The Hamp Funeral Service originated in the early 1870s when our founder, Fred Hamp, Sr., first began to offer caskets and "undertaking arrangements" at his furniture store in the village of Tonawanda. Fred rented space in his store to an itenerant embalmer, who eventually left town under rather questionable circumstances, having trifled with the affections of a young lady in the community. Fred was stuck with an unpaid rent bill and the embalming equipment and chemicals. To recover his financial loss, he decided to also learn to embalm. In 1877, Mr. Hamp returned from New York City, having received his training as an embalmer at Dr. Auguste Renouard's School of Embalming. We have always marked this event as the beginning of our full service funeral practice for the community.
Over the years, Fred Hamp, Sr. has been succeeded by his son, Fred Hamp, Jr.; grandson, Frederick C. Hamp; great-grandson, Frederick W. Hamp; and a great, great-granddaughter, Rebecca Hamp Grimmelt. We are proud to note that our family has served the Tonawandas continuously for more than 134 years.
Although originally operated in conjunction with the Hamp Furniture Store, the funeral service evolved into a separate business. Today we are located on Adam Street, in what was originally the Scanlon homestead, built in 1875. Over the years, the original building has undergone numerous changes and additions to meet the changing needs of the families we serve.
We have included some photographs of our history below. Thank you for your interest.
This is a picture of the rear of the original Hamp Furniture Store and Undertaking Business, which was on Young Street in the Village of Tonawanda. This view is from Main Street looking East, about 1910.
This is a photo of the front of the original Hamp Furniture Store and Undertaking Business as seen from Young Street in about 1920.
This is a photo of the funeral home in the early 1930s at its present location on Adam Street in the City of Tonawanda. At this time funerals were usually held in the family home, and very few used an "undertaking parlour".
This is a photo of the interior of the funeral home, about 1940, showing the "Wurlitzer" organ which was often used for funeral services.
This photo taken about 1953, shows the Hamp Ambulance parked in front of the funeral home. Funeral homes often provided their hearses for ambulance service. Ours was the only dedicated ambulance to serve the Tonawandas before 1955.
This photo taken about 1963, shows the funeral home looking much like it does today.