In 1902, Louis J. Spengel, the grandfather of Robert Spengel, started in the funeral business.
I will start, at the beginning, with information from the Sesquicentennial book.
“Highland House Furnishing, with Louis J. Spengel as president, opened a furniture store and tin shop, in the east end of Highland (the northeast corner of Broadway and Cypress). The business was called Highland House Furnishings, which later became Spengel Furniture Store, and in 1902, Spengel Funeral Parlor was added.” (This parlor was at the southeast corner of Main and Olive. Where George Dumbeck’s brick saloon was originally located, then Carl Basler’s Electric, and today, the west end of St. Paul Grade School.)
“A three-story addition was made in 1890, and in 1900, another 40 feet was added. His son Raymond took over the businesses when Louis retired. Ray acquired the Wick residence at 1501 9th St. in 1940, and it became the Spengel Funeral Home. Ray’s son, Jim, took over the furniture store, and Robert, the funeral business, in 1955.
“In 1958, the two funeral homes merged and became Spengel-Boulanger Funeral Home. Jay Boulanger succeeded his father, Wilson, in 1974. In 1980, a ground-level chapel, lounge, rest rooms and parking lot were added. The owners purchased the Halleman Funeral Home in 1975 in Marine and later Dauderman Mortuary in Alhambra and Hamel.
“Robert Spengel retired in 1995.”
(Quotes from the Sesquicentennial book, Robert Spengel and my files.)