Rich traditions, proud history
Pursel-Davis Funeral Home has roots that go back to 1881 when A.E. Wilbur, H.P. Densel and Charles Glick opened a furniture and undertaking business at 13-17 S. Center Street. John Pursel joined the undertaking Company in 1893, when Charles Glick sold out. At that time, furniture stores provided funeral management with horse-drawn hearses and caskets made by local cabinet makers. Funerals usually took place in the home.
In 1907, John W. Pursel and his wife Emma, who was the third lady in Iowa to become a licensed embalmer, bought the business and established the first funeral chapel available in the city. In 1927, the Pursel Funeral Home moved to 405 W. Main. It was renovated and enlarged to create a home-like chapel. John and Emma Pursel’s daughter Nita then joined the firm. John Pursel then died in 1930. In 1951, Walter Hugh Davis, son of Nita and Skip joined the firm and changed the name to Pursel-Davis Funeral Home.
Hugh retired in 1991 after selling the firm to Rick and Trent Vogel, third and fourth generation funeral directors. A new entrance with offices and a crematory, the first in the county, were completed in 1994. Trent retired a few years later and Rick and his wife Kelly continued to work together expanding their business by adding Johnston Funeral Home in Conrad in 2006. Their most recent purchase was Estel-Perrin-Avey Funeral Home in Marshalltown and Goettsch-Perrin in Gladbrook in February of 2007.
Estel-Perrin-Avey was founded in 1896 by Harvey E. Simkins in LeGrand, Iowa. It was then relocated to 123 E. Main Street in Marshalltown. In 1904, W.F. Estel joined Simkins, but Simkins died suddenly in 1907 leaving Estel as sole owner. Estel moved the firm to 212-218 E. Main Street and then finally settling at 212 E. State Street in 1927.
In 1939 Burr Perrin joined the funeral firm. In 1946 John Connor purchased the funeral home from Estel, and in 1949 they also purchased the Wensel Funeral Home in State Center from Mrs. Wensel following the death of her husband L.S. Wensel. Later Estel bought out Connor in 1952. The Bernal Avey Funeral Home, which was located at 102 N. 2nd Street, merged with Estel-Perrin in 1981 shortly after his death.
In 1960, Perrin, purchased the Goettsch Funeral Home in Gladbrook. The firm known as H.J. Goettsch and Company purchased the undertaking and furniture firm from E.A. Burt in 1913. The funeral parlor moved from their Main Street location to their family home in 1939.
Rick Vogel died suddenly in 2007. Kelly continued to move forward with the same commitment to serve the families within the communities they serve operating the Vogel Family of Funeral Homes.
In 2009, Jody A. Anderson joined the firm as a licensed funeral director and was promoted to manager of the funeral homes a year later. In November of 2012, Jody, along with his wife Amy, purchased the funeral homes from Kelly. In an effort to show unity to the communities they serve the Pursel-Davis, Estel-Perrin-Avey, Johnston, and Goettsch Funeral Homes will operate under one name. All locations will now be known as the Anderson Funeral Homes. They will continue to show the same commitment to service as the prior owners have over the last 100 years.