History: Spencer Undertakers
Surnames: Graves, Tilden, Whipple, Georgas, Westfall, Swarthout, Sook, Jasperson, Rux
----Source: Spencer Centennial Book, 1874 – 1974 (Spencer, Marathon County, Wis.) pages 84-85
In Spencer’s earliest days the dead were taken care of by kind neighbors in the making of the coffin and preparing the departed one for burial. Later S. D. Graves handled caskets in connection with his general store and did undertaking upon request. Later Mr. Graves sold his caskets to W. H. Tilden who had established a furniture store. In one of the early newspapers he ran this ad: “I made undertaking a specialty. Funerals taken care of upon request. Ready made coffins on hand.”
Frank Whipple was an agent at this time for Waupaca Marble Works. Some of their tombstones may still be seen in the Spencer cemetery.
Mr. Tilden later discontinued his business and Graves Mercantile Store again kept caskets above their store and did the undertaking work, S. E. Graves usually doing the undertaking work and his brother, J. D. Graves, officiating at the funeral service.
In 1913 Art Georgas, our first licensed embalmer, came to town and established a furniture store and undertaking business in the building on Clark Street formerly occupied by the Fair Store, now the Gary Fenhouse building. Later he moved into the building now occupied by Erwin Westfall on Main Street where he remained until his death in 1925. He was a man loved and esteemed by all who knew him. His wife, Tillie Georgas, then attended a School of Embalming (the only woman in a class of 22) became a licensed embalmer and carried on the business left by her husband. She later moved into the first Gamble Store building. In 1938 she and her second husband, Blaine Swarthout, who had also become a licensed embalmer, purchased the Adell Sook residence on South LaSalle Street and converted it into a Funeral Home, with living quarters included. Upon their retirement in 1958 they sold the business and building to Irvin Jasperson of Barron, Wisconsin.
The service of a mortician is twofold. He prepares the dead for burial and, with his understanding and kindness, helps the bereaved through a very difficult time. Irvin Jasperson performed the latter service in a manner which won for him a very special feeling of appreciation and gratitude from all whom he served.
On July 1, 1972, Mr. Jasperson sold the Funeral Home to Ronald Rux, a former employee at Helke’s Funeral Home in Wausau, and he now provides the same efficient, kind service given by his predecessor, and by his warm, friendly personality and interest in civic affairs, has already made for himself a place of his own in the community.
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