In 1908, Arch Foster and Evelyn Rodney Foster came to Webster City from Independence, Iowa. He purchased the J.W. Allington Furniture Company at that time and was in partnership with T.S. Curtis. In 1909, his brother, William A. Foster moved to Webster City buying out Mr. Curtis. The Foster Furniture Company was located on Main Street in the 600 block. Also incorporated in the business was Foster’s Undertaking and Ambulance Service located next door. Arch worked with both the furniture and undertaking, while his brother worked mainly in the furniture company. William moved to Algona in 1916 and Arch assumed full ownership of the Company. In 1926, a house built by one of Webster City’s pioneers, C.T. Fenton, was purchased and after extensive remodeling, in September of 1927, became Foster Funeral Home. The Foster Furniture Company closed in 1932.
For 28 years, Maris Brandrup was associated with Foster’s. He had also engaged in farming and raising Angus cattle. In 1952, the Foster Funeral Home was incorporated and the officers were: Mr. Foster, president; W.E. Noller, vice president; Gertrude Ermels, secretary; and in 1953, R. Eugene Town became treasurer until his death in 1961.
Mr. Foster was very active in community affairs and in the funeral home operation until his death in 1970 at the age of 88. In 1968, the officers were: W.E. Noller, president; Merle Finer, vice president; Robert Erickson, secretary-treasurer. Mr. Finer left the corporation and later James Bergeson from Mason City joined the firm. Gertrude Ermels was the business secretary for 45 years, until her retirement in 1970. In 1990, W.E. Noller retired after 38 years with Foster’s. New construction of the funeral home was planned in 1992, east of the old building. Moving into the new building was accomplished in February of 1993. In 1994, Mr. Bergeson retired and Robert Erickson became the sole owner of Foster Funeral Home. In 1994, Richard Cuddy was hired as a funeral director, leaving in October 2007. In May of 1999, Webster City native Chad Johnson joined the business, serving his residency and later becoming a licensed funeral director. He is a Webster City native and serves in all facets of the operation. Being raised in the funeral business, it was not surprising to see Scott Erickson come back from Arizona and become an Iowa funeral director. Scott’s duties also include monument sales and he is a licensed pre-need counselor. Amy Erickson Keller became a licensed funeral director in 2007 and works part-time at Foster’s and Webster City Medical Clinic. Delores Arends and Bob Wiemann work part-time assisting with visitations and funerals.
As we move forward into an ever changing world, the staff at Foster’s would like to thank you for your growing commitment to us as we continue to serve Hamilton County and the surrounding areas.