Kendall History

In 1889 at the age of 54, Zechariah Kendall established the Kendall Funeral Home. His second born son, Marcellus Alonzo Kendall founded the Kendall Furniture Company in 1891. Since furniture businesses and undertakers were usually combined businesses, it is believed that Z Kendall and his son; M. A. Kendall combined their business, which were then located at the corner of Randolph Avenue and Gay Street. Then at some point in time between the years of 1897 and 1906, Marcellus Kendall purchased the northeast corner of Second Street and Davis Avenue, where he built the Kendall building, now known as the Saffel Building in downtown Elkins. By 1906, it is documented that the two businesses, Kendall Furniture Company and Z. Kendall and Son were both located in the Kendall Building.
While funeral records at that time are sketchy, on July 6, 1893, the Randolph County Court paid "Z. Kendall" for the coffin of James E. McCarty who died on December 5, 1892. This also suggests that the Kendall's buried Mr. McCarty. A definite indication that the Kendall's were in the undertaking business was found in the Elkins Inter-Mountain issue of April 17, 1894, which reported that M. A. Kendall was the embalmer of Media Scott, who died at Coalton on April 2, 1894. Years later an article in Elkins 1906, revealed that M. A. Kendall had served as the president of the West Virginia Funeral Director's Association.
In 1907 Samuel McClelland Kendall, the third son of Zechariah Kendall, came to Elkins and began working with his older brother, M. A. Kendall. In 1909, M. A. Kendall sold the Furniture Company and Funeral Home to his brother Samuel, and left Elkins. By 1919, the Furniture Company was out of business and in 1920 Samuel moved the funeral home from the corner of Second Street and Davis Avenue to 120 First Street, it's current location.
Samuel's sons, Orval C. and Oscar S. Kendall helped their father in the funeral business. When Samuel retired, Orval, a licensed director and embalmer, took over the business until 1940 when he entered the Navy. Samuel came out of retirement until Orval returned from World War II, in 1945. Due to Orval's poor health and the death of Samuel M. Kendall, who died on May 16, 1947, Samuel's widow, Rosa Belle (Caplinger) Kendall then leased the funeral home to John W. Lohr who later purchased the business.