Lake Maxinkuckee Its Intrigue History & Genealogy Culver, Marshall, Indiana

Easterday Funeral Home 1893-1962  



Easterday's, Culver , Founded 1893


The Easterday Funeral Home was etablished at Culver November 1, 1893 by William S. "Sam" Easterday.

At that time is was located the second door north of its present location in a frame Building (as seen in the above picture) which housed the funeral home and the buisness adjunct, the Easterday Furniture Store. The elegant writing on the windows, "Easterday's Furniture and Undertaker," let the town folks know he was open for business (this building was town down in 1923 and became the 2nd Knights of Pythias building. >


[caption under picture was:] The Orginal Easterday Furniture and Undertaking establishment at Culver Was located the second door north of its present location and appeared as above. Founder William S. Easterday posed above with a group of neighborhood children of the period. Fifth from the elest in the line of boys is William R. Easterday, present owner of the Easterday Funeral Home.

1898 - Aug. 5 - W. S. Easterday lias just received from Rockford Hearse Company, of Sterling, Il., a fine new hearse, which is up to date in every particular. He also has just, received a large stock of new furniture, iron bedsteads etc The ambulance of the day (picured to the left).


1900, Mar 16 - W. S. Easterday and Chancy Overmeyer have purchased the Nussbaum building, which is occupied by Vanschoiack at present, and about April first, will move their furuiture and undertaking stock into the same. The business will be conducted under the firm name of Easterday and Overmeyer. Aside from their furniture business the firm will handle all kinds of farming implements, wagons, buggies, etc. The Herald wishes tbe firm abundant success.

1900 - April 20 Easterday & Overmyer have moved their furniture store into the building formerly occupied by E. B. Vanschoiack. The old store will be used for the purpose of storing farming implements
    ?-1902, March 20 - W. S. Easterday sold 102 S Main to Jake Rusell Saine



A 1900 ad for Easterday & Overmyer as found:


Location as shown on the Sanborn Fire Map; in yellow marked "Furne W. HO."


1906 - Nov 1 - A FIne Vechile
    W. S> Easterday has added to his undertaking outfit a handsom ambulance wich will prove useful as a public accommodation as wellas in the handling of certain features of his business.

    Glass windows at the side are chiefly for beauty as they are draped inside with black, but the draping, whiich is on a solid back, can be driopped in order to display flowers when the vechile is used on Decoration day as a flower wagon.

    Light and ventilation are secured thorugh front and rear windows.

    For ambulance purposes a cot can be place in the wagon, leaving room for stools for docors and attendants.

    The wagon will also be used to conveying caskets and boxes, and by using a rack it can carry a supply of chairs.
    Altogether it supplies a public need and adds to the facilities of the undertaker's equipment.

    Mr. Easterday gives modern service in every respect.

    Mr. Easterday asks us to say that he will be glad to show the new wagon to anyone interested.

The July 4, 1907, issue of the Culver Citizen told of Sam's son experimenting, as an undertaker, with his yellow dog, "Chester" Easterday made a successful demonstration of the science of embalming in preserving a pet dog which turned up his toes the other day. A very lifelike result has been produced. The animal has been posed in the position of lying on his forepaws with his eyes turned sleepily up at the passerby. The body can be kept any number of years.

The June 10 1909 Issue proclaimed
    Reorganizinging his Business

    W. S. Easterday is making radical changes in his store room preparatory to giving his entire attenetion to his undertaking businees.

    Partions are being put in which will convert the front portion of the store into a reception room and an office, and the rear room will be used as a display room for caskets and trimmings.

    The office feature will prove a great convience to the public as will as to Mr. Easterday who is township trustee, town treasurer and representative of the independent telephone company.


A horsedrawn hearse was purchased in 1911. When Sam became the owner of the hearse, he told the people that it was such a good vehicle it would last him as long as he was in business. The horse was eight years old when acquired for the mortuary and continued in service until he was 23. The automobile forced him into retirement. He had three mates during that time.

The livery stable for the horses and carriages used in the business were across the street, on the alley behind the current library. The carriages were ambulances as well as being used for funeral services. Note the buildings with the "X" through them


Location as shown on the Sanborn Fire Map; in yellow marked "Undertaking"


In 1917 Sam bough his first motorized hearse, giving him the opportunity to learn to drive. It was a Sayres-Scholfield with side lamps, a drop step in the rear, decorative carvings and other traditions carried over from the old-style hearse.

Sam was interviewed in 1919 and at the time he had been inbusiness for 26 years. He was quoted as saying, "I estimate that we have buried more people than the present population of Culver." During those years he had been treasurer of the Chamber of Commerce for five years, trustee of the Knights of Pythias, town treasurer, secretary of the school board and township trustee.

