Everyone identifies a service firm by the people who are connected with it. Often, a company is judged to be good or bad by the actions or omissions of personnel of that firm. A funeral service firm depends on its staff to achieve the respect and confidence of the public that it wishes to serve. It seems, the name of the game is people. Many people have been associated with our company over these 100 years. In this brief summary, we shall try to recall some of the early years combining these to families to become one company. The Anderson and Vitt & Stermer families.
Guy W. Anderson started what is known today as Vitt, Stermer & Anderson Funeral Homes in 1942 with the purchase of Schraffenberger Funeral Home. Founded in the late 1800's on Elder Street in downtown Cincinnati, the funeral home originally opened right before the flu epidemic. Years later the funeral home moved to Corryville where Guy Anderson bought it from Gus Schraffenberger. In 1944 the Anderson name was added and the funeral home became Schraffenberger-Anderson Funeral Home.
In 1961 a branch was opened in Finneytown known as Anderson Funeral Home. This location provided funeral services for families in Finneytown, Springfield Township, Wyoming, Greenhills and Forest Park. In 1964 land was purchased in Clifton where Anderson-Schraffenberger Funeral Home was built at 415 Ludlow Avenue. Today this is the location of PNC Bank. In 1965 Guy's oldest son, Bruce Anderson, became a licensed funeral director and embalmer and began helping his father build a business of professionalism, dignity and quality care for families during one of the hardest times they face.
Baiter and Sahnd Funeral Home on Clifton Avenue was purchased in 1980 and the two funeral homes were consolidated becoming Anderson, Baiter & Sahnd Funeral Home. In 2004 the property on Clifton Avenue was sold.
In 1981, Guy Anderson and his son ventured to the west side of Cincinnati and bought Vitt & Stermer Funeral Homes in Cheviot and Delhi from John J. Stermer.
The history of Vitt & Stermer started in 1899.
Vitt & Stermer Funeral Home was founded September 1, 1899 by Joseph A. Vitt and John Stermer, Sr. It was founded at Queen City Ave. and Van Hart Street in South Fairmount. Vitt & Stermer were unique as founders. They were not related to each other by blood or marriage. Mr. Vitt was a Roman Catholic and was extremely active in his Church and his organizations. Mr. Stermer was Evangelical Lutheran Protestant and also very active in his church and organizations. Both men entered Funeral Service by working for their uncle in the “Undertaking and Livery” business. Mr. Vitt was employed by his uncle, John Habig, who operated a livery stable and undertaking firm on W 6th St. and Mr. Stermer worked for his uncle Anthony Stermer, in a similar “undertaking and Livery” business that was located in a building at Queen City Ave. and Van Hart St. in South Fairmount. This frame livery stable was the first location of Vitt & Stermer.
In 1899, Caroline Stermer, Anthony’s widow, decided to sell the business. Joe Vitt was about 29 and John Stermer about 23 agreed to buy it if they could raise enough money. With the help of their families they got together $2000.00 for its purchase.
The Sedamsville location was acquired about 1906 and the former owner, John Heintich, stayed with the company for several years. He was succeeded by Ben Rosenfeld about 1910.
Fred Wabler sold his Livery and Undertaking business to the company in 1925 and remained an employee for several years. It is the present Cheviot Funeral Home on Harrison Ave. Joseph Grause was employed as Manager of the Cheviot branch about 1929 and remained with the company until his death in 1948.
The Present Delhi location was built and opened in 1949. It replaced the Sedamsville location which was acquired by the City of Cincinnati for widening and improving River Rd.
Joe and John were hard working, dedicated people who pioneered the company and led it through the early and middle years.
The Vitt & Stermer locations were then owned and ran by John J. Stermer, one of the original owner's son. He sold the company to Guy Anderson and his son Bruce in 1981.
In 1993, Guy Anderson's grandson and Bruce Anderson's oldest son, David Anderson, followed in their footsteps and became a third generation funeral director. Today, David owns and operates Vitt, Stermer and Anderson Funeral Homes with two locations on the west side of Cincinnati, Ohio.