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Riesinger Funeral Home Records

Identifier: MS-75

Scope and Contents

The collection contains a few photographs, financial ledgers, and substantially, the funeral record and ledger books documenting individual funerals. The collection covers the years 1902-1958, however, the records for individual funerals date from 1902-1948 and 1951-1952. The funeral record and ledger books document the impact of local and world events on an individual level. For example, the 1913 ledger documents the after effects of the Dayton Flood. The 1918 and 1919 ledgers reflect the world-wide influenza epidemic. Car crashes and automobile-related fatalities become a major cause of death, especially among younger people, from the mid-1920s on. In addition, the records are a wealth of information for genealogists. Riesingers was known for providing service to the Hungarian population and other ethnic groups in Dayton. The collection is arranged into three series as follows.

Series I, Photographs, 1905-1929, 1942, is a small series containing four folders of photographs. The photographs are from a 1919 Christmas event hosted by Frank Riesinger to entertain children, and also shows the chapel and outside of the Frank Riesinger Funeral Home at 1334 West Third Street in 1919. Photographs of children and crowds gathered outside the Robert Riesinger building in 1927, show a Santa Clause and elf, along with the Dayton Drum Corps and Frank Riesinger. In addition is a folder of 10 photographs removed from inside the funeral record books in Series II. The photos are unlabeled, but likely of individuals whose funerals were arranged by Riesinger. On the back of each photos is a reference to the ledger and page number from which the photograph was removed.

Series II, Funeral Record and Ledger Books, 1902-1952, is the heart of the collection, consisting of the funeral and ledger books maintained by the funeral home on individual funerals. These books were generated by year. Please note that many loose documents within individual log books were removed and foldered. These folders are listed first in the inventory, and are in order by year. The pages of each record log book includes a place to enter the name of the deceased, place of birth, date of birth, if a war veteran, place of death, death date, age at death, cause of death, sex, color, if married, occupation, name of father and mother, time and place of funeral service, interment place and date, and casket details. Please note that all the information was not always filled in. Sometimes a clipping of the obituary is included.

The researcher should be aware of the following when using the collection:

• In front of every ledger is an index listing each funeral alphabetically by surname, with a page number for the funeral record. A “Ready Reference’ section lists all the funerals by month. Unfortunately the Ready Reference is not always filled out, especially for the later years. • Some of the individual records are very incomplete. • The years 1902-1905 are in one ledger. • The years 1905-1907 are also in one ledger. • There are no ledgers for the years 1908, 1909, and 1920. • The ledger dated 1919 contains: o 1918 November – 1919 November o 1922 December 30 – 1924 June o 1930 May 22 – 1932 April 3 • Part of January 1924 is in the 1923 ledger. • Part of 1925 is in the 1926 ledger. • The 1935 ledger also lists funerals dated from Jan. 4-17, 1936 • The 1942 ledger also lists funerals dated from Jan. 1-5, 1943 • The 1945 ledger also lists funerals dated from Jan. 3-4, 1946

Series III, Financial Records, 1917, 1931-1956, contains 13 financial log books. The bulk of the books are a record of expenses and income. In the back of several of the books is an inventory for the business.


  • Creation: 1902-1958
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1902-1947


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on accessing material in this collection.

Conditions Governing 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.

Biographical / Historical

Frank Riesinger (1871-1937) operated funeral homes in Dayton, Ohio from 1901 until his death in 1937. The Frank Riesinger Funeral Home was located at 1334 W. Third Street. The funeral home also operated a mausoleum. Riesinger was a prominent businessman in the community, and was known for being giving and kind. During the 1913 Flood, he distributed food and clothing to those in need. He ordered 110 coffins from Richmond, Indiana and offered them to the poor. Riesinger was also known for throwing community Christmas parties, which included a big parade down West Third Street, and Santa Clause distributing gifts to the children. Photographs from Christmas parties in 1919 and 1927 are included in the collection. The Frank Riesinger Funeral Home later became the Frank Riesinger-Shank Funeral Home, which is no longer listed in the Dayton City Directories after 1947.

Funeral directing ran in the Riesinger family. Frank’s sons, Grant E. (1907-1947) and Frank Dayton (1892-1978) were also funeral directors in Dayton, Ohio. Frank Dayton Riesinger worked for his father until 1933 when he established a funeral home at 718 Wayne Avenue. Frank Dayton and his wife, Iva Pearl, had a son named Robert Harry Riesinger in 1924. Robert would become a third generation funeral director and active in East Dayton community affairs, He was also president of the East Dayton Businessmen’s Association. Robert died in 2000.


12 linear feet

Language of Materials



Records of a prominent Dayton, Ohio funeral home which serviced many from the Hungarian and other ethnic groups of the early 20th century. Funeral record and ledger books give a daily account of funerals, and contain information and vital statistics about people buried by the Riesinger Funeral Home in Dayton, Ohio. Also included are financial record books for 1931-1956, and a few photographs.


The collection is arranged into 3 series:

Series I:
Photographs, 1905-1929, 1942
Series II:
Funeral Record and Ledger Books, 1902-1952
Series III:
Financial Records, 1917, 1931-1956

Other Finding Aids

The finding aid is available on the Wright State University Libraries' Special Collections and Archives web site at

The finding aid is also available in the OhioLINK Finding Aid Repository at

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The records were donated to the Wright State University Archives on 8 November 1978 by Mrs. Pearl Riesinger Baker, widow of Frank Riesinger.

Existence and Location of Copies

A microfilm copy of the collection is available on MFM-132 at Wright State University Libaries' Special Collections and Archives.

Also, the microfilm version was digitized by the LDS Church and is available online through their web site at

Related Materials

MS-458 Dayton Daily News Archive includes clippings and photographs of Riesinger family members.

Processing Information

Processed by: Judith McCune, 1981 June 1. At this time, loose items within funeral record and ledger books were removed and placed in folders with cross references to the book and page from which the document was removed.

Guide to the Riesinger Funeral Home Records (MS-75)
McCune, Judith
1981 June 1
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 2018 September: Finding aid revised to DACS with a brief historical note, and more detailed inventory by Toni Vanden Bos
  • 2021 Oct: Order of listing revised to reflect chronological order of funeral records, rather than physical arrangement, during ArchivesSpace inventory import, by Lisa Rickey.

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