What I Learned at the Batavia Public Library

2015 05-11 01I shared my recent visit to the library here. I went with the hope of finding information that will lead me to the final resting place of my 3rd great-grandmother Helena Christina (Åman) Tolf.

Batavia is a frequent stop when I visit Illinois. The library is lovely and the librarians are always very nice and extremely helpful. The librarian who helped on this particular trip was no exception.

The city directories didn’t go back far enough to be of any help. The idea was to find the listing of a funeral home that was operating at the time of Helena’s death in 1901. Perhaps they will have a record that lists the cemetery in which she is buried.

Because we had looked through a number of city directories before I turned to the newspaper on microfilm, we knew funeral homes as such didn’t really exist. Furniture stores provided undertaking services.

Right next to Helena’s obituary in the newspaper was an ad for such a store. Now I just have to find out if Smith & Crane have any extent records and where they might be!

4 thoughts on “What I Learned at the Batavia Public Library

  1. What an interesting fact that furniture stores provided undertaking services. I’ve often wondered about a local funeral home that also operates a self-storage company next door.

    I’m from your neck of the woods — Gary, Indiana. I remember hearing references to Batavia in new reports. It’s a Chicago suburb, right? It’s great to have a good library nearby. I don’t know what I’d do without mine.


    • I thought so too, what an interesting combination. We saw references to “funeral furniture” in the city directories. Makes you wonder…

      Combining self storage and funerals? Hmm. 🙂

      I agree, libraries are such essential repositories – I couldn’t do without mine either!

      Liked by 1 person

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