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Our Heritage



In the early 1830's, Mr. Gerhard Duesterberg came from Hanover, Germany to the United States and settled in Vincennes, Indiana. He started work for John Moore, who was a contractor by trade. His specialty was a cabinetmaker. Often times he would be called on to make a coffin for someone who had passed away. From this meager start, the firm owes its history.


In early years, the cabinetmakers set up on property where the current funeral home is located. In the beginning, the job was simple. A person died and a coffin was made to order for them. As the scope of the undertaker expanded it would include carriages, chairs, tables and a hearse to take the deceased to the cemetery.


In researching old abstracts/deeds it was found that the first Duesterberg Undertaking Parlor was located between Fifth and Sixth streets on Vigo. The firm was long recognized as the 2nd oldest funeral establishment in Indiana, second only to Gardner Funeral Home which was eventually purchased by the Keystone Group of Tampa, FL.


In 1924, John H. Duesterberg joined the funeral home and in 1935 became the owner/principal of the firm. He ran the funeral home until 1976 when he decided to sell the firm to Donald Fredrick and his brother. In 1979, the Fredrick name was added to the firm and the name of Duesterberg-Fredrick Funeral Home became a part of the community.


In 2001, in order to keep the ownership local, Donald decided to sell his interest in the old building and move in his own direction. The property located at Sixth and Vigo was acquired and a new facility was built where the Duesterberg Undertaking Parlor began.


In 2004, Elbert Shaw, having the same desire to keep his business interests under local ownership, a combination of the Wampler-Shaw and the Duesterberg-Fredrick Funeral Homes was formed and merged into one ownership. The facilities in Bicknell were remodeled and parking was expanded. Both facilities are the most accessible offered in the area and both communities have funeral facilities that are superior to any other buildings being used today.


Compassion and caring for the families who entrust their arrangements to either location has modern amenities that most locations do not have.


Duesterberg-Fredrick Funeral Homes has been family-owned and operated since the early 1830's.


Year to Year, generation to generation, the focus of Duesterberg-Fredrick Funeral Homes has been family service.


Caring and Professional Service are more than words, it is the result of a commitment made since 1834 and continues today.