In 1894 William H. Bell, a cooper from Hammond, IN, moved to Hartford City and started a furniture business. He later added undertaking services. Four years into the endeavor, he partnered with W.H. Cox, a prominent town grocer. It was a short partnership and Bell became the firm's sole proprietor in 1899. Sometime in the late 1890's, Cox discontinued the furniture business and concentrated on undertaking.
Just after the turn of the century J. Will Baxter bought Cox's company and ran it with a Mr. Linder. In 1931, Baxter partnered with Alfred Markin. In 1947, Markin moved the business to a Victorian mansion on West Washington Street. The remodel included a five-car garage and a hand-operated elevator. David and Polly Richman purchased the business in 1957 after Markin’s death. The Richmans ran the business until 1981 when Ted L. and Kay E. (Worden) Waters purchased the funeral home. Ted's first job was Baxter & Markin funeral home in the 1960's. Ted was also a first cousin of Markin's and had previously worked for the Richmans. In 1990, the Waters' eldest son, Tod, joined the family business. Youngest son, Brian, joined in 2003. Waters Funeral Home celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2006.
In 2003, Ted and Kay purchased Pitman-Richman Funeral Home in Eaton from Robert and Jan Richman—no relation to David and Polly Richman. The funeral home, and the green house next to it, was built by Bryan and Virginia Pitman.