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The Story of Our Funeral Home
The History of Schildknecht Funeral Home in O'Fallon, Illinois.
Phillip W. and Frances K. Schildknecht Sr.
Schildknecht Funeral Home, O'Fallon's only continously family owned and operated funeral home in O'Fallon Illinois, located at 301 S. Lincoln Ave. was founded August 1, 1949 by Phillip W. & Frances K. (nee Battoe) Schildknecht Sr.
The Schildknecht Family is now in it's third generation of service to the community. We are committed to caring and serving the needs of families in our community. We are able to conveniently serve the surrounding metro east communities.
The Schildknecht Family and staff are proudly affiliated with the National Funeral Directors Association, An Association of Metro East Family Owned and Operated Funeral Homes, Cremation Association of North America, O'Fallon Chamber of Commerce and many other community and civic organizations.
Schildknecht Funeral Home is currently comprised of funeral directors Curtis L. Schildknecht and Christine Brennan, apprentice funeral director Robert Curtis, funeral assistants Gary Cooper, Jude Mosby, and Matthew Nance.
The Early Beginnings of our Facility
Written by J. Christine Schildknecht
for the O’Fallon Historical Society
Published in the O’Fallon Progress
Thursday November 2, 1989
A stately building yes, that’s what it is, and it’s located at the corner of West Third Street and South Lincoln Avenue. The funeral homes in Illinois was originally built for a local physician, Dr. Hermann Bechtold in 1904.
At that time, the first floor was used as a medical facility, the second floor was the residence of the doctor and his family, and the third floor was used for storage because it was a full sized attic. The basement was also full a full sized room, housing a big coal furnace that was still in use as late as 1974.
This building was the first of its kind to have a gravity flow storage water system with a holding tank of 500 gallons. A solarium was on the first floor at the South Lincoln side (front) entrance, and a ballroom was on the second floor.
The building still has two fireplaces in use, both of which were shipped from the “the Old Country.” The most magnificent of the two is on the first floor. It has the original finish, rosewood with inlaid 24-kt. gold and mother-of-pearl with Italian mosiac tile hearth. There is also mahogany woodwork and crystal cut, lead glass windows on both the first and second floors. It is easy to understand why this building was called “the Bechtold mansion”. Through the years the building has been occupied by many people, but in 1949, Phillip W. Schildknecht Sr. and his wife, Frances K. Schildknecht (nee Battoe) established a funeral business, the Schildknecht Funeral Home. An addition was built in 1959 bringing the total square footage to 14,000 feet which well accommodates the business and families it serves. Schildknecht Funeral Home is now in its third generation of family involvement both of living and working in this facility and is now under the management of Curtis L. Schildknecht president.
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The building depicts the unique architecture of the turn of the century and continues to play a significant part in the history of our fair city.
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