In 1817, Erastus E. Eells, I came to Elkrun Township with his father from Clapboard, Connecticut. In 1824, he moved to Lisbon and became an apprentice cabinet-maker to Joseph Ledlie. In February of 1828, Mr. Eells began a cabinet-making business of his own and also began engaging himself as a funeral director. Until 1866, Mr. Eells constructed all of the wooden caskets used in Lisbon and the surrounding areas, one of which is still in the possession of the funeral home, he drove 50,000 miles, all on horse and buggy, and was renowned for having never missed an appointment or engagement, even though he conducted funerals at points as far away as Cleveland, Cadiz, New Castle, and Canton.
Upon his death in 1892, Mr. Eells’ son, Leonard H. Eells, assumed ownership of the business. In 1901, Leonard passed the business onto his son, Erastus E. Eells, II, who was assisted by his wife Jane, who was one of the first woman morticians in the entire United States. Their sons, Gerald V. Eells and Myron Eells, together with their wives, Esther Jane and Doris M. Eells, carried on the funeral business until their deaths. Doris M. Eells continued to operate the business until it was sold in 1947 to Robert B. Leggett. Concluding 119 years of business ownership by the Eells family, the funeral home enjoyed the unique distinction of being the oldest funeral business operated continuously by the same family in the entire United States.
In 1948, Mr. Leggett added his name to the business, converting the traditions and honored legend to the Eells-Leggett Funeral Home. In 1953, an addition was added onto the rear of the funeral home to make more room for larger visitations and funeral services. In 1976, R. Lynn Leggett, son of Robert B. Leggett, assumed ownership, due to his father’s declining health.
In the spring of 1998, Charles “Chip” Stauffer returned to Lisbon from Akron to assist Mr. Leggett. In November of 2001, Chip and his wife, Stacey, who is also a licensed funeral director, purchased the historic funeral home. In January 2003, the Stauffer's added their name to the renowned funeral home, beginning of the next chapter of the legacy that is currently known as the Eells-Leggett-Stauffer Funeral Home.
Over the years, the Stauffer's have made many improvements to the funeral home and surrounding properties. The Stauffer’s outstanding customer service and pursuit of excellence was recognized in 2007, as they were invited to join the prestigious Order of the Golden Rule (OGR), a professional association of independently owned and operated Golden Rule funeral homes. Golden Rule funeral homes must adhere to a strict code of ethics and standards, providing dignified and caring service at fair and reasonable prices.
Area families will attest to the Stauffer family's commitment to the traditions of their funeral home and to their profession. 2019 marks the historic funeral home’s 191st year of continuous service to the Village of Lisbon and surrounding communities.