Heritage and tradition: Prince-Boyd & Hyatt marks its 150th anniversary

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Prince-Boyd & Hyatt Home for Funerals, Inc., 210 W. Court St., is celebrating 150 years of serving the community in 2018.

Jerome B. Wiggins founded the business in 1868. He operated
the funeral home with his son, John T. Wiggins, as the Wiggins Company Furniture Store and Funeral Directors in the 200 block of W. Dominick St., also known as the Wiggins Block, until 1919. Both Wiggins are buried at Rome Cemetery.

It was then operated by Willard H. Prince and Waldo Wiggins Prince until 1929. That year, Waldo Prince eliminated the furniture business and moved the funeral home to its current location on Court Street.

In 1963, Kenneth G. Boyd joined Waldo Prince in partnership, known as Prince & Boyd “Home for Funerals.”

Wiggins-Prince died in 1975, and 10 years later, David E. Hyatt and Kenneth G. Boyd formed a corporation and the name of the business was changed to Prince-Boyd & Hyatt Home for Funerals, Inc.

Hyatt began working in the funeral business when he was still in high school, a 1967 graduate of Rome Free Academy. He started at what was known as
the Griffin-Aldridge & Gulla Funeral Home, now known as Gulla Funeral and Cremation Services, Inc. on North Washington Street.

While serving in Vietnam from 1970-71, Hyatt served in the mortuary, where he did identification work. He said his drill sergeant was the first he had to identify after being killed in action.

Hyatt joined the Prince-Boyd firm in 1978, and in 1985, he and Kenneth formed a corporation.

In 1992, the funeral director took over the funeral home with his wife, Debra. They continue, as Prince-Boyd & Hyatt Home for Funerals, Inc., to offer personalized and compassionate care to the families they serve.

Today, the Hyatts offer specialty items and services, such as small Keepsake Urns, casket ornaments and the Legacytouch line of keepsake jewelry.

Legacytouch will engrave the fingerprint of a loved one onto pendants, dog tags and charm bracelets. The company’s Crystal Legacy line includes a 3D image of a loved one, creating an everlasting tribute.

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