History of Smart & Edwards Funeral Home

Smart & Edwards Funeral Home traces its history to the three established funeral homes of Edwards Funeral Home, Lord Funeral Home and Nelson J. Smart Funeral Home, which came together in 1996 to create the current entity.

Edwards Funeral Home was founded in Madison by Luther F. Edwards in 1865. He operated the business until his death in 1899, when his son, Bryce K. or “B.K.,” assumed management of the business at just 19 years of age. In 1949, B.K.’s third son, Granville or “Gramps,” became the new owner and in 1963, his son, Laton, joined the family business.

In 1974, the Edwards family purchased the Lord Funeral Home in Skowhegan. In 1985, Laton Edwards became the new owner of the two funeral homes, which were sold and merged with the Nelson J. Smart Funeral Home in 1996. The new business was known as the Smart & Edwards Funeral Home.

Meanwhile, the Lord & Caswell funeral business had been founded in the 1880s in Skowhegan by Thomas Lord and a partner. The funeral home changed locations a few times before Thomas purchased the building on Pleasant Street in the late 1930s and the business came to be known as the Lord Funeral Home.

When Thomas died in 1951, his son, Harold, and his wife, Evelyn, became the new proprietors of the Lord Funeral Home. Harold died in the early 1970s, and in 1974, Evelyn sold the funeral home to the Edwards family from Madison which changed the name of the funeral home first to Lord & Edwards Funeral Home and then to Edwards Funeral Home.

The origins of the Nelson J. Smart Funeral Home date back to 1930, when Arlie Pooler opened the Pooler Funeral Home at 261 Madison Avenue in Skowhegan. He sold the business in the mid-1940s to Wilbur Clay, who changed the name of the funeral home to the Clay Funeral Home. Only a few years later, Wilbur sold the business to the Crosby & Neal family and the funeral home was renamed at that time to the Crosby & Neal Funeral Home.

The funeral home changed hands again in 1954 when Nelson J. Smart purchased the property and renamed it the Nelson J. Smart Funeral Home. His son, Jamie, joined the family business in 1970 and became owner in 1983. Jamie sold the business in 1996 and it later merged with the Edwards Funeral Home to become the Smart & Edwards Funeral Home.

In 1999, Smart & Edwards Funeral Home was purchased by an affiliate of Service Corporation International. Today, we are a proud member of the Dignity Memorial® network of funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers.

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