Way back in 1908 a local doctor and several businessmen joined Frank Dunn, a naturalized citizen formally of Canada, in creating a combination furniture store and funeral service. The corporation opened on the ground floor of building on Court Street, under the Opera House where silent movies were shown. Mr. Dunn was very popular and had an amazing knack for remembering everyone’s name. The business was a success and soon found the quarters on Court Street too small. The Thibodeau Hotel at 75 Main Street burned around 1911 and the members of the Corporation decided to purchase the burned out building and remodel it. Half of the first floor was fixed up for the furniture business, while the other half became Astle’s Music Store. Mr. Astle being one of the stockholders in the furniture and funeral business. The second floor was made into offices and Doctor Ward, another stockholder, had the best of the facilities. The 3rd floor was used by the funeral service, and the forth floor was left unfinished. The basement had only a five foot ceiling, but worked fine for storage. At the rear was a building used as a stable and storage for the stores delivery wagon.
In the early 1920’s Frank Dunn became very ill and his son Donald, having just graduated from The Rehnard School in New York City, took over the complete operation. He soon married Ella Barrett, a local school teacher, formally of Robinson, Maine. They had 3 sons. David, the eldest, went on to become a licensed funeral director. David married Geraldine Cogswell of Hodgdon and they have 3 daughters and lots of grandchildren. David passed away in 1983 at the young age of 55 due to a brain tumor. Frank, some 5 years younger than David, graduated from Colby College and went into the Air Force as a fighter pilot for 5 years, returning in 1960 to help in the family business. Frank married Harriette Johnstone of Oakfield and they had two children, Donald and Julie. Harriette graduated from the University of Maine and taught school in Houlton for over 30 years. John, the youngest brother, was 13 years younger than David. He served a 2 year hitch in the Army and returned to attend the New England School of Applied Arts and Science in Boston. He married Sandra Howland and they had two sons, John known as “Bart,” who, with his wife operate the local Sears Home & Garden Center, and David who helps at the Funeral Home. Sandra came to work in the furniture store in the 60’s and had became a well known Decorative Consultant prior to her untimely passing in 2005.
The furniture business and the funeral business are still owned and operated by the Dunn Family. Frank’s son Donald is also a licensed Funeral Director, and he and John operate the Funeral Home. Frank and a very capable staff operate the Furniture Store and perform all of the accounting functions for both companies.
The Dunn Family is very involved in Aroostook County. Members of the family have served on committees, industrial development groups, political offices and fraternal organizations throughout the area. Honesty, outstanding service and attention to detail are factors that are the foundation the entire business. Employees tend to stay with the company for many years and generations of customers continue to do business at Dunns because of the personal attention and good value.