Dover Ohio is home to one of the most unique collections in the state. The John Herzig Funeral Memorabilia Collection. And it is located in a funeral home. Herzig tells me that it started out as an autograph collection. His first find was an autograph from former Heavyweight Champion Joe Louis. When he received the autograph the previous owner also included a copy of the program from Louis’ funeral in 1981. A new hobby was born.
Today Herzig has over a thousand pieces of funeral memorabilia. Much of it on display at his funeral home in downtown Dover. Included in the collection is the accordion believed to have been the one played by Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Graham Jackson in the iconic photograph of the funeral of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1945. The famous photo of a Coast Guardsman with tears running down his cheeks playing his accordion as the President’s body went by. Also included in the collection is the original paperwork for the funeral of Gladys Presley, Elvis Presley’s mother; The visitation log from the funeral of former Yankee Manager Casey Stengel as well as mourning vests worn by officials in the funeral of former President William McKinley. The collection is open to the public during business hours at the funeral home.
John Herzig Funeral Collection, Toland-Herzig Funeral Home, 803 N. Wooster, Dover, Ohio 44622, 330-343-6132, www.tolandherzig.com