Smith 1875-1994
The Smith Funeral Home has a history over a one and half centuries that dates back to 1846. It was started by a cabinet-maker, William Hoffman, who set up a business on Market Street as a funeral director and furniture dealer. On April 3, 1875 Joseph Burton Smith purchased the business from William Hoffman and renamed the business to Joseph B. Smith & Son. Joseph owned and operated the funeral home from 1875 until the day of his death in 1927 - a period of 52 years. Following the death of Joseph, the business continued under the direction of his son and grandson, William B. Smith and Ashton B. T. Smith, Sr. respectively. At the death of William in 1944, his son Ashton B. T. Smith, Sr. carried on the firm’s tradition. With the death of Ashton in 1970, his son Ashton B. T. Smith, Jr.assumed the directorship of the firm.This marked the fourth generation of service to greater West Chester by Joseph B. Smith & Son Funeral Home.

In 1994 Ashton B. T. Smith, Jr., sold his funeral home on East Gay Street and merged with Reilly & DellaVecchia Funeral Home Inc. The business was renamed to DellaVecchia, Reilly & Smith Funeral Home, Inc. It continues to be independently owned & operated since 1875, and ranks among the oldest funeral establishments in the county to this day.

 
Reilly 1952-1977
April 24, 1952, Mr. Reilly founded the Lawrence J. Reilly Funeral Home, operating it for 25 years. On August 25, 1977 Mr. Reilly sold the building and business to Joseph J. DellaVecchia, Jr. The funeral home was incorporated and renamed Reilly Funeral Home Inc. Mr. Reilly continued actively with the funeral home until his death in January 1979. Shortly after his death the funeral home was renamed to Reilly & DellaVecchia Funeral Home, Inc.
 

Boyd 1840-2006
In the Village Record of August 14, 1840 Daniel Nields a local cabinetmaker advertised ready-made coffins and undertaking.

In 1858, he moved the business to 22 South High Street where he operated an extensive “Cabinet Making and Undertaking Business”. In 1860, William Massey took over the business for two years until in 1862 Daniel Nields became proprietor and advertised that he had “Fashionable hearses with Ice Boxes and Coolers”.

At the death of Daniel Nields in 1872 his son, Theodore, ran the family business for the next 11 years. At his death, Theodore’s widow, Clara Oram Nields, continued to operate the business until 1885 when John Thorp purchased the business and moved it across the street to 21 South High. As the business continued cabinet making diminished and funeral directing became more specialized.

In 1928, the business was moved to 101 South Church Street. In 1930, Harold A. Famous who had been associated with the business since 1926 purchased the business and continued to operate it until his death in 1961. Sarah Famous, the widow of Harold, operated the business for a number of years.

In 1966, Joseph E. Boyd, Jr. purchased the funeral home and eventually renamed the business to Boyd Funeral Home, Inc. In 1985, his son Robert S. Boyd joined him in business and for the next twenty years continued to conduct their business at 101 South Church Street.

In January of 2006, the Boyd’s merged and relocated their business to 410 North Church Street with DellaVecchia, Reilly & Smith Funeral Home, Inc. to become DellaVecchia, Reilly, Smith & Boyd Funeral Home, Inc.

 

DellaVecchia 1977 - present
Joseph J. DellaVecchia, Jr. became part of the funeral home’s history when he purchased it on August 25, 1977 from Lawrence J. Reilly. Since that time many renovations have been done including replacing the back porch in 1984 to create a larger viewing room. In 1994 we extended the viewing room even farther and created more on site parking. These expansions have created an environment of comfort and accessibility for the families we serve.

 

The DellaVecchia, Reilly, Smith & Boyd Funeral Home has become one of largest funeral homes in historic West Chester under the direction of the DellaVecchia Family. Over the past several years the funeral home has seen many other additions as well. Three of Joseph’s four sons have joined their father in keeping up the long honored tradition that is DellaVecchia, Reilly, Smith & Boyd Funeral Home. Oldest son Joseph J. DellaVecchia, III joined his father in 1989, followed by Ronald in 1995 and finally Michael in 2005. Joseph’s wife, Kristine, is also an integral part of family business managing day-to-day office operations. The DellaVecchia family is very involved in the community and is committed to serve others with the highest level of respect.

 

Building Circa 1881
The DellaVecchia, Reilly, Smith & Boyd Funeral Home
building was originally constructed as a private residence in 1881 for Jerome and Katherine Gray. The architect was T. Roney Williamson who designed many well-known buildings in West Chester. The home was the very first in West Chester to have steam heat. Its location, Church Street, is one of the original streets in the borough. The building is in much of its original design, including the priceless stained glass and detailed woodwork. There are eight fireplaces made of different materials such as ceramic, brick and stone; thus enhancing the character of the building. The Gray family owned the building until Joseph Epstein, a local men’s furnishing store proprietor, bought it at auction on September 10, 1951. Mr. Epstein later sold the building to Lawrence J. Reilly who converted it into the Lawrence J. Reilly Funeral Home. He operated this family business for 25 years until present owner Joseph J. DellaVecchia, Jr. purchased it in 1977.

 
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