History of Linwood W. Ott Funeral Home, Inc.
In 1874, Daniel C. Brumbach began undertaking at his furniture business, located at 112 East Philadelphia Ave., Boyertown, Pennsylvania, and moved the business to 201 East Philadelphia Ave. in 1882. Brumbach was one of the organizers of the Boyertown Burial Casket Company. He believed caskets should be manufactured before they were needed for a funeral. This was at a time when a cabinet maker was called to quickly build a casket upon someone’s death.
Brumbach turned the business over to his son-in-law, James J. Brown, in 1905. Mr. Brown was one of the first people to be trained in the art and science of embalming. This became a very valuable trade to learn and was beneficial after the 1908 Opera House fire, when it was used to help aid in the long identification process. In 1933, Mr. Brown passed away and his widow, Ella, would conduct the business for two more years. She sold the business to Lewis B. Cauffman in 1935. He later moved the business to 34 Warwick St.
In 1936 Linwood W. Ott, who worked for Mr. Cauffman, purchased the business. Mr. Ott purchased the home next door in order to expand his business in 1939. During this time, Mr. Ott and his wife, Mildred, designed and built custom awnings and shades as a secondary business. In 1952, Mr. Ott purchased a Victorian-style mansion at 111 North Reading Ave. Built in 1891, this structure serves as the funeral home’s current facility, and was enlarged and redesigned in 1965.
Upon Mr Ott’s retirement in 1979, Terry L. Starr bought the business. Mr. Starr purchased the St. John’s parsonage at 115 North Reading Ave in 1983, which today serves as an arrangement office and casket selection room. After a fire in 1994, the entire funeral home was remodeled.
In 1995, Mr. Starr sold Linwood W. Ott Funeral Home to SCI® Pennsylvania Funeral Service Inc., a subsidiary of Houston, Texas-based Service Corporation International. Mr. Starr and his wife, Charlene, stayed on to run the business until their retirement in 2004.