Today is Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Horse-drawn hearse donated to Fiddlers Grove

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The 2009 Wilson County Fair on Aug. 21-29 will have a great new piece of history to showcase to Wilson County in that it has just had completed the restoration of an early 1900 Sayers & Scovill Horse Drawn Hearse. 

This unique hearse was the property of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred McFarland of Castalian Springs and at Mr. McFarland’s death it was given to Fiddler’s Grove. The hearse was made by Sayers & Scovill Company of Cincinnati, Ohio. It was purchased in the 1960s by Alfred’s brother Jake in Canada and he gave it to his brother Alfred. 


Fiddlers Grove recently received a horse-drawn hearse made around 1900 which will be part of the historic Ligon & Bobo Funeral Home at Fiddler’s Grove at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center/Wilson County Fairgrounds, Lebanon. Seated on hearse David Brooks, co-owner of Ligon & Bobo Funeral Home, from left, Bob Haley who got the hearse restored, Geneva Thomas ,  Fiddler’s Grove Foundation member, and Randall Clemons, treasurer of Wilson County Promotions.  


Bob Haley worked with Wilson County Promotions in obtaining the hearse and Haley got an Amish man named Eli Gingerich to restore the hearse.

Ligon & Bobo Funeral Home has been very important part of this restoration as the funeral home used to have a hearse like this one. With the desire to have one at Fiddler’s Grove, they have constructed a garage to the side of the Ligon & Bobo Funeral building they had placed in 2003 in the historic pioneer village. This unique garage was designed to display this to the public as well as preserve the hearse.

The hearse will be part of the opening and closing Wilson County Fair parades as it will be pulled through the grounds as it would have been in years past. David Brooks has located a set of lamps like would have been on the hearse and the funeral home is in the process of having these unique lamps installed on the hearse.  

This horse-drawn hearse was pictured in Wilson County in the late 1800s. The Wilson County Fair is trying to obtain copies of funeral services from the late 1800s or early 1900s for a special display. Anyone having a picture is asked to contact David Brooks at 444-2142.


A great deal of Wilson County history surrounds Ligon & Bobo Funeral Home as it began in 1920 on Lebanon’s Public Square as Ligon and Son Funeral Home by Charles Horace Ligon and his son Raymond. In 1938, Mr. Ligon was joined by his daughter Vera and her husband Alex Bobo and it was moved to the present West Main Street location.

In the present funeral home museum at Fiddler’s Grove, you will see a funeral parlor of years past as well as an embalming room.  Most of the funeral and embalming equipment inside this building was used by Mr. Ligon and Mr. and Mrs. Bobo. The new funeral home and garage will be dedicated at part of the Wilson County Fair on Thursday, Aug. 27 at 6 p.m.

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