Originally established in 1875, the offices and funeral church of the Wait-Ross-Allanson were extensively remodeled in 1958. The firm was founded by William T. "Billy" Wait, who continued his active participation in the business shortly before his last illness and death at 89 in 1938. Mr. Wait had come to Elgin from St. Charles and attended Elgin Academy. He then was employed by S. E. Wilder, a furniture merchant, as a clerk, and later acquired an interest in the firm which became known as Wait and Co.
W. R. Burdick entered into a partnership with Mr. Wait in 1877. The firm then became WAit and Burdick, doing a furniture and undertaking business at 164 E Chicago Street. Another name change came about in 1901 when the firm became Wait and Ross upon the retirement of Mr. Burdick. Wimmiam Ross, who had come to Elgin in 1875 from Germany, had joined the firm in 1901 and acquired an interest with the retirement of Mr. Burdick.
In 1920 Robert A. Allanson, who was born in Elgin on April 19, 1893, became a third partner in the firm after having been an employee for several years. With the incorporation of the business in 1923, the present name was adopted. That same year, 1923, the furniture business was eliminated and the partners erected the present funeral chapel at Center and Division Streets and East Highland Avenue. Mr. Ross died in 1928 and Mr. Wait in 1938. The business passed into the management of Mr. Allason until his death in 1943 at age 50. His widow, Eleanor D. Allanson then served as President and treasurer of the corporation.