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Former Polley Funeral Home demolished

Longtime excavator operator Jim Strider of Richmond razes the former Polley Funeral Home with steadied precision on Tuesday. The actual age of the building is not known, but the orginal part was likely at least a century old. (Photo by JoEllen Black/Richmond News)

By JoEllen Black/Richmond News Executive Editor

A structure that has served numerous families throughout the decades is no more.

The former Polley Funeral Home, which has sat idle since July 2014, was demolished tactically and swiftly Tuesday morning.

Downtown business owners, city officials and other onlookers recorded the event with camera phones as Richmond excavator operator Jim Strider peeled back each addition and era of the structure. In roughly two hours, the building was leveled.

“I wouldn’t have had anyone else do it but Jim,” said Randy Huffman about Strider, a retired union operator with 40-plus years of experience.

Dominique Owen, a city employee in the community development office, uses the back of a sign to steady herself in filming the razing process. Also taking it in were were business owners Nancy Jones of The Jones Store, and Ray Smith and John Furgeson of NorthStar Wellness. (Photo by JoEllen Black/Richmond News)

Huffman is director of operations for Midwest Missouri Contractors.

Both Strider and Midwest Missouri Contractors donated their services for the demolition of the city-owned property. The city paid $10,000 to remove the debris from the site, according to City Administrator Tonya Willim, which was done Wednesday and Thursday. The building’s concrete floor and basement will be broken up and used as fill along with sand for compaction, he added.

As he watched the demolition, Jimmy Carter, mutual manager of Missouri Farm & Home, said, “The shape it was in, it was time. The building was in bad condition.”

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