The history of Bauknecht Funeral Home dates back to 1860 when Isaac N. Grafton established Grafton Furniture and Undertaking Company on South Belmont Street in Bellaire, Ohio. In 1896 Isaac N. Grafton’s nephew, Albert A. Grafton, joined the business.
In 1875, Amos O. Mellott opened the A.O. Mellott Furniture and Undertaking Company at 33rd and Belmont Streets in Bellaire. His two sons, William D. and James F. Mellott, later joined him in the family business.
In 1912, the firms merged as the Mellott-Grafton Company and operated out of 33rd and Belmont.
The new entity served as a furniture and undertaking establishment for seven years before dividing into a Home Furniture Company and the Grafton-Mellott Funeral Home.
The Grafton-Bauknecht-Mellott Funeral Home relocated to 441 37th Street on November 11, 1928. Albert A. Grafton, Walter C. Bauknecht, Sr., Frank E. Mellott along with William Dixon Mellott and James Franklin Mellott were the principal owners.
Newspaper headlines on November 9th 1928 read, “Bellaire’s Pioneer Establishment In New Funeral Home”. The article describes the home-like, comfortable atmosphere, appropriate furnishing and private family room.
Walter C. Bauknecht, Sr. had joined the staff of the Grafton-Mellott Company in 1920 upon graduating from Cincinnati College of Embalming. In 1928, he became a partner in the firm in and in 1944 the firm became Walter C. Bauknecht Funeral Home Inc.
After returning from service in the U.S. Army during World War II, Walter C. Bauknecht Jr. attended the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science. Upon his graduation, he joined in the family business in 1949 and the firm was renamed Walter C. Bauknecht & Son Inc.
Walter C. Bauknecht, Sr. operated the funeral home until his death in February 1972; then Walter C. Bauknecht, Jr. took over until his death in September 1985.
The Bauknecht family then became the owners and operators and renamed the business Bauknecht Funeral Home. Fifteen years later, James Altmeyer Sr. and James Altmeyer Jr. of Altmeyer Funeral Home in Wheeling, WV acquired Bauknecht Funeral Home.
The Bauknecht-Altmeyer Funeral Home’s commitment to excellence has never wavered. With over 125 years of experience, the Bauknecht-Altmeyer staff strives to meet the needs of every family.
Bauknecht-Altmeyer Funeral Homes & Crematory’s Shadyside History
The Bauknecht-Altmeyer Funeral Homes & Crematory’s Shadyside is located at 3900 Central Avenue, in the former residence and office of the late Dr. P. L. Ring.
Originally established by Ross L. and Estel V. Mobley Joy in the early 1920’s, upon Ross’ death in 1926, the funeral home was acquired by the Grafton-Bauknecht-Mellott Funeral Home. Estel V. Joy continued to serve and oversee as the funeral director.
Powhatan Point Chapel History
In the late 1880s, William Gibson founded a funeral home in Powhatan Point, Ohio. Harry Phillip Gibson operated the Gibson Funeral Home for 71 years. He partnered with Emery Stansbury and renamed the business Gibson-Stansbury Funeral Home. T
The Gibson Funeral Home was acquired by Walter C. Bauknecht, Sr. in 1947 and operated as the Gibson Bauknecht Funeral Home for many years. A new funeral home was built in the gravel hill section of Powhatan Point in 1953 and enlarged to include four viewing rooms, an arrangement office and selection room in 1988.
In 2000, Altmeyer acquired Powhatan Point Chapel along with the two other Bauknecht facilities at Shadyside and Bellaire, Ohio.