Kendall Family History
Zachariah Kendall was a son of Reverend Samuel Kendall, Jr. (November 28, 1809-July 9, 1869) and Elizabeth Ann Baker (December 1806-May 13, 1885) who were married in Monongalia County on March 29, 1829. Zachariah was the fourth of eight children. He was born on Dents Run on November 12, 1835. On June 22, 1857 in Marion County he married Mary Martha, a daughter of Eli Murray. She was born in Pennsylvania on January 4, 1832. Zachariah died at his home on Dents Run on May 17, 1918, and his wife died on November 12, 1921. He along with his wife and parents are buried in the Jones Cemetery that overlooks the Dents Run Valley where it joins Rex Run. They were the parents of seven children: 1) Delphia E. born May 3, 1858 who married J.C. Straight (1848-1900) in Marion County on December 9, 1877. Their son Walter Homer Straight was born on February 2, 1879, the eldest grandchild of Zachariah and Mary Martha Kendall. He died at Chickamauga, Cuba on August 6, 1898 as a soldier in the Spanish-American War and is buried near his grandparents in Jones Cemetery. 2) Sarah Ardea Kendall, born October 1, 1859, who married Albert Bridgeman in Marion County on November 9, 1893. She remained on her parents homeplace until after their deaths and the death of her husband in 1928. During the 1940's she sold the farm to W.J. Hendershot where his son, Jack, still resides. She moved to Hollywood, California where she died in 1951. 3) Eli F. Kendall, the eldest son, was born on May 16, 1861, and died in Elkins on August 10, 1891. While he was supposed to have been buried on Dents Run, no marked grave for him was found. 4) Marcellus Alonzo Kendall was born on August 4, 1863. On October 26, 1893, he was married to Fannie Robinson, the only child of Reverend Amos Robinson and Lizzie Goddard. Fannie was born in Iowa on February 18, 1872, and at the time of her marriage to M.A. Kendall was the Principal of the Saint George Academy in Tucker County. M.A. Kendall died on September 25, 1931, and in 1937, his widow and three sons were residents of Holtville, California. 5) Margaret E. Kendall was born April 5, 1865. On September 7, 1899, in Elkins, she was married to Charles J. Schenck who was born in Cuyahoga County, Ohio in 1857. She died on May 31, 1911. 6) Samuel McClelland Kendall was born April 5, 1865. On September 7, 1899, in Elkins, she was married to Charles J. Schenck who was born in Cuyahoga County, Ohio in 1857. She died on May 31, 1911. 6) Samuel McClelland Kendall was born on April 4, 1867. On March 2, 1902, in Elkins, he married Rosa Belle Caplinger (August 23, 1879-November 27, 1973), a daughter of Calvin Luther Caplinger and Isabelle Woods Wilson. S.M. Kendall died on May 16, 1947, his brother Eli's birthday. His mother had died on his father's birthday. S.M. Kendall and his wife are buried I Maplewood Cemetery in Elkins. 7) Ramer O.F. Kendall, the youngest child of Zachariah and Mary Martha, was born on November 11, 1872. On January 27, 1910, as a resident of Holtville, California, he was married in Marion County to Myrtle Mansfield. He was still living in 1947 when his sister, Adrea Bridgeman, named him as the executor of her estate.
Kendall Funeral History
In 1889 at the age of 54, Zechariah Kendall established the Kendall Funeral Home. His second born son, Marcellus Alonzo Kendall founded the Kendall Furniture Company in 1891. Since furniture businesses and undertakers were usually combined businesses, it is believed that Z Kendall and his son; M. A. Kendall combined their business, which were then located at the corner of Randolph Avenue and Gay Street. Then at some point in time between the years of 1897 and 1906, Marcellus Kendall purchased the northeast corner of Second Street and Davis Avenue, where he built the Kendall building, now known as the Saffel Building in downtown Elkins. By 1906, it is documented that the two businesses, Kendall Furniture Company and Z. Kendall and Son were both located in the Kendall Building.
While funeral records at that time are sketchy, on July 6, 1893, the Randolph County Court paid "Z. Kendall" for the coffin of James E. McCarty who died on December 5, 1892. This also suggests that the Kendall's buried Mr. McCarty. A definite indication that the Kendall's were in the undertaking business was found in the Elkins Inter-Mountain issue of April 17, 1894, which reported that M. A. Kendall was the embalmer of Media Scott, who died at Coalton on April 2, 1894. Years later an article in Elkins 1906, revealed that M. A. Kendall had served as the president of the West Virginia Funeral Director's Association.
In 1907 Samuel McClelland Kendall, the third son of Zechariah Kendall, came to Elkins and began working with his older brother, M. A. Kendall. In 1909, M. A. Kendall sold the Furniture Company and Funeral Home to his brother Samuel, and left Elkins. By 1919, the Furniture Company was out of business and in 1920 Samuel moved the funeral home from the corner of Second Street and Davis Avenue to 120 First Street, it's current location.
Samuel's sons, Orval C. and Oscar S. Kendall helped their father in the funeral business. When Samuel retired, Orval, a licensed director and embalmer, took over the business until 1940 when he entered the Navy. Samuel came out of retirement until Orval returned from World War II, in 1945. Due to Orval's poor health and the death of Samuel M. Kendall, who died on May 16, 1947, Samuel's widow, Rosa Belle (Caplinger) Kendall then leased the funeral home to John W. Lohr who later purchased the business.