Gasch's Funeral Home was founded by Ernst Franz Bernhard (Francis) Gasch. Francis was born in Doeblen, Saxony, Germany, on November 26, 1830. His father was a school teacher, fluent in several languages. Francis studied under him until he was fourteen years old. Francis then moved to Frankenburg where he served for three years as an apprentice to a cabinetmaker.
Francis yearned for more. And in July of 1850, he left Germany and came to the U.S. When he arrived in Baltimore, Maryland he had no knowledge of the English language and only had 50 cents in his pocket. He immediately left for Washington, D.C., where he was able to find a position as a cabinetmaker. He worked for a gentleman named Mr. Charles Krumer, for the wage of $3.00 a month.
On April 17, 1854, Francis married Katherine Sophia Schron. On October 1, 1855, they moved to a house on Baltimore Avenue in Bladensburg, Maryland. A year later they purchased a home next to the George Washington House, later renamed The Indian Queen Tavern. The funeral home business began in 1858. Traditionally cabinetmakers constructed coffins when necessary. Francis had done this for many years for the people in the Bladensburg and Hyattsville areas. Soon people were asking him to tend to all of the funeral details. Francis began his business as "Francis Gasch - Undertaker." This business would eventually become "Gasch's Funeral Home, P.A."
While Francis was building his business, he was also building his family. Francis and Sophia had three sons, Edward, Ernest and Frank, and a daughter, Amelia. Edward and Ernest followed in their father's footsteps and became Morticians, attending mortuary school in Massachusetts.
Around 1895 Francis and Sophia moved their family and the business a short distance diagonally across the street. They lived in this home for the remainder of their lives. Sophia died on May 9, 1910, and Francis died on May 7, 1914.