Source: Mike McKee's article on undertaking. See
Henry Ogden (b.1823-d.1911)
son of Pleasant Township pioneer Elihue Ogden, is said
to have been a cabinet maker and later handled coffins
and funeral furnishings.
He came to Wabash County in 1839 and settled in
Laketon around 1850.
His coffins were made of walnut and he bought
velvet in North Manchester for the inner lining.
He is recognized as an undertaker in the 1882
Sometime around the turn of the 20th
century, along with Loren O. Wertenberger
(b.1875-d.1966), Ogden & Wertenberger Undertaking Co.
Henry Ogden died May 27, 1911 and is
buried in Laketon Cemetery.
In 1919, Mr. Wertenberger and his
son-in-law Ralph Vories, established
Wertenberger-Vories Funeral Home.
It was located downtown probably the same
location as Ogden & Wertenberger and in 1923 was moved
to Lake and Potawatomi streets in Laketon. Ralph Vories
entered military service in June 1944 and business was
temporarily suspended until his return in 1947.
Mr. Wertenberger, more fondly known as “Kernie”
is said to have been a kind and courteous man.
At one time he was in the hardware business with
Howard W. Rager and in 1926 sold his portion to Robert
musician, he and his wife Mae with daughters Deloris,
Maxine and Marjorie, performed with their small
orchestra in the local churches.
For many years he served as conductor of the
Also a dog trainer, Kernie had several terriers
that put on shows for the local citizens in Laketon.
His undertaking parlor was equipped
with small living quarters, preparation room and later a
large room for the display of caskets was added to the
south end of the building.
The parlor was seldom used during this period of
time for visitations were still being held in the family
had a black hearse which he kept for many years.
The Wertenberger family residence was the first
house east of the funeral parlor which Mr. Wertenberger
had built new.
Laketon native Charles Moyer worked under Kernie
Wertenberger and later established his own funeral home
in Akron, Indiana.
They remained life long friends and when Mr.
Wertenberger died in 1966 at the age of 91, Charlie
Moyer was called to have charge of the funeral.
Wertenberger in front of the Laketon Hardware store with his first
motorized hearse in 1925