T he Wendt family has been in the funeral business for six generations. They began in 1866 with J. Robert Earler, who came to Illinois from Germany around 1853. As an established cabinetmaker, he was called upon to provide wooden caskets for area farmers. When a person passed away in those days, the funeral was usually conducted in the home of the deceased, and the burial was in a plot on the family farm.
Shortly after the Civil War, Mr. Earler opened a funeral parlor in Port Byron, IL, and Earler's son-in-law, August H. Wendt, took over the business from 1881 to 1920. At that time, Earl and Robert, the sons of August Wendt, ran the business until 1945. The current location of Wendt Funeral Home, a large Queen Anne Victorian house built in Moline in 1902, was purchased by Earl and Robert Wendt in 1929.
Earl Wendt II handled the business with his brother, Richard, from 1945 until Earl's death in 1967. Then Earl III, along with his uncle, ran the home until Richard's retirement in 1985. Earl 'Buck' Wendt III now owns the funeral home, and operates it with his son, Earl Wendt IV, who joined him in 1977 and became a licensed director in 1983.
Today, the Wendt Funeral Home, conducting approximately 100 services per year, continues to be the right size to provide high quality service to the families in our community.