The old Easterday building, the Byrd Elecrical Shop (former Post Office) and far right is the old Knights of Pythias building that became the new home of the Easterday funeral Home. News quips are:
    1921 Oct 12 Undertaker Easterday is installed in his new place of business, the former Speyer store which has been refitted for his special needs.

    1921 - Oct 19 - The Easterday Building on Main Street has been razed. The Byrd electrical shop, the old postoffice, is following suit.


The furniture store was in operation in conjunction with the funeral home until 1923. At that time the mortuary was moved to a modern brick building at 108 N. Main Street. Above the door of the remodeled building were the words, framed in brick, "Easterday Funeral Services."

Location as shown on the 1924 Sanborn Fire Map; marked "S" and #234 ; just to the south of the building marked "Hall". The funeral home is now in a modern brick building at 180 N. Main Street, Culver , which was remodeled and give an new front in 1924.


In 1933 William R. Easterday son of the founder, came to Culver from Plainfield, Ind. where for 21 years he had been chief clerk at the Indiana Boys School. From Jan 1, 1936, untill the death of the elder Mr. Easterday on Dec. 31, 1946. The father and sone were partners in the funerl home operation. - - Plymouth Pilot News - 1951
The next hearse he purchased was a 1937 Packard, recognized as "the hearse of tomorrow." Gone were the decorative characteristics of the hearses of past years. The easy-riding car also served as a more efficient ambulance.

Location as shown on the 1937 Sanborn Fire Map; marked "Undertaker"


[caption under picture reads: The late William S. Easterday founder of the Easterday Funeral home at Culver ]


In addition to Mr. Easterday, the business now requires the assitance of two part-time employees, A. M. Romig and Charles Ferrier.

caption under this photo reads: Pictured above are Mr. and Mrs William R. Easterday, who have been associated with the Easterday Funeral home at Culver since 1936. Since the death of his father on Dec. 31, 1946 Mr. Easterday has been owner-operator of the firm.


1947 - A new electronic organ has been installed in the Easterday Funeral Home, making available the highest type of music- for services in the chapel
Another son of the founder, Chester Easterday, operated a funeral home at Logansport until retiring in the fall of 1950.

Bill was also Bill an energetic enthusiast in the Maxinkuckee Fish and Wildlife Club. Hildreth wrote for the Culver Citizen and the "Over Eighty Club" of the Plymouth Pilot News. It was a feature for many years. Hildreth - wrote of the funeral home days:
    My husband, whose father was W. S. Easterday, funeral director at Culver , took a leave of absence from the Boys School to attend embalming college in Indianapolis. He passed the state board examination and om June 6, 1933 we moved to Culver where he joined his father in operating the funeral home. We lived in an apartment on the second floor of the funeral home. I helped in the office and assisted with the funeral work until Bill's retirement in 1962.


Some of the part-time help of the Easterday's was A. M. Romig and charles Ferrier.

The Easterday's live in an upstairs apartment in the building; eventually the couple built a house at 311 W. Washington Street.

New Easterday Funeral Car is Ultra-Modern - The Easterday Funderal home of Culver has a new Pontiac combination ambulance and hearse that is the very lastes in the type of vevhile. Besides the driver, it will accommodate four passengers. W. R. Easterday recently went to Kosciusko, Mississippi to pick up this specially equipped automobile. Pictured here with Mr. and Mrs Easterday is Austin Romig, their valued assistant and the past 16 years. May 14 1958 - Citizen
On 1 September 1960, James and Rosalie Bonine became part of Easterday Funeral Home which was located at 108 N. Main St.

Bill and Hildreth moved to the house on Washington Street, and the Bonines lived in the apartment.

1963 - January 9 - Mr. and Mrs. Bonine Purchase Easteday Funeral Home
    Mr. and Mrs. James D. Bonine, who have been associated with the Easterday Funeral Home for the past two and one-half years, have purchased the interests of Mr. and Mrs. William R. Easterday, in the operation of this Culver funeral firm...br>
    Beginning January 1, 1963, the firm will be known as the Easterday-Bonine Funeral Home, and the Easterdays, more familiarly known as Bill and Hildreth, will be associated with the Bonines in the operation of the business.



An ad that ran in 1963 and 1964 -


William "Bill Easterday - 1963


The name of Easterday was not dropped until after 1969 as all the ads in the Culver citizen for that year bore the name 'Easterday-Bonine'. It is said ttaht the name "Easterday" was dropped and was changed to Bonine Funeral Home in 1971.

Bill died on March 19, 1978

A travel sewing kit that was handed out to people.


Some vintage ads for the firm 1895, 1919, 1920, 2935, & 1952:

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