Monday, July 18, 2005

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.

Kolm Brothers AdIn 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).

Will's Embalming License

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.

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At 3:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm an Indiana funeral director who had just stumbled upon this site by doing a search for furniture and undertaking postcards. This is quite a nice site you have.

At 8:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello my name is Carola and live in Oklahoma. My maiden name is Kolm and i and two cousins of mine have been researching on the Kolm's family ancestry. We have found several of the Kolm's off spring and we are searching for other ancestors that came from the Kolm family's that immigrated from Germany and came to america. Many of them immigrated to New York in the mid late 1800's. I was wondering if you might be related to any of the this Kolm's? If you have questions please feel free to contact me at,


At 10:08 PM, Blogger Peggy said...

Hi Carola!

I'll send you an email.


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