Meet the Undertaker

To read the full story of Samuel J. Wilson, follow this link.

Samuel James Wilson, his son John Peter, and later his grandson Samuel James Wilson II operated a funeral business for eight decades, from 1873 to 1953 – an impressive run for a family business. S. J. Wilson & Son handled the “last sad rites” for an untold number of people from Milton and neighboring areas over this period, which began in a time when the deceased were packed by unlicensed tradesmen in an ice-filled wicker basket to retard decomposition, and ended with modern funerary practice and licensed morticians.

50th Wedding Anniversary. 1921
Samuel J. Wilson and wife Martha Jane, 50th Wedding Anniversary, December 1921

The Wilson family was an intimate part of Milton’s residents at end of life, but they were also all civic-minded and active participants in community affairs and politics. Only the oldest Miltonians alive today might remember when the Ponder mansion on Federal Street, occupied today by the Short Funeral Home, was owned and operated by the Wilson family as a funeral home.

Read the full story of Samuel J. Wilson.


One thought on “Meet the Undertaker

  • Cathy Carmean Wooldridge

    Thanks for this one. I have post card with this picture and the wilson family post with name. I always wondered who they were in relationship with family. Now that I know I’m going to assume they took care of many of my ancestors

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.