When Skillern Hardware was established, in 1884, by Alex Skillern, it sold caskets and casket handles. In 1900, James Ison Latimer, Mr. Skillern’s son-in-law, started offering funeral services through the hardware store. The hardware store was also the local funeral business, as was often the case in those days. James I. Latimer was known as an honest merchant and funeral director. When Alex Skillern became inactive in his business, he relied on his son-in-law to continue to operate it until 1942. In 1935 Mr. Latimer moved his funeral business to an old house located on the corner of 3rd and West Howard Streets.
In 1937, his son, Jimmy Ison Latimer joined the company. After finishing high school in Nashville, he went to the Cincinnati Embalming College, where he graduated with high honors.
In 1945, another son, James Hearn Latimer joined the family business of Latimer Funeral Home.
After long years of planning, hard work and careful supervision, the brothers moved the business into its new building, at 115 East Hempstead St., where it is located today. The new facility opened on March 1, 1959. In 1980 Latimer Funeral Home was sold to Madden Enterprises.