The history of the Douglas Funeral Home goes back to 1904, when the first and only funeral home was established by Al Heaton.
It was sold in 1906 to C.H. Hofmann, who also conducted a furniture and upholstery business. Record of the city’s first recorded burial goes back to 1906.
The Hofmann Mortuary, which also housed his flower shop, furniture store, and mortuary, was in a continual state of expansion. With the flower shop and chapel being added between 1910 and 1912 with a two story addition built later to increase the size of the furniture showroom on the first floor and storage for caskets on the second floor.
In 1945, Cecil Stark of Lusk, Wyoming purchased financial interest in the Hofmann Mortuary and Flower shop. Upon Stark’s retirement in 1970, Kent and Lois Lapham assumed ownership under the name of The Stark-Lapham Funeral Home. They started Douglas Monument Works in 1977.
In February, 1982, ownership of the funeral home and monument works was assumed by Ross and Biff Gorman. The funeral home is now called Gorman Funeral Homes-Converse Chapel.
The funeral industry has evolved from parlor, to home, to chapel over the years. Oftentimes the owners of a funeral establishment lived on the premises, and some still do. Another frequent connection was having a funeral business associated with a furniture store. The first mention of anything to do with funeral establishments in Wheatland was an ad in the January 12, 1900 edition of the “Wheatland World” for “Coffins, Caskets and Undertaker’s Supplies” at McCallum & Crain’s.
From 1916 thru 1942 the funeral home was owned by various funeral directors. In 1942 Ted Schrader purchased Watson-Dennis Funeral Home. In 1943 the name was changed to Schrader Funeral Home. The business was bought by Harley Prell in July 1975 and the name was changed to Schrader-Prell Funeral Home. In 1988 Ross and Biff Gorman purchased the funeral home and monument works and operate under the name Gorman Funeral Homes-Platte Chapel.