The Harvey Newton Everhart Building is located at 220 East Main Street in Molalla, Oregon. It is the second location for Harvey's funeral and furniture making business. Harvey built this new building in 1926. The clean lines of the large building represent the 20th century English cottage style of architecture. It has a recessed entry with round headed arches and paired single panel and glazed doors. The building also has a chapel and living quarters upstairs. The first funeral held in this building was that of Peter O. Dunrud, on December 12, 1926.
Harvey Newton Everhart
Harvey Newton Everhart was born October 31, 1879, at Molalla, Oregon. His parents were John E. Everhart and Catherine "Kate" Helen Houk Everhart. Harvey married Gertie Leona Adams on August 14, 1907. They had four children: Bernita Lucille, born in 1909; Dorothy Mae, born in 1910; Elton Ada, born in 1913; and John F., born in 1916.
Harvey Everhart took over the furniture and casket making business of his wife’s grandfather, William D. Adams, in 1909. At that time, it was located at 112-114 South Molalla Avenue in the oldest commercial building in town. Around 1913, Harvey’s business had grown to the point where he was talking about constructing a new building for the undertaking business and another one for the furniture business. In 1913, one of his advertisements read: “the Furniture Man with 6’ oak extension tables for $12.00 and oak chairs for $13.50. We also handle linoleum, carpets, matting and lace curtains.” The business included a repair and picture framing business. In 1913, Harvey bought his first horse-drawn hearse. That hearse was replaced in 1918, by his first auto hearse. The early business records indicate that a funeral in 1900 would cost about $77.50. Caskets were $50, embalming and other services $20 and the last ride in the horse-drawn wagon was $7.50.
Around this time, Harvey decided not to continue the furniture part of the business. He may have sold that part of the business to Bowlin Furniture as they started in 1927, a year after Harvey moved to the new location. Bowlin Furniture was located in the building that now houses the White Horse Restaurant.
By 1935, Harvey had bought a second funeral home, the Canby Funeral Home. He later built a new building there. In 1943, he added the Miller Funeral Home at Aurora to his operations. From 1935 to 1947, Harvey and Gertie moved from Molalla to Canby, Oregon. Harvey's other accomplishments included Mayor of Molalla in the early 1930s, City Councilman in Canby after he moved there, Clackamas County Fair director for several years and he was a World War II member of the selective service board in Oregon City. When he retired, the Everharts moved to Netarts for two years and, then to Aurora for four years. They came back to Molalla in January, 1953. Harvey passed away March 4, 1954. Gertie passed away August 29, 1955.
Three generations of the Everhart family have overseen the funeral business from the Main Street location. After Harvey retired in 1947, his son, Elton, took the helm. Elton was very active in city affairs, serving as fire chief, city councilman and a member of the Commercial Club, forerunner of the Molalla Chamber of Commerce. When Elton retired in January, 1981, his son, Michael took over, with a partner, Ray Wellman. The business has since been sold outside the family.
Photo #1: The corner of South Molalla Avenue and West Main Street, about 1915. From left: W. D. Adams, Cass Herman, Steve Hungate, Ruth Herman, ladies not known. Sign on far right building: "H. N. Everhart, Furniture & Caskets". This was Harvey's first location at 112-114 South Molalla Avenue. Photo courtesy of MAHS.
Photo #2: The Everhart Funeral Home building looks much the same today as this 1926 photo. It is in excellent condition due to excellent care. Today the business name is the Molalla Funeral Chapel. Photo courtesy of MAHS.
Photo #3: Harvey Newton Everhart and Gertie Leona Adams Everhart. Photo courtesy of Blair Holman.
Photo #4: The horse-drawn hearse that Harvey bought in 1913, in storage in the 1960's. Photo courtesy of MAHS.
Photo #5: Harvey and Gertie's four children: from left, Dorothy, Bernita, John and Elton. Photo courtesy of Blair Holman.
Photo #6: An advertisement in the 1913 Molalla Pioneer shows Harvey's diversified business.
* Ancestry.com 1880 - 1940 census for Harvey Everhart
* "H. N. Everhart" Obituary, Molalla Pioneer, November, 1954
* "Everhart Funeral Home", Clackamas County Resource Survey Form, July, 1984
* "H. N. Everhart", Morning Enterprise 1914 Anniversary Edition, Page 19
* Canby/Molalla/Funeral Chapel.com, website 2017
* "H. N. Everhart, the Furniture Man" ad from Molalla Pioneer, March, 1913
* "Elton Everhart", obituary, Molalla Pioneer, November 1985
* Interview with photo contributions with Blair Holman, grandson of Harvey Everhart, August, 2017
© 2017 Gail J. McCormick