embalmer and funeral director, who was in practice with his father in Geneva, Nebraska. He and his associates continue to operate the Farmer Funeral Home, as well as Farmer and Son Funeral Home in Geneva.
Loy died June 26, 2002. When Loy died it ended 133 years of someone named Farmer living in Exeter.