California Genealogy and History Archives
San Bernardino County and Riverside County
CORTNER. — Three brothers make up the Cortner Brothers Company, undertakers and funeral directors, whose establishment at Sixth and East Olive streets in Redlands represents the highest degree of service and facilities in their line.
The parents of these brothers were George A. and Kate (Couch) Cortner, both natives of Bedford County, Tennessee. Their father was born in 1838 and their mother in 1844. George A. Cortner was a farmer and a grain dealer, a prosperous business man who spent his active life in Tennessee. He died in 1911, while his wife passed away in 1893.
George and Arthur Cortner came to Redlands in 1902, being followed by their brother Guy in 1904. Reasons of health caused George Cortner to seek the California climate. Arthur Cortner went to work for F. A. Wales in his undertaking establishment at Redlands, and in 1904 the two brothers bought the Wales business, then conducted in a small store on State Street. Appreciating the need of a more commodious place and a better equipped service, they established their Funeral Parlor in 1905, at the corner of Cajon and East Olive streets. The present handsome building occupied by Cortner Brothers is at the northwest corner of Sixth and Olive streets. For over fifteen years, therefore, the Cortner Brothers Company has been in business at Redlands. They were the first firm to realize the need of a modern funeral parlor in the city, and selected their present location on account of its convenience to car lines as well as for its seclusion. In this commodious and well arranged chapel they have supplied the needs of all classes.
George P. Cortner was born in Tennessee in December, 1879, and grew up and received his education in that state. Since 1915 he has held the responsibilities of business manager for the University of Redlands. He married Miss Nellie Harmon, a native of Ohio, and they have two daughters, Katherine and Edith.
F. Arthur Cortner was born in Tennessee January 26, 1881. He was educated in that state, and in 1903 graduated from the Myers Collie of Embalming at Cincinnati. In 1911 he married Miss Katherine Fox, of Colton, California. Her parents were California pioneers, her father being the first planter and packer of oranges in the Colton district, and continued the business of packing and shipping fruits from this section for many years. Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Cortner have three children: Arthur, Jr., born May 28, 1912; Anna Belle, born September 30, 1914; Gayle, born October 22, 1916.
Guy Cortner, youngest of the three brothers, and as yet unmarried, was born March 7, 1883, at Wartrace, Tennessee, and was reared and educated there. He arrived in Redlands in November, 1904. He is also a member of the firm Sering & Cortner, furniture merchants at Redlands.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011