Where Life Is Celebrated

Our History


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Funeral Service in Middleburgh dates back to the late 1880’s when John P. Segner, a cabinet maker and embalmer by trade, took over the business of John Souers.  Mr. Segner operated his business on Main Street, in the building that now houses Shear Heaven, for many years before being succeeded by Benjamin Farquher.  Mr. Farquher continued at the Main Street location and in 1920 became associated with Charles D. Shaylor.  Charles was a funeral director with his father -in-law, Charles J. Hubbell in Jefferson, NY before moving to Middleburgh.  He remained associated with Benjamin Farquher, until Farquher’s death in 1939 and then joined Galen White, forming the partnership of Shaylor & White.


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Continuing at the Main Street location, Charles retired in 1948 and his son, L. Burnett Shaylor purchased the business.   That same year, John E. Palmer, who owned Palmer Funeral Home on upper Main Street in Middleburgh, merged his business with Burnett and the partnership of Palmer & Shaylor Funeral Home was formed and eventually Incorporated in 1961.  The two gentlemen worked side by side at the same Main Street location until the flood of 1955 ravaged the village.
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Following the flood of 1955, John and Burnett purchased the Albro residence on River Street, refurbished, renovated and reopened the funeral home to the community.  They also introduced monument sales and installation from their new location.  Palmer & Shaylor, Inc also served as Middleburgh’s first Ambulance service prior to MEVAC being formed.


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 Following Burnett Shaylor’s retirement, John Palmer continued to operate the Funeral Home until 1976 and upon his retiring sold his interest to Joseph C. Spink, of Wellsboro, PA. Joseph found his way to Middleburgh from Wellsboro, PA where he operated the former Kuhl and Spink Funeral Home.  Prior to that, he was in partnership with his brothers in the Olean, NY area operating 3 Funeral Homes.   Shortly after Joseph purchased the business, the building on River Street was destroyed by an electrical fire in November of 1977.  Joseph rebuilt and renovated, moving the main rooms down to ground level and to the front of the building.

 Joseph owned and operated the funeral home from 1976 until his death in August of 2007.  His daughter and son-in-law, Janet Spink Putnam and Richard Putnam purchased the funeral home and incorporated it with their business in Cobleskill.  Following the destruction of Hurricane Irene in 2011, the Putnam’s rebuilt the business again with the help and leadership of their son, Austin Putnam, a master craftsman, thoroughly renovating, refreshing and modernizing the interior.  

The Putnams sold the funeral home to Matthew E. Coltrain, a Middleburgh native in February of 2017.  Now Coltrain Funeral Home, LLC, the business and building continue to stand on River Street, carrying on their rich history and looking forward to serving the families in Middleburgh and the surrounding communities of the Schoharie Valley. 

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