Museum displays presidential funeral history

HOUSTON (FOX 26) — The eyes of the world are closely following the state funeral for former President George H.W. Bush as the tradition unfolds, but did you know that at the National Museum of Funeral History in north Houston, there is an impressive permanent presidential display that features every president to date? It is like a life-sized history book.

One of the most unique pieces at the museum as it relates to the Bush family is the bier, a movable frame on which a coffin or a corpse is placed before burial. It has served President Gerald Ford and former first ladies including the visitation of former first lady Barbara bush at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in April 2018. Although it is an artifact, it is one that continues to have presence in our life as needed. 

A presidential funeral can take anywhere from three to five years to plan. During his planning process, President George H.W. Bush specifically requested a metal casket. 

President George H.W. Bush's remains will be traveling on a train to his final resting place in College Station, Texas.

At the National Museum of Funeral History, you will find a replica of the train that carried President Abraham Lincoln's remains through five states with a procession that lasted twenty days, much longer than the estimated 2.5 train procession President George H.W. Bush is expected to have.

If you’re wondering how the museum is able to acquire such unique pieces, Genevieve Keeney tells FOX 26 News that it’s all about great relationships with the Arlington National Cemetery, U.S. Army Military District of Washington, as well as the funeral homes helping the families.