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A handsome hearse - 1888 in Bluffton

Wilson brothers undertaking business

located at what is today 206 N. Main St

Our advertiser of the week is the Wilson Brothers undertakers. This advertisement was in the Sept. 6, 1888, Bluffton News.

We’ve made an assumption of the Wilson undertaking location based upon an 1880 village plat map. The red arrow points to the William Wilson property near the corner of Main and Elm streets. The blue arrow points to the eventual location of the town hall. The town hall was built in 1887.

The 1880 village plat map shows that William Wilson owned a property directly north of what today is Mercy Health Bluffton Family Medicine at 204 N. Main St.

We can only assume William was the father of James and John. The advertisement references John Wilson working for his father for 10 years. However his father’s first name is not mentioned in the ad.

The advertisement lists the undertaker’s location as the Tin Shop near the new Town House. That’s where we assume William Wilson enters the story.

The “new Town House” refers to the Bluffton town hall at the corner of Elm and Main, constructed in 1887. Text of the advertisement follows:

James Wilson – John Wilson

Wilson Bros.


Having purchased a Handsome Hearse, and received a new and Complete Stock of


And all kind of Funeral Supplies, we are prepared to attend to all calls Promptly at all hours

day or night. The Undertaking will be conducted by


Who had had ten years experience as assistant with his father, and has taken a. thorough course in Embalming, competent management guaranteed always. Call at Tin Shop of Jas. Wilson during the day, at night or on Sunday at their residence, near the new Town House


Blue arrow - Eventual site of Bluffton town hall

Red arrow - location of Wilson undertaking - at the tin shop


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