Eckersell Memorial Chapel was established in Rigby, Idaho in 1928 by Adam Berdett and Pearl Thomson Eckersell. At that time it was a combination funeral home, furniture store and ambulance service. In 1946 we changed locations to its present location of 101 West Main Street in Rigby and have been serving the surrounding area for three generations and for 83 years.
A. Berdett Eckersell was born in Rigby, Idaho, but was raised in Idaho Falls. He married Pearl Thomson in the Logan, Utah temple on the 9th of August 1923. She was a Rexburg girl, the daughter of John and Mary Ann Thomson. One day his mother-in-law told him that Mr. Young, the local undertaker, was looking for some help in his business. Berdett went to work for Mr. Young and then went to Iowa to attend mortuary school. After graduation from mortuary school Berdett bought the mortuary business and had a mortuary in the Basset home, a three story home north of the courthouse in Rexburg. During those "lean" years Berdett played in a dance band to supplement the family income leaving Pearl at home at night to care for the mortuary.
Berdett had an uncle, Henry Flamm, who approached him and suggested that they open a furniture store and "funeral parlor" in Rigby. Henry Flamm was married to the sitter of Adam Eckersell, who was the father to Berdett. They purchased the business in Rigby from Ira Taylor and opened the business in Rigby. Berdett moved his wife and two children to Rigby. They made their first home in the upstairs apartment over the armory building. Later they moved to a home on First South Street and then to a lovely home on Main Street. The business was located in part of the J.C. Penny building, with a furniture store located upstairs. Furniture was moved up and down on a hand operated elevator. The sign on the building read:
FLAMM & ECKERSELL
Walk upstairs and Save Undertaking
People loved the sign as they read the bottom part of the sign as if it were one sentence.
One day Uncle Henry came to see Berdett and said, "I understand that you bought a very expensive casket. "He was a little upset. Berdett said, "The least you can do is look at it." Uncle Henry agreed and then Berdett said, "I can't show it to you, I already sold it. "They decided that the two generations were not going to work so Uncle Henry went back to Rexburg and Berdett owned and operated the Rigby business.
The furniture store and funeral parlor moved to the South side of the center of Main Street into a building owned by Preston Ellsworth. The business remained there until 1946 when the C.W. & M. building was purchased and remodeled into the present funeral home. The business continued to grow until in 1949 it was determined that there was not time to continue to operate the furniture store and it was closed.