History of Wilkinson-Beane Funeral Home
Wilkinson-Beane Funeral Home as originally founded in 1860 by Jefferson Gilbert. He offered many additional services, such as coffin making, paper hanging, picture- framing and manufacturer of window shades. Gilbert sold the business in 1887 to Jonathan L. Moore, whose son John B. Moore later joined the firm. In 1898, Lewis H. Wilkinson joined the Moores, taking ownership in 1905. He became a prominent citizen of the city, being elected mayor in 1921-1922. Wilkinson moved the Moore Funeral Home across town in 1910. Then, again in 1921, he moved once again to another section of town. At the same time, he changed the name of the funeral home to Wilkinson's Funeral Home.
Dana S. "Ace" Beane joined the firm in 1919 after service in the Army during World War I. He took over ownership in 1947, together with his sons Donald and Roger upon their return from World War II service. They then moved the business to its current location on Pleasant Street in the mansion known as the Mayo home - built and occupied by hosiery manufacturer Frank P. Hold from 1895-1904. Roger Beane worked for the firm until his retirement in 1982. Donald Beane was treasurer of the firm until his retirement in 1993.
Russell J. Beane, son of Donald Beane, joined the funeral home in 1974 and is currently president of the firm. He graduated from Keene State College in 1971. He also attended New England Institute and graduated in 1974. Two of his three sons have continued the tradition and are working full-time for the firm.
Craig S. Beane, oldest son of Russell Beane, graduated from Canton College in Canton, New York in 1992 with an associates degree in mortuary science. After serving his apprenticeship, he was then licensed as a funeral director and began working full-time for the funeral home in 1993. He is the fourth generation in the Beane family to join the firm.
Curtis T. Beane, youngest son of Russell Beane, graduated from Mount Ida College in Newton, MA in 1996. He is currently serving his apprenticeship with the firm.