Stone Funeral Home
& West Frankfort History
Stone Funeral Home has been serving the West Frankfort area with compassion and respect since 1932. It's first location was in a downtown location being owned and operated by Otis Stone.
His son, Ivan Stone and nephew-in-law, John William "J.W. Bill" Simmons, married to Ava Stone, were also associated with the business until they were both enlisted into the United States Navy during WW II. While they were serving and due to health reasons Otis closed the business.
After Ivan's and Bill's release from the Navy they formed a partnership and re-established Stone Funeral Home at it's present location in January 1948. For several years they operated the business as a partnership until it was dissolved and Stone Funeral Home was then owned and operated by Bill and Ava Simmons for many years until the late 1990's when they decided to retire.
They sold the business to Bob and Betsy Varis and they continued to operate the business, under the name of Varis-Stone Funeral Home, until Mr. Varis' death in 2013. Then on June 6, 2014, Betsy Varis sold the business to Dave McReynolds and Bob Wilson whose vision looks forward to many years to come.
Both Dave and Bob saw the value, strength, and recognition in the name of STONE FUNERAL HOME and decided to go back to the name it began with. Our deep roots, since 1932, in West Frankfort and the area are a source of pride as we grow side by side with the families we serve.
We are proud to announce a fresh new look with new owners and directors of "Stone Funeral Home" a family owned business. We promise to provide EXCELLENT service for all who choose us to help memorialize their loved ones.
We hope you will consider STONE FUNERAL HOME for our compassionate care and exemplary service. Our pledge is to help you honor your loved one in a meaningful way, offering thoughtful guidance and personal attention to every detail.
How did West Frankfort get its name? Our local historians tell us that early settlers were advised to build block houses or forts as a means of protection against the Indians around 1802. When the town of Frankfort was started they gave it the name Francis Jordan's Fort. Later the name Jordan was omitted, calling the place Francis' Fort, or Frank's Fort and still later Frankfort. The original plat of West Frankfort, was surveyed in 1894. After the railroad was built in 1895 , the businesses began to open.
West Frankfort's prosperity was assured when coal was discovered, and the mining industry developed. A search was made for coal in the new town of West Frankfort about 1897. Sam Boner, T.A. Vincent, Dr. Harris, Dr. Rotramel, and other pioneers would frequently gather in Dr. Harris's drug store and talk about the possibilities of coal in the vicinity of West Frankfort.
John McReynolds was a member of the West Frankfort City Police in 1922.
F.A. Wilson was the Frankfort Community High School principal from 1918 to 1932.