HISTORY: Charles Oscar Ebensberger came to this country from Posen, Prussia when he was around 20 years old in 1865. He landed in Indianola and traveled by oxcart to New Braunfels where he first settled. In 1882 he brought his family to Boerne where he started his first business as an undertaker. Being a cabinet maker by trade, which, at that time, was basically making caskets for the dead the transition to undertaker was natural. Although he learned embalming, there was very little of this done in the late 1800's.
In 1883 C.O. started a hardware store and a lumber company. The lumber company operated out of the same building as the mortuary; the lumber-yard was located behind the mortuary. The Ebensberger family lived in quarters above the store. These three businesses: lumber yard, hardware store and funeral preparations, were his until 1907.
In 1907 his son, Edmund Walter Ebensberger, became a licensed embalmer and funeral director and took over this part of the family business. Ed also worked in the lumber business. As late as 1916 embalming was done in the home of the deceased, then the body was placed in a bed or casket. Neighbors and friends would sit continuously with the dead as there were few homes with screens. They sat for love, respect and protection. Funerals were held from the homes, sometimes moving to a church for the service. This was a custom continued until the 1950s. It was after that time when the use of the Funeral Home for services became wide spread.
|In the early days horse-drawn hearses were rented from Schrader Livery Stable. Later the hearse was purchased from L. A. Schrader. The first motorized hearse was in 1920. It was a Sears & Scoffield vehicle which was a combination hearse and ambulance.||The first Ebensberger Funeral home was located next to their lumber company on Main Street. This was also the family residence. In 1938 a new funeral home was built on Rosewood Street at the current location.||In 1957, George Charles Ebensberger took over the business from his father, Edmund Walter Ebensberger. In 1976 when George C. Jr. joined the business as embalmer and funeral director, he became the fourth generation working in the business. This is the oldest continuous business in Boerne having been in existence 123 years.||The funeral home building is an Art Deco style of architecture, very popular in the 1940s and 1950s. It is quite rare in Boerne. The floor plan of the building has not changed since it was built. The only changes are the addition of a garage and a canopy to the front of the building. The cooling system changed from a circulating air system using a fan to the modern air conditioning system. The building has always been renovated to preserve the integrity of the original.|
Source: Boerne Public Library files
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