Our Mission & Values

To serve our client families and one another, adapting to the desires of each person seeking our help.

Community Interaction Projects.

Hamilton's has long been involved in a wide variety of Community Interaction Projects. Each of them reflects Hamilton's desire to give back to the community within which it serves. Hamilton's Academy of Grief & Loss oversees these community projects.

Maintain Outstanding Results.

We strive to continually improve the services we offer, in order to: retain our current Client-Families, gain new customers, and increase the positive image we project to the community.

Keep a Simple and Lean Form and Systems.

By keeping our system and operations simple and lean, we can use our energies to concentrate more fully on the excellent individualized service we provide to those we serve.

Provide Hands-On Leadership.

We believe in leadership by example, dedication and commitment to living Hamilton's Mission Statement and carrying out Hamilton's statement that describes our work-place values.

Enhance our Customer’s Experience and our Community's Perceptions.

In everything we do, we strive to meet and exceed the expectations of our actual and potential Client-Families, as well as the perception of the community in which we serve.

Respect One Another.

We believe that each one of us has a commitment to our fellow team members to be accountable to our jobs while treating one another with respect and honesty. We believe in building a sense of community and "family" within the company, which in turn is passed along to our client-families and to our community.

Maintain Great Operations Execution.

We are committed to outstanding funeral service operations which involves dedication to the quality of our service, responding and adapting to customer needs and striving always toward improvement in all areas of our business.

Educate our Staff.

We are committed to educating staff so that they have the tools to provide exceptional individualized service to client-families, as well as to make excellent contributions to the maintenance and growth of "team-building" in the work-place.

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Our History

Our long and notable history starts in 1913 with Lee Hamilton — a man with an undeniable desire to serve people. Recognized as both generous and open-hearted, Lee assisted the people of Des Moines as a dedicated funeral director and friend for more than 50 years. People knew Lee Hamilton, but more importantly, they knew that Lee Hamilton would take care of their family with dignity, concern and reverence.

Our Funeral Home was established prior to 1900 under the name of R.R. McBride Funeral Home located at East 6th and Grand Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa. In 1910 the funeral home was moved to 605 E. Locust where Mr. Selover, Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Knight worked together for a time. In 1913, Lee Hamilton became the principle owner of the company. In 1925, Hamilton partnered with Powers for a time, relocating to 520 East 9th Street. Lee Hamilton soon became the sole owner once again and changed the name officially to Hamilton’s Funeral Home. In 1940, as the numbers of families assisted by Hamilton’s Funeral Home increased to more than 500, Lee Hamilton asked his son-in-law, Ira Moller, and valued employee, Ardis Peterson, to join him as partners of the business. Lee Hamilton died in 1956. Over the years, Ira and Ardis carried on the values and attitudes instilled in them by Lee and passed them on to their sons and grandchildren. Mr. Hamilton’s descendants from the Ira Moller family continued in ownership through the 3rd and 4th generations, along with the 2nd and 3rd generations of the Ardis Peterson family. Today, Hamilton’s is owned by the Peterson family: Ardis’ son, Carlton Peterson, and his granddaughters, Holly Peterson Miller and Sasha Mudlaff.

In 1969 Hamilton’s moved to our present location at 605 Lyon Street in Des Moines. In 1976, we purchased the Moffitt Funeral Homes in Altoona and Mitchellville, Iowa, now known as Hamilton’s Altoona Funeral Home and Hamilton’s Mitchellville Funeral Home. In 1979, we purchased the Dunn’s Funeral home on Southwest 9th Street in Des Moines, now known as Hamilton’s Southtown Funeral Home. In 1987, Hamilton’s built a funeral home and crematory located across the street from Highland Memory Gardens Cemetery in Des Moines, aptly named Hamilton’s near Highland Memory Gardens. In 1989, Hamilton's Mitchellville Funeral Home was relocated to its present locale on Center Street. The latest addition to the Hamilton family opened in 2005, Hamilton’s on Westown Parkway in West Des Moines. To complete the current timeline, most recently in 2012, Hamilton's Altoona Funeral Home was completely remodeled to better serve our families in the greater Altoona area. The Hamilton’s facilities in total are known as Hamilton’s Funeral and After Life Services, while each funeral home retains its individual name.

Hamilton’s Funeral Home has always stood for a standard of excellence that has challenged the business to become one of the larger family-owned funeral homes not only in Des Moines, but also in the state of Iowa. This standard of excellence still proudly carries Lee Hamilton’s name and the mission to serve client families and one another, adapting to the desires of each person seeking help.

For a thorough, historical timeline of Des Moines' funeral homes since 1850: A Legacy of Excellence

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