Batesville Casket Company
A respected choice
Batesville is the leading name in metal and wood caskets. They make some of the finest quality caskets on the market, and the Batesville name is one of the most highly respected in the entire funeral industry. In response to consumer interest, the company has also begun making cremation urns and other memorials as well. About its own business, Batesville says, "Exceptional beauty and superior quality are our hallmarks."
Batesville originated in 1884, producing hand-hewn wooden coffins under the name of the Batesville Coffin Company. In the early 1900's, the company was bought out of insolvency by John A. Hillebrand and he renamed it the Batesville Casket Company (the company is still considered 'a Hillebrand Company' today).
Under Hillebrand, with the help and diligent craftsmanship of his youngest son George, the company began producing high quality coffins out of its own factory. The quality of their product resulted in increased demand for Batesville Caskets.
Batesville has stayed on top of the industry through intelligent innovation, setting many new standards throughout the years:
- They were the first to introduce cathodic protection (1958). This is the use of an electrical charge to protect metal caskets from corrosion, thereby extending the life of the casket.
- Batesville was the first to offer a manufacturer's warranty on all caskets (1963).
- Batesville is very proud of its Living Memorial® tree-planting program ; it began in 1976 and is now "the largest private reforestation project in the United States ."
Batesville isn't without its critics. In Profits of Death, Darryl Roberts criticizes funeral homes that deal exclusively with the Batesville Casket Company, as they produce some of the most expensive coffins on the market.
Roberts is also critical of companies who offer casket guarantees or who sell expensive casket liners. He calls these a needless expense, criticizing the tactics of those in the funeral industry who exploit the fear and guilt of mourning families to sell useless products. Roberts says that no matter what you do to a wood casket, it'll deteriorate very quickly in the ground.
Beyond this, others have claimed that protective sealers actually do more damage to the remains than if you let them be. This criticism is commonly voiced by the Interfaith Funeral Information Committee and Arizona Consumers Council. However, these critics are in turn criticized for not paying enough respect to the funeral industry.