Loading...

History

History

Since 1893, Butler Funeral Homes & Cremation Tribute Center has been trusted to provide the community with professional and compassionate funeral services.

Founders Ben Kirlin and Ed Egan first began by merging their funeral home and livery services in the vicinity of Fourth and Adams Streets, later moving the funeral home to the west side of South Sixth Street. In 1927, Kirlin and Egan moved the funeral home to its present address at 900 South Sixth Street. After the deaths of Ben Kirlin and Ed Egan, Mary Kirlin continued to operate the funeral home.

 

Harold joined the firm of Kirlin & Egan in 1925-becoming the manager for the Kirlin & Egan families.    He became owner of the firm in 1940 with the death of Mary Kirlin- daughter to founder Ben Kirlin and the last living member of the Kirlin or Egan family members involved with the business.  Harold’s brother Bernard-father to Jack Butler and grandfather to Chris Butler- served at the funeral home as well- but not as a licensed professional (His title today would be Funeral Service Associate).   

 

Harold made additions to the east and north side of the mansion during the 1950’s. Harold died in 1963. In 1965, the funeral home was purchased by Harold Butler’s nephews, John B. “Jack” Butler and Jerome “Jerry” Butler, along with Leonard Berry and John J. McCarthy. 


 In 1966 John McCarthy died. Jack and Jerry Butler became sole owners of the firm in 1970, finally adding the “Butler” name to the funeral home in 1972, after 32 years of ownership. Former owner, longtime employee and friend Leonard Berry, retired in 1974 and died in 1994. Jack & Jerry's sister-Mary Kay-joined the business as an office manager and eventually served as Advance Planning Specialist.   Jerry Butler retired in 1993 and died in 1999. Jack’s son, Chris, a third generation of the Butler family, joined the firm in 1990. Chris purchased the business in 2002 and currently serves as the President and CEO.


Under Chris’ direction, the firm has continually grown and expanded its offerings. In addition to the flagship, Butler Funeral Home & Cremation Tribute Center - Springfield, the Butler Family of Organizations also includes:

The Butler Cremation Tribute Center

In 2000, the Butler Cremation Tribute Center (CTC) was built on the Butler Campus and offers families the opportunity to be fully involved in the cremation and ceremonial process.

The state-of-the-art, secure facility offers families a contemporary Committal Room for small private family gatherings and prayers, as well as a presentation room designed to allow the family to “attend” at the time of cremation.

Butler Pet Services Division

The Cremation Tribute Center also accommodates a professional Pet Services Division, which offers a separate crematory dedicated exclusively to pet cremation to help people recognize these special relationships and say good-bye with dignity and respect.

Both private and communal cremation options are available, allowing families to feel comfortable with the difficult decisions they must make. Cremated remains may be taken into your care for home placement or interred at Roselawn Pet Cemetery, also owned by the Butler Family.

Butler Funeral Home - New Berlin

Butler Funeral Homes officially became a part of the New Berlin area communities upon its purchase of the McCullough-Delaney Funeral Home in 2005.

Now known as Butler Funeral Home-New Berlin, a branch of Butler Funeral Homes & Cremation Tribute Center, the facility continues to provide meaningful experiences to many, building on its long history of serving the communities to the west of Springfield, including New Berlin, Curran, Berlin, Loami, Pleasant Plains, and surrounding communities.

Lincoln Land Cremation Society

In 2006, a new chapter of the Butler Organization began with the introduction of Lincoln Land Cremation Society (LLCS).

This entity operates from the Cremation Tribute Center office, as an affiliate of the Butler Family Funeral Service Organization. It is dedicated to offering basic cremation without sacrificing dignity and respect. While basic cremation is still offered at Butler Funeral Homes, this entity focuses on providing the very basic services that a small percentage of the community may desire.

Roselawn Memorial Park

In 2007, the Butler Organization saw another opportunity to serve the community in the addition of Roselawn Memorial Park.

Roselawn Memorial Park is considered an affiliate of the Butler Family Funeral Service Organization. The history of the land, and the longevity of the cemetery, with land available for additional development, is a natural fit for the Butler Organization in terms of the additional options that can be provided to our client families and the community as a whole.

Additional memorialization options for cremation, options for Green/Natural Burial, upright memorials, and the creation of Roselawn Pet Cemetery (a separate area dedicated to pet burial) are just some of the projects that have been completed since the purchase by the Butler Family.

Boardman-Smith Funeral Home (The Lincoln Family Funeral Home)

In January 2015, the Butler Organization acquired Boardman-Smith Funeral Chapel, the oldest and most historic funeral home in Springfield.

Boardman-Smith boasts an incredibly rich history that includes significant connections to many members of the Lincoln Family, including President Abraham Lincoln.

Boardman-Smith was originally founded in 1848 as part of the Hutchinson Undertaking Company. Just after the end of the Civil War, Thomas C. Smith, an employee of Hutchinson, purchased the business and changed the name to Thomas C. Smith & Sons. After passing through two generations of the Smith Family (Thomas C. Smith and his son, William Smith), the funeral home was purchased by William Smith’s step-sons, Julian and Robert Boardman, who changed the name to Boardman-Smith Funeral Chapel. After the death of Julian Boardman in 1970, Robert Boardman remained the sole owner until 1976 when Robert’s son-in-law, William “Bill” Parr, purchased the funeral home. Mr. Parr operated the facility until 2006 when Greg J. Schou, an employee since 1980, purchased the business. He managed the funeral home through the end of 2014 when Chris Butler, the owner of the second oldest funeral home in Springfield and President of the Butler Family of Organizations, purchased the business.

Butler Funeral Home & Cremation Tribute Center - Chatham

A Butler Family Funeral Home

Paula J. Staab Polk worked in funeral service for 20 years and then Paula founded the Funeral Home in Chatham in 1999, Cremation Services of Central Illinois in 2001, and Sangamon Prairie Reception Center in 2003.

In August 2018, the Funeral Home and Sangamon Prairie Reception Center officially became part of the Butler Family of Organizations which also includes: Butler Funeral Home & Cremation Tribute Center-Springfield, Boardman- Smith Funeral Home (Springfield) , Butler Funeral Home-New Berlin, Lincoln Land Cremation Society, Roselawn Memorial Park, Roselawn Pet Cemetery, Roselawn Monument, and Butler Pet Cremation Services. The reception center is now known as Prairie View Reception Center, and has been updated in a beautiful way.

The Butler Family is committed to building upon the existing commitment to excellence by providing additional options for customizing funeral and cremation services. Butler Funeral Homes has been a leader in innovation and customer service for many years, a result of listening to the community in regards to desired service offerings/options, facility enhancement, creation of healing experiences for clients and hospitality for their guests, and a focus on quality and hospitality at its facilities. Both our funeral home in Chatham and the Reception Center offer a beautiful setting for a “life celebration”.





Butler Funeral Home & Cremation Tribute Center- Springfield
Phone: (217) 544-4646
900 S. Sixth St., Springfield, lL 62703

Butler Funeral Home-New Berlin
Phone: (217) 488-3535
714 E. Gibson St., New Berlin, lL 62670

Butler Funeral Home & Cremation Tribute Center- Chatham
Phone: (217) 483-9292
8855 State Route 4, Chatham, IL 62629


© Butler Funeral Homes and Cremation Tribute Center
Crafted with care by Frazer Consultants