History of Our Business


Turnbull Funeral Home was established in January 1884, when Charles Blackburn and David Turnbull purchased the business of Joseph Espy, creating the business of Blackburn and Turnbull, Liverymen and Undertakers.


Blackburn & Turnbull

This pictures shows both the white and black horse-drawn hearses. Note the fly netting draped over the horses.


In that era, the Westward migration across the continent created a need for liverymen to transport belongings and possessions from the trains to the homes within the town. Basic local transportation involving wagons and carriages also were provided as part of their service.


Turnbull Funeral Home



The Monmouth Turnbull Funeral home, with the front porch still intact.


Having the appropriate wagons allowed them to offer funerals and the associated services to families following a death. This era of the Turnbull Funeral Home was operated out of a livery stable located on the corner of South Main Street and West Third Avenue on the North West Corner in Monmouth, Illinois.


In 1904/05, the first "Funeral Home" building, housing only the funeral business, was built on the corner of South Main Street and East Second Avenue and served also as a residence for David Turnbull and his wife, Ada, who was also a licensed funeral director and active in the business. The only remaining portion of that original building is located on the south side of the present building, and contains the round turret.


In 1924, the family found that expansion was necessary to continue living in the funeral home, so the current north section of the building was added. This separated the residence from the business and offered a modern establishment solely for the purpose of conducting funeral services.


In 1974, the west room was added outward to the Main Street sidewalk to afford more space and better facilities. Also at this time, the canopy was added to the East side of the building.


The building has evolved through many phases, based on the needs of the many generations served over the past 118 years. It is hoped that the building will continue to afford a comfortable and meaningful environment for today's families as they deal with their loss.

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