Charles Schroer Mortuary, located at 131 North Diamond Street in downtown Mansfield, Ohio, was founded in 1857 by Charles Schroer Sr. in a small building at the corner of Diamond and Fourth Street.2 Schroer began building caskets and business picked up enough that a three-story structure was constructed in 1863 at 117-133 North Diamond Street.
In the new facility was the family casket-building business on the first level and apartments on the second level.2 In one apartment, Charles Schroer Jr. was born who eventually matured and went to work in the family business, then renamed to Charles Schroer and Son. It soon became apparent that an extension of the business, into funeral directing, would be of positive fiscal responsibility and sense.
In 1914, a fire-proof mortuary was constructed next door and was divided into three levels.1 It was the first fire-proof structure in Mansfield. An embalming and preparation area was constructed in the basement, which the body would be raised via a hand-operated elevator to the first level where a chapel was located. The body would then be raised to the second level to a viewing room where there was a large skylight. The chapel contained a painting of the “Divine Ruler,” crafted with some considerable expense from a well regarded painter.2
At its height, the furniture store and mortuary occupied half of the block between East Temple Court and East Fifth Street along North Diamond.3 In 1921, Charles Schroer Sr. passed away and the company was renamed the Charles Schroer Company.2 The store and mortuary was passed down to Robert S. Schroer, Correll G. Erdenberger and Glenn S. Erdenberger.3 In the 1930s, the mortuary was closed,3 however, the Charles Schroer Company continued to sell furniture and carpet.
On November 29, 1963, the Charles Schroer Company conducted its final sale of stock as it declared that it was going out of business.3 It was then the oldest business in the city.
- Forbidden City Tour. Mansfield: Downtown Mansfield Inc., 2012. N. pag. Print.
- “Schroer Mortuary Observes Seventieth Anniversary of Its Establishment in City.” Mansfield News 2 Dec. 1927: 24. Print.
- Miller, Marparite. “Oldest Store in City Quits.” Mansfield News 28 Nov. 1963: 17. Print.