The Luginbuel family has been in the funeral services business for more than 100 years. It began in the 1890's with Charles Noble Luginbuel, Loyd's father, who worked in a mercantile store in Dutch Mills, Arkansas. Among items sold in the store were caskets, which his sons delivered. In 1924, this led two of his sons, Loyd and Reid, to start the Luginbuel Funeral Home in Lincoln, Arkansas. After a short time, Reid, with his brother, Jeff, moved to Vinita, Oklahoma, and established a funeral home there. Reid's son, Jack, now owns the funeral home in Vinita along with facilities in Grove, Jay, Langley, Nowata, and Bartlesville, Oklahoma
Loyd built the first motorized funeral vehicle from a horse drawn hearse. He placed the hearse onto the back of a Ford Model T pickup. A picture of this hearse, and the first funeral home in Lincoln are located to the right of this article. The other picture, in 1925, Loyd purchased a building, which had been used for the South Methodist Church in Lincoln. This building was moved one block south to the location, which it now sets. One interesting note from the history of the Lincoln Methodist Church. In 1924 in the fall, Elsie Graves' grandmother, Frances Jennings Roller, died. The old church was up on jacks, ready to move but they went on and held the funeral in it. The old church was moved to be remodeled into the Luginbuel Funeral Home.
Loyd married Edna Rankin in 1929. Edna graduated from the University of Arkansas and taught school in Siloam Springs and Lincoln areas. After her marriage she attended Mortuary College in Kansas City. She was a licensed embalmer and funeral director in both Arkansas and Oklahoma. Edna held the title of the "Oldest Lady Funeral Director" in Arkansas until her death in 1990.
In 1937, the Luginbuels opened a funeral home in Prairie Grove. It occupied the property known as the F. H. Carl home on East Buchanan Street. (The building has since been removed.) They remodeled the structure and furnished throughout with modern equipment. The Luginbuels bought the Southern Funeral Home in 1942 and combined the two businesses in Prairie Grove, while still operating their funeral home in Lincoln. The Southern Funeral Home was in the Southern Mercantile Store on Buchanan Street.
In 1942, the Luginbuels purchased the old Marrs Hotel building on North Neal and remodeled it for a funeral home on the first floor and apartments upstairs. They enlarged it to include a chapel, waiting room, offices and viewing rooms. Rural funeral practices at that time mainly took place in the home. Most embalming was done in the home on a wooden table called a cooling board. After they embalmed the body, the Luginbuels left it at the home, and the family came to the funeral home to select a casket. Then the Luginbuels returned to the home, dressed the body, and then the body was viewed at the home.
The Luginbuels had two children, Loyd Wayne and Janice. Loyd Wayne became interested in the business as a youngster of four or five years of age when he would watch his mother and father in the preparation room embalm bodies. As he grew older, he took part in all the activities around the funeral home. In 1958, his dad suffered a heart attack, and this forced Loyd Wayne at the age of sixteen to become more involved in the business. Loyd Wayne was very active in their ambulance service; even at the age of twelve or thirteen he was driving an ambulance. When he was in high school, he drove an ambulance to school fifty percent of the time and had to leave class an average of once a month to make calls. He recalls an incident involving his first period math teacher. She became quite angry and irate when he was late for school, because of making an ambulance call. All Loyd Wayne could do was apologize. The very next day she was involved in a car wreck on the way to school and broke her leg. Loyd Wayne made the ambulance call to take her to the hospital.
Loyd Wayne completely took over the management of the funeral home and the ambulance service in 1961. The ambulance service continued until the mid 70's. The funeral home in Lincoln closed about 1993, and all operations and facilities were combined in Prairie Grove. Loyd Luginbuel died in March of 1992.
Janice married William (Bill) Hibbard in 1957. They have two children, Keri Ann Hibbard and William Robert Hibbard. Bill died in 1988. Janice was a schoolteacher in the North Little Rock School System until her recent retirement.
Loyd Wayne married Sharon Morris of Lincoln in 1963. They have two children, Stacy Wayne Luginbuel and Amy Renee Luginbuel. Stacy completed mortuary school in 1988 and works in the funeral home with his dad. He married Chere Bessinger in 1993. They have two children, Reid James Luginbuel and Garrett Wayne Luginbuel. Amy married Ashley White in 1996. They have two children, Alexis Ann White and Charles Jackson Luginbuel White.