The Erswell Company was a funeral service founded in 1872 by Edward Erswell. He began as a furniture and cabinet maker, and soon found himself furnishing numerous coffins during the next year's cholera epidemic. From there he expanded to ambulance service and undertaking. He constructed an Erswell vault at Oak Hill Cemetery for use in preparing bodies for burial.
The company operated from a three-story, 75 foot x 100 foot building at 112–116 19th Street North. The ground floor showroom displayed caskets alongside furnishings, wallpaper, window dressings and carpeting. The open upper floor, known as Erswell's Hall, served as a meeting room for various clubs and unions.
In 1884 the Erswell Company employed Mark Bradbury as a cabinetmaker, J. W. Diamond as a clerk, Fannie Thatch as a maid, and Joseph Smith as a drayman. By 1902 the company had relocated to 2019 3rd Avenue North.
- City Directory of Birmingham and Gazetteer of Surrounding Section for 1884-5 (1884) Volume II. Atlanta, Georgia: Interstate Directory Company
- Dubose, John Witherspoon (1887) Jefferson County and Birmingham, Alabama: Historical and Biographical Birmingham: Teeple & Smith, Publishers; Caldwell Printing Works.