ST. CLOUD (WJON News) -- A central Minnesota funeral home is celebrating its 150-year roots in St. Cloud.

Back in 1873, the Tschumperlin Funeral Home was opened in a home along the Mississippi River where the River's Edge Convention Center is now.

The Tschumperlin family immigrated from Switzerland and came to St. Cloud in 1873 and started the funeral home.  They were also in the furniture business.  In those years, they built furniture which also included building caskets.

The city of St. Cloud was founded in 1856, so the town was only 17 years old when the business started.

Williams Dingmann President Doug Dingmann says Barney Williams bought the business in 1948 and changed the name. It operated at that location until the early 1980s when it was moved to its Veteran's Drive location to make way for the construction of the Civic Center. (The Civic Center's name has since changed to River's Edge Convention Center)

Early photo of the Dingmann Funeral Home in Clear Lake
Early photo of the Dingmann Funeral Home in Clear Lake

The Dingmann part of the company goes back 116 years and was started by Doug's great-grandfather John in Clear Lake in 1907.

He moved his family down to Clear Lake and purchased a hardware business. At that time the hardware business was also the funeral business because they purchased caskets from catalogs.  A lot of funerals were done at homes back then.  Eventually, he put a funeral home above the store.

In 2008 the Williams and Dingmann families partnered to form Williams Dingmann Family Funeral Homes. And, in 2014 Dingmann family became sole owners of the business.

Doug and his sister Deb are now the co-owners of the business.

Five generations of Dingmanns have been involved in the business from Doug's great-grandfather on down to the most recent generation his nephew.

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Dingmann says to become a funeral director you do need to get a four-year bachelor's Degree.

Williams Dingmann Family Funeral Homes has nine locations in central Minnesota: Big Lake, Becker, Clear Lake, Sauk Rapids, St. Cloud, Avon, Eden Valley, Princeton, and Long Prairie.


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