Michael Unger Monuments, on 4th Street, in the year 1903
James A. Cavanaugh, a native of Columbus, Indiana, returned from the Civil War and opened a monument company. For more than twenty years, he created marble tombstones. After his death, Michael Unger, a French immigrant and longtime employee of Cavanaugh, purchased the assets of the firm and continued the business under the name "Michael Unger Monument Company".
George W. Unger, Michael's son, bought the "Columbus Monument Works" in 1920 and sometime later merged it with the "Unger Monument Company" creating the "Unger Granite Works".
The "Rust Monument Company" was founded in 1928 when three employees left George W. Unger to form "The Rust-McCoy Monument Works". George continued in the business until 1938 when he passed it on to his son, Donald Unger. In 1963 Donald bought the "Rust Monument Company".
Later, A. Dale and James N. Rust became the sole owners of the headstone company. After Donald Unger bought "The Rust Monument Company" from A. Dale Rust, he merged it with the "Unger Granite Works" and moved the gravestone company from 421 Fourth Street to its current location at 2421 East Tenth Street.
Since the 1960's the company has produced marble, granite, and bronze headstones. At one time, "Rust-Unger Monuments" and its predecessors, also produced marble tabletops, fireplace surrounds, and even windowsills. The company provided commercial and custom sandblasting services into the mid 1940's.
In the mid 1970's, after serving four years in the United States Navy, another Columbus native, Donald Anderson came to work for Don Unger. In 1982 Donald Anderson and his wife, Denise, purchased "Rust-Unger Monuments" from the retiring Don Unger. "Rust-Unger Monuments" continues to serve Bartholomew and surrounding counties, and is proud to be a historical part of Columbus, Indiana.
Rust-McCoy Monument Works, 1934