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Descriptive inventory for the P.A. Birren & Son Funeral Homes records, 1868-1943

P.A. Birren & Son Funeral Homes records

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Descriptive inventory for the P.A. Birren & Son Funeral Homes records, 1868-1943

Prepared by Freida Kraines and others, 2014; ed. by Julie Wroblewski 2016.
  
Please address questions to:
Chicago History Museum, Research Center
1601 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60614-6038
Web-site: http://libguides.chicagohistory.org/research
Catalog: http://chsmedia.org
E-mail: research@chicagohistory.org
Instructions for accessing this collection
  

Collection Overview +/-

Title: P.A. Birren & Son Funeral Homes records, 1868-1943 (inclusive)
Creator: P.A. Birren & Son Funeral Homes
Dates: 1868-1943 (inclusive)
Bib number: 00064687
Call number: MSS Lot B
Size:6.75 linear feet (15 boxes)
1 volume
Language of material:Collection is written in English.

Terms governing use:

Copyright may be retained by the creators of items, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law, unless otherwise noted.

Restriction(s):

Collection is open for research use.

Please cite this collection as:

P.A. Birren & Son Funeral Homes records (Chicago History Museum) plus a detailed description, date, and box/folder number of a specific item.

Collection Summary +/-

Account books and other records of the P.A. Birren & Son Funeral Homes in Chicago (Ill.). The funeral business, later known as Birren Bros. and then as P.A. Birren & Son Funeral Homes, was founded in the early 1860s by Henry Birren and operated by Peter Birren, Alex Birren, and other family members in later decades. Most records are in bound volumes. Descriptions of undertaking services (1869-1943) usually include the deceased person's name, age, cause and date of death, attending physician, date and place of burial, burial permit number, amount billed, and names of relatives. Includes livery order books (1868-73, 1885-1933) that list the carriages and, later, limousines and supplies such as gloves and candles furnished, and 1 box of embalmer's licenses issued by the State of Illinois.

Biographical/Historical Note +/-

P.A. Birren & Son Funeral Homes, as it later came to be known, was founded in the early 1860s by Henry Birren (in addition to his earlier work as a blacksmith). The original location, on Clark Street near Ontario Street, was destroyed in the Great Fire. Henry Birren later opened funeral homes at several locations in Chicago. His son, Peter A. Birren, joined the family business; ca. 1884, he opened a location at 2927 North Lincoln Avenue. Other locations included 1356 West Wellington Street and 6125 North Clark Street.

Catalog Subject Headings +/-

Subjects:
Family-owned business enterprises--Illinois--Chicago--19th century
Family-owned business enterprises--Illinois--Chicago--20th century
Funeral homes--Illinois--Chicago--19th century
Funeral homes--Illinois--Chicago--20th century
Funeral rites and ceremonies--Illinois--Chicago--19th century
Funeral rites and ceremonies--Illinois--Chicago--20th century
Undertakers and undertaking--Illinois--Chicago--19th century
Undertakers and undertaking--Illinois--Chicago--20th century
Persons:
Birren, Alex C.
Birren, Henry, 1812-1880
Birren, Peter A.
Organizations:
P.A. Birren & Son Funeral Homes--Archives
Genre/Form:
Account books
Financial records
Geographic:
1356 West Wellington Street (Chicago, Ill.)
2927 North Lincoln Avenue (Chicago, Ill.)
6125 North Clark Street (Chicago, Ill.)
Chicago (Ill.)--Commerce--19th century
Chicago (Ill.)--Commerce--20th century
Edgewater (Chicago, Ill.)
Lakeview (Chicago, Ill.)

Organization and Arrangement of Collection +/-

The collection is arranged in three series.

Click on heading to view series description.

Series 1. Funeral records (boxes 1-9)
Series 2. Livery orders (boxes 10-12)
Series 3. Miscellaneous papers (boxes 13-15, 1 volume)

About This Finding Aid +/-

Creation: Finding aid encoded by Alisa Alig using Oxygen editor, 2015.
Language: Finding aid is written in English.
Other Finding Aids: Finding aid also submitted to Explore Chicago Collections portal.
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