Our History


“Northland Cooperative Burial Association” was established on April 24, 1936. Twenty one area cooperatives were involved in the initial start up of the funeral home. The first board of directors meeting was held on May 19, 1936. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss and approve the Articles of Incorporation and By Laws. Discussion was also held on collecting membership fees and donations.

The second meeting of the board of directors was held on August 4, 1936 to review the applications for the funeral director position. There were four applicants for the job: Carl Olund of Duluth, E.J. Costello of Iron River, WI, A.V. Olson of St. Paul and C.A. Anderson of New York Mills. Of the four applicants, Mr. Carl Olund of Duluth was offered the job. Starting salary was $40.00 per week.

The next item was to find a location for the new funeral home. The board inspected properties owned by Fred Giesler, Dan McGilvary and Frank Yetka. They purchased the property and building owned by Frank Yetka on Cloquet Avenue and 13th St. for $4500.00 and the building was renovated.

The cost of a complete funeral service was to be fixed at three times the cost of the casket. Copies of the funeral bills are still on file at the funeral home. The cost of a funeral in 1937 was approximately $100.00 -$145.00. A spray of flowers was $3.00 and a double casket spray was $10.00.

The first hearse purchased was a 1937 Packard Hearse with a side loader for $2600.00

In September of 1937 the board of directors met with the owners of the Berg Funeral Home in Moose Lake. Northland Cooperative Mortuary purchased the Berg Funeral Home, the equipment, inventory and hearse for $1025.00, paying $100.00 down payment with the balance due in one year. The rate of interest was 3%. The building was then rented out for $15.00 per month.

Late in 1940, the funeral home, having financial trouble, borrowed $3800.00 from Trico Coop Oil Co. to pay off Mr. Yetka for the real estate and to pay the taxes. On January 17, 1941 the real estate was purchased by Trico and the funeral home then paid rent to Trico.

Rudolph Beltt was hired to replace Carl Olund in 1940.  In 1941 he married his wife, Elsie. Even though Elsie was never an official employee of Northland Mortuary, she was often the person who was expected to be available to anwer the telephone when Rudy  was unavailable or otherwise occupied.  A second funeral director by the name of John Delling was hired to help Rudy.  He was seriously injured in an automobile accident in the early 1950's and left funeral service.  In 1958 Milton Chabot was hired.  Rudy left Northland Mortuary in 1968 after 28 years of service.  

In 1944 the Articles of Incorporation were amended and the name was changed to Northland Cooperative Mortuary. In 1958 the name changed to Northland Mortuary. In 1974 the name was changed again, this time to Northland Chapel. On July 30, 1984 the Articles of Incorporation were amended and the name was changed to Northland Funeral Home, Inc.

In 1980 Northland Funeral Home purchased real estate in Tamarack and operated a funeral home there until 1992.  

Milt Chabot's untimely death in 1982 left an opening that was soon filled by Jeff Borgos.  Jeff continued working for Northland Funeral Home until 1993 at which time Bob Atkins was hired and a year later was joined by his wife, Karen.  

In 1985 Northland Funeral Home purchased the school building in Mahtowa. The school was renovated and Northland Funeral Home operated this location until November of 2002.

In June of 1991 land was purchased on 14th Street for the future site of a new funeral home. The site was the former Matlock farm. Northland Funeral Home continued to rent from Trico until April 15, 1995 at which time the funeral home moved to its new location at 801 14th St.

Northland Funeral Home continued to operate as a cooperative funeral home until January 1, 2009 when it was sold to the current funeral directors, Bob and Karen Atkins. The name has been changed to reflect the change in ownership. The new name is Atkins-Northland Funeral Home and Cremation Service.

Rudy and Elsie Beltt   1940

 

Milton Chabot

Milton Chabot

 

Bob and Karen Atkins