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Over the last 100+ years, Hamilton’s has grown to be one of the largest family-owned funeral homes in Iowa. Our high standards of compassion and excellence are the pillars in our mission to serve client families and one another, adapting to the desires of each person seeking help.
Since the beginning, Hamilton’s Funeral Home has been rooted in two things: family and a high standard of service excellence. Our long and notable history started in 1913 with Lee Hamilton, the principal owner of what was then called the R.R. McBride Funeral Home in Des Moines, IA.
Lee had an undeniable desire to serve, and people knew he would take care of their families with dignity, concern and reverence. Through his hard work and dedication to every individual, in 1925, one of Lee’s biggest dreams became a reality as he renamed the R.R. McBride Funeral Home to Hamilton’s Funeral Home.
By 1940, the number of families being served at Hamilton’s Funeral Home had surpassed all expectations and Lee needed some more help. He immediately turned to his son-in-law, Ira Moller, and valued employee, Ardis Peterson, to join him as partners of the business.
After nearly 50 years as the owner of Hamilton’s, Lee Hamilton passed away in 1956. His values continue to be passed down in the Hamilton’s family and spread through years of growth.
- 1969: Moved to current location at 605 Lyon Street in Des Moines.
- 1976: Purchased the Moffit Funeral Homes in Altoona and Mitchellville, expanding outside of Des Moines.
- 1979: Purchased Dunn’s Funeral Home on SW 9th Street in Des Moines.
- 1980’s: Hamilton’s Advanced Planning becomes a division of Hamilton’s
- 1987: Built Hamilton’s near Highland Memory Gardens, a funeral home and Hamilton’s first crematory...only the 2nd crematory within a funeral home in the state.
- 1989: Relocated Hamilton’s Mitchellville Funeral Home to Center Street.
- 1996: Hamilton’s Academy of Grief & Loss becomes an official division of Hamilton’s.
- 2005: Opened Hamilton’s on Westown Parkway in West Des Moines, funeral home and memorial gift shop.
- 2012: Complete remodel of Hamilton’s Altoona Funeral Home.
- 2013: Two new crematories installed at Hamilton’s near Highland Memory Gardens.
- 2018: Hamilton’s Pet Services becomes an official division of Hamilton’s, as original crematory is licensed for pet cremations.
- 2022: Remodel and large addition made to Hamilton’s Southtown Funeral Home including additional parking lot built across the street.
100+ years later, Hamilton’s is still family-owned, with Ardis Peterson’s son and granddaughters, Carlton Peterson, Holly Peterson Miller and Sasha Mudlaff, continuing Lee Hamilton’s legacy of superior service for generations to come.
For a deeper look at the history of Des Moines’ funeral homes since 1850, check out A Legacy of Excellence.