History - Port Byron

The History of the Port Byron Funeral Home

Around 1866, Robert Erler began his business in Port Byron as a cabinet and furniture maker who also made coffins for the local farmers who would often bury family members in their family burial plots. At some point, he became the local mortician. A German man named August H. Wendt came to the USA as a boy in 1865 and was raised in Rock Island. He worked for a furniture maker/upholstery company for 13 years before moving to Port Byron 1880. He married Robert Erler’s daughter Elizabeth, and joined her and her father in the Port Byron furniture and funeral business.

August and Elizabeth Wendt took over the business and they built the current funeral home building in Port Byron in 1882. They used the building’s main floor for the furniture store and mortuary, and lived upstairs for a few years. They expanded the business and opened a funeral home in LeClaire for a while. They had two sons, Robert and Earl, who took over the business in 1918 and re-named the business the Wendt Brother’s Funeral Home.

Dr. O.S. Dailey was the doctor in Port Byron around the turn of the century, using just a horse at first, then a horse and buggy, and eventually one of the first cars in the area as he made his home visits. Dr. Dailey’s daughter, Lillian, married Earl Wendt in 1914. They moved to Moline in 1926 and opened the East Moline and Moline Wendt Funeral Homes, later consolidating into the Moline location. Robert remained in Port Byron to run the operation there.

Around 1939, one of Lillian and Earl’s nephews, Hubert Dailey, took over the Funeral home in Port Byron when Robert Wendt retired to Moline. He re-named the business the Dailey Mortuary. In 1971 the Sullivan family, who ran a funeral home in East Moline, became partners with Dailey and one of the Sullivan boys lived above the Funeral home. The business was re-named Dailey-Sullivan Mortuary. In 1973, Leon Gibson of Prophetstown took over from Hubert Dailey and it became Dailey-Gibson Funeral home. Gibson also ran the ambulance service in the Port Byron area. In 2009, Gibson was joined by Chris Bode and it was renamed Gibson-Bode Funeral Home.

Gibson - Bode Funeral Home & Cremation Services - Port Byron
Phone: (309) 523-3151
202 N. Main Street, Port Byron, IL 61275

Gibson - Bode Funeral Home & Cremation Services - Erie
Phone: (309) 659-2500
616 Main Street, Erie, IL 61250

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