In the 1800s, funerals were held in homes, churches and social halls, however in the middle of the century, the tradition began to change. In 1845 the Truesdell and Townsend Furniture & Undertaking Company began operating on Fulton St., Warren. The reason for the furniture and undertaking combination was that pioneers who moved into the area needed furniture, being new to the area, and when a death occurred during those difficult years, they also needed caskets.
Early furniture makers also "undertook" difficult & emotional tasks for the family, thus the name Undertaker. Also during the 1850s the trend was to have funeral services in homes or in churches and chairs were needed in addition to caskets so the alliance between furniture manufacturing and caring funeral services were linked from the beginning.
In the 1870s Clark and Raider would buy the business from Mr. Townsend and it would become strictly a funeral service operation. They would operate their funeral service company until it was purchased by William W. McFarland.
On July 4, 1897 William W."Will" McFarland bought the Clark and Raider Undertaking and McFarland Funeral Services Company was born.
The first location for the new McFarland business was at 112 Park Avenue in Warren, on the Courthouse Square. This location, which currently houses Gene's Jewelers, would soon prove to be too small for the rapidly expanding business and a move was in order. The McFarland family served some of Warren's finest citizens and conducted services for the Packard family, Perkins and Kinsman families along with many other significant individuals such as Halsey Taylor and R.J. Wean.