The Wagler Funeral Home was founded in 1907 by Clarence and Ethel Wagler in Pulaski, Iowa. They moved to Bloomfield in 1923 and the business was located on the west side of the square. Clarence and Ethel had three children: Chris, Scott and Alice Marie. After many years in the business and observing innovations on the east coast, in 1932 Clarence and Ethel built the present day funeral home located at 304 West Jefferson Street in Bloomfield. They also operated an ambulance service until 1969 and the Wagler Furniture Store on the west side of the Bloomfield square until 1983.
Their eldest son, Chris began helping out in the family business after graduating from Iowa Wesleyan College. He later attended Worsham College of Embalming in Chicago, graduating in 1931. Chris and his wife, Frances, built the present day house next to the funeral home in 1936. They had two daughters: Nancy and Linda.
With a degree in business from the University of Iowa, their middle child, Scott, Sr. joined the business in 1937 to do the bookkeeping. He later earned a degree from the Hoenshoe Carpenter School of Embalming in St. Louis and was licensed in 1941. He served in the US Navy during World War II, after which he and his wife, Ruth returned to Bloomfield to raise their family Scott, Jr., Gene, Marsha and Richard.
Around 1950, Clarence went into semi-retirement and Chris and Scott, Sr. ran the funeral home, furniture store and ambulance businesses together. Chris left the business in 1969 and worked at the Davis County Bank for several years. Clarence died in 1966, followed by Ethel in 1976, Frances in 1985 and Chris in 1987.
Scott, Sr.’s children continued the family business. Scott, Jr. and Gene took turns assisting their father. Gene received degrees from Northeast Missouri State Teachers College and Worsham College of Embalming in Chicago. Scott, Jr. attended Coe College in Cedar Rapids and the Milwaukee School of Embalming.
After graduating from Iowa Wesleyan College and teaching science for almost five years in St. Louis, Richard returned to Bloomfield to assist in the family business in September of 1979. He earned a degree at the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science. Scott, Sr. died in January of 1980, leaving the business to Scott, Jr. and Richard. Ruth died in January of 1988. In February of 1992 Scott, Jr. moved to Des Moines and Richard and his wife, Lisa, continued operating the funeral home. They hired Raymond Fort in 1994 to assist them. In 1995, Lisa and Richard added an addition to the funeral home that was a dream of Scott, Sr. The addition has provided additional seating, a new handicapped accessible entrance, a new lobby, handicapped accessible restrooms, an additional office and a new embalming room.
Today, Lisa and Richard continue on with the traditions of dignity and respect that Clarence and Ethel Wagler began in 1907. The Wagler Funeral Home is a full service funeral home offering pre-planning and a wide range of funeral, memorial and cremation services.