Schmidt & Bartelt - 1887-1950s - Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin

    Schmidt & Bartelt are a large Wisconsin-based funeral home and livery service with branches scattered around metropolitan Milwaukee. Their separate livery service, headquartered in Menomonee Falls converted existing vehicles to transport sick persons or invalids. They started making motorized  ambulances in 1919. Conversions were done on the following Cadillac chassis: a 1931 Series 355A 7-pass. limousine, then a 1940 Series 75 limousine (converted in 1948), then a 1948 Series 75 limousine in 1951. The conversion required careful removal of the "B" pillar and the making and fitting of special door locks at both the roof and floor sills. When used as an ambulance, the front bench seat was removed and a single driver seat fashioned and installed. The conversion from a 1940 Cadillac limousine is shown below.


Our Proud History

For over 112 years we have been providing the highest quality of funeral service to families of the Greater Milwaukee Area. This proud heritage of service is due to the confidence placed in us by the clientele we have been privileged to serve. This continued confidence has allowed us to become one of the largest providers of funeral service in the State of Wisconsin. The following is a brief history of our past 112 years.

The Year 1887

In Milwaukee, John F. Schmidt, along with his nephew, John G. Schmidt, established the John F. Schmidt Undertaking & Livery Service Co. In the same year, Martin and William Hilgendorf their Livery Service.

The Year 1889

The partnership of Schmidt & Hilgendorf was formed and located at 1411 Vliet Street in Milwaukee.

The Year 1896

In Menomonee Falls, brothers Ed and Albert Schmidt added funeral and ambulance service to their already established furniture business. This company was known as A.A. Schmidt & Sons and was located at the corner of Roosevelt Drive and Appleton Avenue. Over the years the furniture and ambulance service portions of the business were discontinued.

The Year 1913

In Thiensville, Louis F. Bartelt had established a funeral and furniture business.

The Year 1922

Mr. Bartelt entered into a partnership with John G. Schmidt to form the Schmidt & Bartelt Funeral Home then located at 1415 W. Vliet Street, Milwaukee.

The Year 1928

Schmidt & Bartelt moved to their new location in Milwaukee at 5050 W. Vliet. Also in 1928, Willmer G. Schmidt, son of A. A. Schmidt from Menomonee Falls, joined the partnership, where we continue to operate today.

The Year 1961

The Charles Gerber Funeral Home, which was also established in 1887 and was then, located at 10121 W. North Ave. in Wauwatosa, merged with Schmidt & Bartelt. We continue to operate from this location today.

The Year 1968

Schmidt & Bartelt purchased the O’Boyle-O’Brien Lakeshore Funeral Home at 106 W. Silver Spring Drive in Whitefish Bay, where we continue operations today.

The Year 1969

The Eugene G. Weiand Funeral Home, then located at 24th and Lisbon Avenue in Milwaukee, associated with Schmidt & Bartelt.

The Year 1971

The Heiden & Lange Funeral Home, then located at 3rd and Burleigh in Milwaukee, affiliated with Schmidt & Bartelt.

The Year 1976

Schmidt & Bartelt, through it’s affiliate A. A. Schmidt & Sons of Menomonee Falls, built a new funeral home in Sussex at the corners of Hwy. J and VV( 74 ).

The Year 1979

The Guardalabene & Amato Funeral Home, then located at 2001 N. Holton Street in Milwaukee, merged with Schmidt & Bartelt.

The Year 1988

The Notbohm Funeral Home and the Kreutzmann Funeral Home both in Oconomowoc merged with Schmidt & Bartelt and are being operated as Schmidt & Bartelt – Notbohm – Kreutzmann Funeral Home at 121 S. Cross Street in Oconomowoc.

The Year 1991

Schmidt & Bartelt purchased the funeral home property and building only, of the then, Philip J. Weiss Funeral Home at 10280 N. Port Washington Road in Mequon. We have continued to operate as Schmidt & Bartelt Funeral Service from This location but have no affiliation with the former owner of the property.

The Year 1994

Schmidt & Bartelt purchased and subsequently remodeled the Van Valin Funeral Home at 315 Main Street in Mukwonago.

The Year 1996

Schmidt & Bartelt completed construction and commenced operation of a new funeral home and crematory facility in Menomonee Falls located at the corner of Town Hall and Menomonee Avenue.

The guiding force in the development of Schmidt & Bartelt, as it is today, is largely due to the foresight of Willmer G. Schmidt, who joined the company in 1928. Willmer continued to operate A.A. Schmidt & Sons, which was his father’s in Menomonee Falls, while also contributing to the development of Schmidt & Bartelt until his death in 1978. His son, W. Grant Schmidt and his grandsons Stephen and Robert and granddaughter Susan, together with their associates Anthony and James Guardalabene, Charles Peters, Terrence Marcou, William Kreutzmann, John Clark and all their employees, carry on the proud tradition of providing quality funeral service through our eight funeral home locations.


    For more information please read:

The Professional Car (Quarterly Journal of the Professional Car Society)

Gregg D. Merksamer - Professional Cars: Ambulances, Funeral Cars and Flower Cars

Thomas A. McPherson - American Funeral Cars & Ambulances Since 1900

Carriage Museum of America - Horse-Drawn Funeral Vehicles: 19th Century Funerals

Carriage Museum of America -  Horse Drawn - Military, Civilian, Veterinary - Ambulances

Gunter-Michael Koch - Bestattungswagen im Wandel der Zeit

Walt McCall & Tom McPherson - Classic American Ambulances 1900-1979: Photo Archive

Walt McCall & Tom McPherson - Classic American Funeral Vehicles 1900-1980 Photo Archive

Walter M. P. McCall - The American Ambulance 1900-2002

Walter M.P. McCall - American Funeral Vehicles 1883-2003

Michael L. Bromley & Tom Mazza - Stretching It: The Story of the Limousine

Richard J. Conjalka - Classic American Limousines: 1955 Through 2000 Photo Archive

Richard J. Conjalka - Stretch Limousines 1928-2001 Photo Archive

Thomas A. McPherson - Eureka: The Eureka Company: a complete history

Thomas A. McPherson - Superior: The complete history

Thomas A. McPherson - Flxible: The Complete History

Thomas A. McPherson - Miller-Meteor: The Complete History

Robert R. Ebert  - Flxible: A History of the Bus and the Company

Hearses - Automobile Quarterly Vol 36 No 3

Marian Suman-Hreblay - Dictionary of World Coachbuilders and Car Stylists

Daniel D. Hutchins - Wheels Across America: Carriage Art & Craftsmanship

Marian Suman-Hreblay - Dictionary of World Coachbuilders and Car Stylists

Michael Lamm and Dave Holls - A Century of Automotive Style: 100 Years of American Car Design

Nick Georgano - The Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile: Coachbuilding

Marian Suman-Hreblay - Automobile Manufacturers Worldwide Registry

G.N. Georgano & G. Marshall Naul - The Complete Encyclopedia of Commercial Vehicles

Albert Mroz - Illustrated Encyclopedia of American Trucks & Commercial Vehicles

Beverly Rae Kimes & Henry Austin Clark Jr. - Standard Catalog of American Cars 1805-1942

John Gunnell - Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1946-1975

James M. Flammang & Ron Kowalke - Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1976-1999


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