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Our Beginnings

Mr. Scott and his son J.B. Scott were involved in the furniture and undertaking business in the village of Fremont in the early 1890's. J. B. Scott was married to Arabella Crandell who was a sister to Richard A. Crandell (father of Jack, grandfather of Richard, and great-grandfather of Scott & Curt). Mr. & Mrs. Scott had one daughter, Ms. Dorothy Scott who later married Daniel Gerber Sr., one of the founders of Gerber Products Company.

In 1902, Richard A. Crandell (father of Jack) and his wife, Berda May Whitney moved from Portland, Michigan to Fremont to enter into the business with the Scotts. Richard A. Crandell received his license to practice mortuary on December 9, 1915. At this time, a person needed only to pass a written exam and serve a six week apprenticeship. A year after Richard A. Crandell joined the Scotts, Mr. Scott died from complications with Tuberculosis. Richard A. Crandell and the widowed Mrs. Scott continued the business with Mrs. Scott acting as an inactive partner and Richard A. Crandell as an active partner and also manager.

In 1918 Mr. John Ensing became a business partner and the company name was changed to Scott, Crandell, & Ensing. Later that year, Mrs. Scott sold her interest in the business to the other partners and the company name was shortened to Crandell & Ensing. In 1927, following the death of Richard A. Crandell (father of Jack), John Ensing became the manager of the business until his retirement in 1945. Lambert Lambers also became employed by the firm and the partners decided to buy the funeral business of a Mr. Chaney in Hesperia, Michigan. Lambert Lambers moved into the funeral home in Hesperia fulfilling the need for a licensed funeral director and embalmer. Mr. Lambert Lambers passed away at Blodgett Hospital on December 28, 1951. When Mr. John Ensing retired, his son-in-law, Peter Longstreet, became a partner in the business. John Ensing passed away ten years later in 1955.

At the time of Richard A. Crandell's death, his son, Jack A. Crandell was attending Davenport College in Grand Rapids. Jack married Marguerite Long on May 30, 1937 and graduated from Cincinnati College of Embalming in 1938 and also received his license that same year. The business purchased a large wood framed house at the Court Street location in White Cloud from L.B. Reed in 1938.

In September of 1939, Jack, Marguerite, and son Richard moved to White Cloud to manage the business. It was in the early 1950's that a decision was made to tear down the old building and build a new, more modern facility to better serve the White Cloud community. Cruzan Brothers of White Cloud were the general contractors for the construction. About one year after the completion of the project, a fire raced through a portion of the building causing considerable damage to the furnace and embalming rooms. The White Cloud Fire Department contained the fire to those rooms preventing further damage. Repairs were made immediately.

It was also in the early 1950's that the business in Fremont would move to a location at 20 East Dayton Street. An addition and remodeling project was completed in the early 1970's and then refurbished in 1994. Prior to the early 1950's, business was conducted from the Main Street facility located across the street from the current high school building. It is interesting to note that up until the late 1930's, much of the embalming, visitations (wakes), and services were conducted in the home and not at a church or funeral home.