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Brief History of Corning Funeral Homes

In 1877, Sylvannus Bishop established a Wagon and Undertaking Shop. This shop was later bought by W. F. Barnes in 1888 who then erected a two-story 20 X 40 building for his facility.

In 1897, Felsburg Funeral Home was established by William Felsburg. He was the first licensed embalmer in Corning who closed his funeral home in 1929. William Felsburg died January 18, 1950 and was buried in Corning Cemetery.

Before the Felsburg Funeral Home closed, Black’s Mortuary opened November 14, 1925. Paul W. Hansen served as the manager, embalmer and undertaker. Black’s Mortuary remained open until September 1951.

Sometime during the late 1940’s, W. H. Irby founded Irby Funeral Home.

In 1947, Russell Mortuary was founded by Leslie Russell.

On January 1, 1953, Leslie Russell and Richard O. Ermert came together to purchase Irby Funeral Home and form Russell-Ermert Funeral Home.

During their partnership, Russell and Ermert erected the building at 1000 W. Elm St. Russell-Ermert Funeral Home moved into this building Nov. 18, 1970. On January 1, 1978, Richard O. Ermert bought Leslie Russell’s interest in the business. Leslie Russell passed away July 6, 2004 and is buried in Corning Cemetery.

After his purchase, Richard named the business Ermert Funeral Home. It later became incorporated on Nov. 1, 1979. Richard O. Ermert passed away July 30, 2008. Ermert Funeral Home is currently managed by Richard O. Ermert, Jr.

An ambulance service was offered by all funeral homes in Corning until July 1, 1975. At that time, the City of Corning took over the ambulance service.