Kolm Brothers Furniture Store and Undertakers
Our ancestor Carl Heinrich Christian "Henry" Kolm was a carpenter and joiner by trade. Only of his sons, Henry William (born 1863) continued his trade. Shortly after the turn of the century, Henry William opened a furniture store in Schuyler, Nebraska. Because the store provided coffins, it had a second business as an undertaking parlor.
According to Alice Kolm Stibal the embalming was done by a Jack Stovicek from the Gass Funeral Home in Columbus, Platte County. Henry's brother Charles briefly worked in the undertaking business, then took over the Kolm farm when his father retired, about 1905.
In February 1910 Henry's youngest brother (and our ancestor) Will returned from Oregon and joined him in his business, doing the embalming. Will returned briefly to Marshfield, Oregon in June 1910 to marry Nellie Bernitt. The young couple returned to Schuyler, where Will recieved his embalmer's license.
Will had gone into debt to buy one half of the furniture/undertaking business and found the interest payments to be a heavy burden. Furthermore, he did not like working as an undertaker, especially when he had to embalm a child for burial. By 1912 he had become terribly discouraged in Schuyler. Henry bought his brother out and he and Nellie with baby Leland returned to Marshfield, Oregon. (Will maintained his embalmer's license even after returning to Oregon).
When Will left to return to Oregon, Henry’s daughter Anna (who had been a rural schoolteacher), went into business with him. Anna carried on the business many years after Henry died in 1918.
Information about the Kolm furniture store/undertakers was from correspondence between Lee Kolm and his cousins Alice Stibal and William Roether.