Reber Mortuary Records Index

The first comprehensive mortuary service in Elgin was introduced by James A. Palmer, who came to Elgin about 1873. Prior to this undertakers usually provided coffins and a hearse but other arrangements were up to the family. With a partner, Fred T. Norris, he provided a complete funeral service including the necessary arrangements. Palmer retired in 1907 but his partner continued to expand acquiring a motorized hearse in 1915 and building Elgin's first complete funeral parlor at 226 E. Chicago street. Clarence A. Reber began working for Norris during his senior year at Elgin High in 1918. During the Palm Sunday tornado of 1920, Clarence drove the Model T ambulance to transport the injured to Sherman Hospital through streets blocked with rubble and tree limbs. After graduating from Worsham College of Mortuary Service in 1925, he continued with Norris and began keeping records of the more than 6000 funerals in which he participated. After Fred Norris died in 1950, Clarence was left an interest in the firm and with Russell Norris operated the Norris-Reber Mortuary unti1 1962 when he established the Reber Mortuary Service in the same building. In 1968, he moved to the Schmidt Funeral Home where he operated independently of the Schmidt business. Clarence retired in 1989 but continued to conduct funerals for a few close acquaintances. After Clarence died on June 20, 1997, his extensive files were donated to the Elgin Area Historical Society where they remain as part of the Society's extensive holdings

History submitted by Mr. George Albee

TitleFirst NameLast NameDate of DeathObituary?Record Type
Dr.Cyril E.Abbot9/19/1970YesFile
Baby GirlAbbott3/4/1961YesCard
Charles EdwardAbbott6/1/1930YesCard
Dr.Edward H.Abbott4/12/1926YesCard
Edward JohnAbbott11/16/1956YesCard
Mrs.Ethelyn M.Abbott10/23/1959YesBoth
George HenryAbbott7/9/1944YesCard
Jeannette M.Abbott1/19/1965NoFile
MissJennie E.Abbott9/22/1957YesBoth
MissKatherine LouiseAbbott5/26/1946YesCard