Hood River's first funeral home originated in the early 1900's as the Sam Bartmess Mortuary. It was located at 6th and State St., (now Hershner & Bell Realty). Undertaker Sam Bartmess, keeping up with change, had switched from a horse-drawn funeral coach to a motorized hearse when the times called for it.
Bartmess sold the mortuary to his son-in-law Bill Marshall. The mortuary became Rude-Marshall between 1930 and 1935 and at that time was owned and operated by George Beechler until 1942.
Just east of the old Beechler Mortuary is the Ezra L Smith home which he built in 1886 for his family. The Smith home is one of Hood River's oldest homes still standing. In 1886 it stood for a long time as the "only large house in town."
After Ezra Smith's death in 1921, C.C. Anderson purchased the property for his new mortuary in 1928. Instead of tearing down the beautiful home, Mr. Anderson renovated it and a chapel was added. Mr. Anderson sold his mortuary to Arch and Edith Johnson in 1939.
In 1942 Roy and Tressa Edwards came back to Hood River and bought the Beechler Mortuary directly across from the Anderson Funeral Home. When Mr. Johnson was ready to retire in 1942, he sold the Anderson Funeral Home to the Edwards. At that time they closed the Beechler Mortuary and the building became the first Nazarene church in Hood River.
In 1967 the Edwards opened the new Anderson Funeral Home on 14th and Belmont Rd., and then Roy and Tressa Edwards retired and sold their business to their daughters, Doris and Leila. The daughters owned and operated the facility until their retirement in 1982 when Frank and Sheryl Akin purchased the funeral home. Until that time the mortuary had been owned by the same family for forty years.