Our History

For over 175 years, the Sharer Funeral Home has been serving the families of the Alliance area.  From all walks of life, each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest levels of integrity.

Alliance's  First  Business
 


1830's 

Philip Sharer 

In the mid 1830's, Philip Sharer and his family were one of the first Pioneer Families to settle in this area. They named their new home, the Village of Freedom, Ohio; now Alliance.
He immediatly began helping his fellow citizens by practicing his trade as a cabinet maker and undertaker, marking him as Alliance's First Merchant.

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1840's 

 








On October 1,1841, Philip Sharer opened the Sharer Cabinet and Undertaking Co.buildings, which he had built himself while he was operating the business without a store since the mid 1830's.  It was located at the northwest corner of East Main Street and North Seneca Avenue in the village of Freedom.  He served the community by building hand made, quality furnishings and caskets to the pioneers that made Alliance their home.

The Sharer Funeral Home has been a local landmark of the Alliance community ever since.


1850's - 1860's





J. H. Sharer

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In 1859, Philip’s first son, John “J.H.” Sharer, joined the family business as an apprentice.

J.H. Sharer became partners with his father in 1868. With the new partnership, the company’s name changed to Philip Sharer & Son.


 






Sharer's Child's Hearse in the 1860"s. 

Half of the deaths in the United States during this timeline were children of age 14 or less, thus necessitating a specific hearse for children.  The Sharer Undertaking Rooms were located behind the Sharer Furniture Store.









Sharer's Horse Drawn Ambulance

Sharer's were also leaders in providing emergency ambulance transporatation to the residents of the Villages of Freedom, Williamsport and Liberty, now Alliance.









Sharer's Horse Drawn Invalid Coach

Sharer's also provided non-emergency transporatation to the residents of the Villages of Freedom, Williamsport and Liberty, now Alliance.


 General John H. Sharer, Grand Army of the Republic, Civil War

John H. Sharer became a charter member of the first Grand Army Post in Alliance in 1866, serving as aid on the staff of several department and national commanders.
He was promoted to the rank as General and served as Ohio State Commander.


1870's 

Philip Sharer’s third and fourth sons, George Sharer and Frank Sharer, go on to open other undertaking and furniture establishments in the area.
George and Frank, opened a second furniture and undertaking business in Alliance, known as the Sharer Brothers Furniture and Undertaking, a highly respected business. George later sold it in 1881 to Joshua and William Cassaday. Today, the undertaking business is still in operation, known as Cassaday-Turkle-Christian Funeral and Cremation Service.
George and Frank then opened another furniture and undertaking business, this time in Canton, Ohio. The Sharer Brothers operated this for several years and sold this business in 1889 to J.L. Arnold. Today, that undertaking business is still in operation, known as Arnold Funeral Home.
After the Sharer Brothers sold their Canton business, Frank remained in Canton for the remainder of his life and George went to Cleveland where he opened yet another Sharer Funeral Home, located in Shaker Heights. That funeral home later became Bennett-Sharer Funeral Home and was subsequently purchased by the Brown-Forward Funeral Home, which is also still in operation.


1880's

John “J.H.” Sharer formed the Ohio Funeral Director’s Association, the National Funeral Director’s Association and the Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors.

Philip Sharer retired in 1882 and died in 1889 at the age of seventy-nine.


1890's - 1900's





Roscoe Sharer

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By 1898, J.H.’s son, Roscoe T. Sharer, joined the family business. The principle changes within the company led to another name change, J.H. Sharer & Son.


1910's

Motorized Hearse & Ambulance 

During this time, Sharer Funeral Home purchased the first motorized ambulance for the city of Alliance, as well as obtained the first motorized hearse for funerals.

 1919





Olive Poisoning Tragedy

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"The Olive Poisoning Tragedy" put Alliance in Mourning for years.
World War I had just ended and prohibition was on the horizon. An intimate group of socialites in the Alliance community gather to honor the man who led the Veterans from Alliance during the war; Col. Charles C. Weibreicht. The fine social affair turned into a tragedy after many people became ill and 7 had died. The event became knows as "The Olive Poisoning Tragedy". Unfortunately, J.H. Sharer's son John C. Sharer and his wife Katharine Sharer, were guests of the party and both died.


1920's 

Very typical of the era, all funerals took place at the family residence.  The undertaker would transport all of his equipment into the family home and set-up all things necessary.   

Very typical of the era, after taking the casket out of the family residence, it was the custom to prop up the casket and take a family photograph, before proceeding to the cemetery.  
As bizare as this practice sounds, this photo was used to send back to their home country to provide a visualization that a family member had died and thus enabling those family members in the old country some sense of closure.  


1930's 

Roscoe separated the company into two different entities: Sharer Funeral Home, which was moved to its present location at South Union Avenue, and Sharer Furniture Company, which remained at East Main Street. He operated both businesses, along with his wife Hazel, until his death in 1939. 

 Sharer Funeral Home in the 1930's

Roscoe Sharer purchased this stately home on South Union Avenue in the 1920's and moved the operations of holding funeral services to this new location. Prior to this timeline, all funerals were held in the homes of the decedent.


Sharer Furniture Store in the 1930's

Roscoe Sharer demolished the old Furniture Store on Main Street at Seneca Ave. and built this new Furniture Store.


1940's -1950's

Hazel Sharer 

Following the death of Roscoe Sharer in 1939, Hazel Sharer, Roscoe's widow, continues to run both the funeral home and the furniture store. 


1960's

By the mid 1960’s, Hazel Sharer makes the decision to close the furniture store and sell the funeral home. 

John W. "Bill" Stirling 

John W. “Bill” Stirling purchased the funeral home in the mid 1960's, marking the ending of Sharer Family Ownership. At that time, the business was renamed to Sharer-Stirling Funeral Home, reflecting the new ownership as well as honoring the heritage and reputation of the Sharer Family.     

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The Sharer-Stirling Funeral Home in 1968. 


1970's 

 








In 1971, Daniel T. Skivolocke joined the firm and assisted Bill Stirling in operating the funeral home.


1980's 

Daniel T. Skivolocke 

 In 1986, Bill Stirling makes the decision to retire and Dan Skivolocke becomes the new owner, thus another name change to the funeral home: Sharer-Stirling-Skivolocke Funeral Home.

1990's 

The Sharer-Stirling-Skivolocke Funeral Home in the 1990's 


2000 and Beyond 

Today, the funeral home is still operated by Daniel Skivolocke, continuing the funeral home's tradition of family ownership. He has been employed by the Sharer Funeral Home for 45 years and has been the owner for the past 30 years.
Throughout Dan's career as the owner of the funeral home, his vision to offer the finest in service and in facilities, has driven him to continually educate his staff and make renovations to the funeral home and property surrounding the facility. The most recent project was his planning and construction of the largest expansion in the funeral home's history, with the new "Planning Center ".
These improvements to the facility and a well experienced staff are here to serve the community with the same high standards that were set by Philip Sharer so many years ago.