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Iten family sells funeral home to Stern family: Will retain the Iten name


by Karin L. Nauber


The Iten family name is well known in the area. They have run successful businesses and raised their families here for years. Over 100 years, in fact.

The Itens began the first known family-owned business in Browerville in 1900. At that time, the Late Joe Iten and the Late Charlie Heid established a harness shop. Sometime after, they added the hardware business which also sold furniture. They later included the sale of caskets.


The original Iten and Heid Hardware Store. This building was about half as deep as the present store. The building now in use was built over a period of about four years. First, the back half of the building was constructed behind this building. When that was finished all of the stock was transferred into the new section and the original store was demolished, making way for the front half of the present building. The early funeral home was on the right. At the top of the photo you can see the word “undertaking” as part of the services offered. The current Browerville Hardware building is where Iten and Heid was located.

According to a 1996 Independent News Herald article, “Joe and Charlie sold caskets but were not morticians. They hired Fred R. Soule to do the embalming for them.”

The men did not get into providing funeral services until about 1932 when Roman Iten received his mortician’s license from the state.

Over the years, many Itens have been involved in the business from Tom Sr., Edmund, and Gerald (Jerry).

In 1996, Jerry and Tom (Hans) chose to work with the hardware end of the business.

On September 3, 1996, the most recent Iten family—Mike and Heidi— took ownership of the funeral homes in Browerville and Clarissa. . .



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