Joseph Richards, Undertaker

Also known as: Aerie Number 11, Fraternal Order of Eagles
15 S Montana Street, Butte, MT


Joseph Richards, Undertaker

Photo taken by David Jones in September 2019




"JOSEPH RICHARDS, UNDERTAKER - Joseph Richards came to Butte in 1892 and established an undertaking parlor in the Stephens Block on West Park. Victorian-era funerals were customarily conducted from the home of the deceased. It was the undertakerís job to help the family prepare the body, provide the casket and mourning paraphernalia, and make burial arrangements. As undertaking establishments began to conduct funerals on the premises, the need arose for more diverse facilities. In 1907, Richards built this building as a funeral home, which offered a parlor for services, morgue, workroom, casket display room, and upstairs living quarters. It was the first such facility built in Butte, and the first in Montana to possess a motorized hearse. Although decorative sandstone covers the original first floor brick, the three display windows and transoms are unchanged. The original Renaissance Revival styling is readily evident in the handsome three-bay second story, which features a polygonal oriel window, beveled glass transoms, and stone trim. In 1974, the Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie #11 purchased the building for use as a lodge." - NRHP/Montana Historical Society Plaque

Update Log 

  • September 10, 2019: New photos from David Jones
  • June 11, 2019: Added by Richard Doody


  • Richard Doody
  • David Jones