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Boyer Funeral Home Records

Identifier: MS-277

Scope and Content

The Boyer Funeral Home Records contains information about the Boyer Funeral Home, as well as a genealogical information that would be useful to a researcher interested in the researching Dayton family histories as well as those who are interested in the funeral industry.

Series I: Boyer Mortuary Records, includes documents related to the details of the funeral. Records contain information concerning Service Rendered (Casket price, Professional Services, Embalming, Shaving-dressing, Funeral Car, etc.) Cash Disbursed (Funeral Car, Flower Car, Newspaper notices, etc.) as well as biographical information (Date of Birth/Death, residence, cause of death, etc.). Later Mortuary Records contain the obituary clipped from the newspaper. The records are arranged chronologically, and then alphabetically by last name. 22 boxes.

Series II, Account Books, includes account information. Dates, items, and prices are listed in the ledgers concerning funeral expenses. 1 box and 1 ledger.

Series III: Family History includes two histories written by Chip Boyer about Rosaline Lowrey and Charles Beaver Boyer.

Series IV: Correspondence, contains one letter from an undertaker to the Boyer Funeral Home.


  • Creation: 1905-1999
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1920-1978


Restrictions on Access

There are no restrictions on accessing materials in this collection.

Restrictions on Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

History of Boyer Funeral Home

The Boyer Funeral Home was established in 1850 as an independently owned business by Oliver Perry Boyer. O.P. Boyer (1827-1903) began his trade as a cabinet maker, making wooden coffins in his spare time. Eventually his work evolved into a full scale mortuary, eventually ceasing to produce cabinets.

During the 1850s to 1870s, O.P. Boyer was in business with his younger brother, Benjamin F. Boyer. During this time the business was known as O.P. Boyer and Brother. Eventually Benjamin left the business to join the Union Army. After the war, Ben deserted his family and died in 1898. The family, however, continued operating the funeral home as an independent business, as it had from its inception in 1850, until Mrs. Eleanor S. Boyer's death in 1985. The Boyer Funeral Home may have been the first undertaking establishment in Dayton. William Boyer was said to have made a wooden coffin for the first man executed for a crime in Dayton.

Notable Dayton residents which temporarily rested at Boyer's Funeral Home include: John H. Patterson, James M. Cox, Charles F. Kettering, Orville Wright, and George H. Mead.

The O.P. Boyer's Sons Funeral Home was located at 211-213 W. 3rd St around the turn of the century. By the 1920s, the funeral home had moved to 609 W. Riverview Ave., Dayton, Ohio.


14 linear feet

Language of Materials



This collection documents the financial transactions and specifications by the Boyer Funeral Home, which was established in Dayton, Ohio in the mid-1800s, and which may have been the first undertaking establishment in Dayton. The collection includes Mortuary Records spanning the years 1922-1978. Additional records include account books dating from 1905-1973.

Statement of Arrangement

The collection is arranged into four series:

  1. Series I: Mortuary Records, 1922-1978
  2. Series II: Account Books, 1905-1973
  3. Series III: Family History, 1998-1999
  4. Series IV: Correspondence, 1932

Acquisition Information

The Boyer Funeral Home Records were donated to Wright State University Special Collections and Archives by Frederick S. Boyer and Charles Boyer III, on behalf of Charles B. Boyer Jr., who died in 1977 and Eleanor S. Boyer, who died in 1985. This archive was donated in 1995 and was accessioned on 10 January 2009; additional ledger books were donated by Charles Boyer III in September 2012. Charles B. Boyer Jr. was last of six generations of Boyers who operated the funeral business in Dayton, Ohio.

Processing Information

Processed by Jeremy Feador, January 2009. Finding aid revised according to DACS standards by Amanda Marquart, February 2015. Additions and revisions by Lisa Rickey, September 2017.

For preservation reasons, two extremely large, loose-leaf account ledgers were dismantled and the individual pages placed in archival folders. All sheets remain in their original order, and the overall sheet number (for the ledger as a whole) has been written in pencil in the upper right-hand part of each individual sheet, to ensure original order can be maintained.

Guide to the Boyer Funeral Home Records
Finding aid prepared by Jeremy Feador, January 2009
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Wright State University Libraries
Special Collections and Archives
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton OH 45435-0001 USA