Our History

We stand behind our reputation and will continue to serve our community with the values instilled by our funeral directors.

A History of Service & Compassion

Founded in 1888 as Poulson & Coleman, by George H. Poulson and Jedediah D. Coleman, the original funeral home was located at 18 South Warren Street in Trenton with a carriage garage on Everett's Alley off Stockton Street. Here is where the livery was cared for and caskets were constructed as per the families wishes, a common practice at that time. 

Mr. George Poulson, born in 1848, secured employment with the undertaking firm of Disbrow & Van Cleve. Acquiring knowledge in the profession, especially in the newly established techniques of embalming developed during the Civil War, he commenced the practice of embalming in Trenton in 1879, which up to that time was comparatively unknown in the Mercer County area. In 1880 the partnership of Disbrow & Van Cleve dissolved with Mr. Poulson continuing in practice with Mr. Disbrow until 1888. 

J.G. Coleman was born in 1852 and was raised on a farm in Ewing until forming a partnership with George Poulson in 1888. 

In the early 1900's, Anthony Van Hise, son-in-law of Mr. Poulson, and Frank Swayze, son-in-law of Mr. Coleman, joined the firm as assistant embalmers. 

In 1918 the partnership dissolved with Poulson and Van Hise continuing the practice as George H. Poulson - Funeral Director until the death of Mr. Poulson in 1921. At that time Mr. Van Hise reorganized the firm under the prensent name of Poulson & Van Hise Funeral Directors locating the business to the expanding western section of Trenton at 408 Bellevue Avenue on the corner of Prospect Street. 

Mr. Van Hise remained the sole proprietor until his retirement in 1954 when he sold the business to four funeral director employees; William L. Everett, Robert W. Hibbert, Richard W. Souder and Mahlon M. Thompson. Mr. Hibbert left the practice shortly thereafter. 

From 1955 until 1958 a branch funeral home operated at 63 Bridge Street in Lambertville and in 1970 the current location of our facility was established at 650 Lawrenceville Road, Lawrenceville. 

Mr. Thompson left the practice in 1968 followed by Mr. Everett in 1978. 

Mr. J. Gregory Smith joined the firm in 1973, followed by Joseph C. Parell, III in 1978. The old facility established in 1921 on Bellevue Avenue was declared a historic landmark by the Trenton Historical Landmarks Commission in 1981 and was sold to the Mercer Medical Center (Capital Health Systems at Mercer Medical Center) where it remains as part of the hospital today. 

In 1982 with the transfer of all operations to the present location an addition was contructed on the Lawrenceville funeral home. 

Smith and Parell purchased the funeral home in 1988 from Mr. Parell's father-in-law and in the fall of 2012 Mr. Parell became the sole owner of Poulson & Van Hise Funeral Directors, one of the oldest funeral homes in New Jersey. They proudly continue the tradition of caring for their neighbors of Mercer County, New Jersey and adjoining Bucks County, Pennsylvania.