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In the heart of the Bluegrass region on the outskirts of Lexington, Kentucky, Nicholasville is known for our rural beauty, music heritage, and historical significance. Our beginnings at Hager & Cundiff stretch back almost a century, when Nicholasville was only 84 years old. Allow us to share a bit of our history with you.
Our funeral home was established in 1921 by Judge Thomas Rankin Guyn. Judge Guyn served as county judge from 1930 to 1950, and died in August 1961. We were known as the T.R. Guyn Funeral Home back then, located on Main Street about where Central Bank is now. Judge Guyn’s family was among the very early settlers of the Troy community in Jessamine County. He was known as a kind, caring, and compassionate person.
In 1932, Bailey S. Kurtz purchased an interest in the funeral home. In 1935, he and Judge Guyn bought a lodge on West Oak Street that had previously housed the Knights of Pythias. They remodeled the building on West Oak Street and moved the funeral home in to what is our present location.
The chandeliers you see in the building today are the originals from the lodge; in those days, pool tables were placed beneath them. The front room, now our arrangements room, was used for card games. Most of the lodge’s original wood work and doors remain. One door even has a peephole where a lodge member would need to give a password and be seen before entering. The peephole is now covered by the large mirror on the landing, near the entrance to the ladies restroom.
Bailey Kurtz married Margaret Beverly and they had two sons, Bailey S. Kurtz Jr. and Charles Kurtz. Bailey was an outspoken person but was instrumental in helping many underprivileged citizens in Jessamine County without wanting any credit in return. Mr. Kurtz passed away in January 1981, followed by the death of his wife, Margaret, in April 1981.
In 1946, Mr. Elesteen Hager purchased an interest in the funeral home. Partnering with Judge Guyn and Mr. Kurtz, the firm became known as Guyn, Kurtz, and Hager Funeral Home. Elesteen was married to Mae Florence Jacobs and they had a son, Ray Hager, who is still a resident of Jessamine County. Elesteen was known state-wide for his embalming skills and ability to restore the natural look of a deceased person. His kind, caring, and friendly attitude was a fixture at the funeral home until his death at the age of 96, in November 2005.
In 1973, Ronald L. and Diann Cundiff purchased an interest in the funeral home. After the death of Mr. Kurtz, we acquired his remaining interest from his youngest son, Charles, who passed away in December 1991.
Today, we are owned and operated by Ron and Diann Cundiff, who have been residents of Jessamine County since 1967. We presently call ourselves Hager & Cundiff Funeral Home. We are, however, proud of our history and the service we have provided to this community for nearly a century.