The Ashton Funeral Home is one of the oldest, continuously operated, family-owned funeral homes in America. In business since 1847, over five generations of Ashtons have served the Easton community. We invite you to join us in exploring our history.
The Ashton Funeral Home is founded as an undertaker and coffin maker business at Pine and Bank Streets, Easton, Pennsylvania by William Keller. Frank Ashton, who works for Keller, marries Keller’s daughter and assumes responsibility for running the business.
Undertaking work is done from undertaker’s office; funerals are held either in a church or the family’s home. Embalming, if requested, is done in the homestead. The Ashton women are actively involved in the business as shroud makers, foreladies, assisting, etc.
The business of undertaking and undertaking supplies moves to a new office at 313 Bushkill Street, Easton.
During this decade, E. Harris Ashton joins his brother Frank in the business. Frank retires and E. Harris Ashton is deceased. Walter H. Ashton (a third brother 21 years their junior) joins the family business. Walter purchases the horse-drawn hearse that remains with the family to the present.
Walter Ashton dies.
All of Walter and Anna Ashton’s children are active in funeral service:
Fred Ashton Sr. becomes a licensed funeral director. He and his wife, Jean Melick Ashton, continue the business at 1346 Northampton Street, Easton.
Fred Ashton Sr. and his wife Jean’s sons, Fred Jr. and Kline Sr., join the business as young men. Upon the death of Fred Ashton Sr., the brothers become partners in the funeral home.
Fred Ashton Jr. retires from the funeral home business; he serves two terms as mayor of Easton. Kline Ashton Sr. and his wife, Arlene Carcione Ashton, continue the business. Their three children, Debra, Kline Jr., and W. Scott, all become licensed funeral directors and continue serving actively in the family business.
After nearly 70 years in the service of Ashton Funeral Home and the Easton community, R. Kline Ashton, Sr. passes away in January. He is succeeded by his children: R. Kline Ashton, Jr., Debra Jo Ashton-Chase and W. Scott Ashton, funeral directors. Arlene Ashton continues to serve the community in her retirement.