The Beginning of The Pratt Traditon
The Pratt Funeral Home dates back to 1889 in Richland Center and the surrounding area. At that time it was owned by four brothers who conducted a furniture store and funeral home under the name of Pratt Brothers. These brothers, Fred, Wallace, Homer and Frank Pratt, were in partnership until January 1, 1915. Prior to 1889 the firm went under the name of Dove and Pratt Brothers; but in April of that year, E. A. Dove retired from the partnership and the firm took on the name of Pratt Bros. On January 1, 1915, the property was divided and F. H. Pratt took over the funeral service. He then purchased a building on North Central Avenue, next to the present Auditorium parking lot. This building was remodeled and on May 1, 1915 the Pratt Funeral Home moved to this location from the original Court Street location. On March 20, 1953 the funeral home moved once again to its present location on the corner of Park and Court Street. This modern new funeral home was one of the first funeral homes built in Wisconsin that was built specifically for conducting funeral business and was unique in its day and still is today in having stationary pews for services. This location was also a place for several weddings.
Willard Pratt became associated with the funeral home in 1915 and upon the death of his father on December 20, 1930, the business was taken over by Willard Pratt and his sister, Miss Gertrude Pratt. Miss Pratt was one of the first women funeral directors in Wisconsin.
Today the "Pratt Tradition" is carried on with present owners, Lola Higgins and Mark Jelinek.