The Funeral Business | Undertakers and Embalmers 1879-1945 | Funeral Homes and Suppliers, August 2001

The Funeral Business (back to top)

Shelton Furniture and UndertakingThe funeral business has been an evolution from that of small scale and necessity to big business and corporations. Early coffin makers were usually local carpenters that made furniture as their primary source of income.

A simple box with a lid, made from area wood, was the primary type of coffin. Later, more decorative styles were added. Fabric liners, ribbon and covered buttons could be used to decorate the coffin for an extra fee. Receipts for funerals as well as a description of the items purchased may be a part of the administration of a will found in courthouse records.

Receipt for Funeral Expenses
Receipt for Funeral Expenses
(View Larger Image)

As the population grew and styles changed, the process of a funeral could last for days and involve just one company. Visitations that once occurred in homes were moved to elaborately appointed funeral homes. Funeral homes would sell the casket, vault, funeral preparations, flowers, acknowledgement stationery, monument, and hearst and family cars.


This photo shows a Cadillac driven by Don Wilson and owned by Douglas and Sing. This vehicle had a detachable hood that could be replaced to make it an ambulance. It normally stayed as an ambulance unless it was needed for a funeral.
Cadillac Ambulance

Even though segregation laws have long since been changed, the funeral business in Mecklenburg County is historically and currently mostly segregated by personal choice.

Funeral Directors Mr. Carl McEwen
Robinson Funeral Home, circa 1900 R.J. McEwen


Mecklenburg County Funeral Homes
Undertakers and Embalmers 1879-1945
(back to top)

These funeral homes and undertakers listed are found in various Charlotte city directories. The date given is the first time the name appears in a directory. City directories are usually distributed at the beginning of each year and have information from the previous year. There may have been other funeral homes and undertakers that served the county and are not included in this list. The race was designated in early city directories.

Name Date Race (if listed)
Alexander’s Funeral Parlour 1931 colored
Andrews & Co. 1889  
Andrews, E. M. 1884  
Andrew, E. M. and Co. 1891  
Biddleville Funeral Home 1931 colored
Carolina Funeral Home 1926 colored
Charlotte Casket Co. 1902  
Cogwell, H. C. 1897 colored
Cogwell-Alexander Co. 1904  
Coles & Smith 1902 colored
Coles, S. A. & Brothers 1897 colored
Coles, Sidney A. 1917-1918 colored
Coles, W. L., Inc. 1927 colored
Crouch Funeral Home 1940  
Davidson Bros. Funeral Home 1931 colored
Douglas & Sing 1927  
Grace Funeral Home 1940  
Grier & Thompson 1932 colored
Hairston Funeral Home 1936 colored
Harry, J. M. & Co. 1896  
Hovis, Z. A. & Co. 1902  
McConnell (J. M.) Purefoy (E. M.)& Co. (and D. N. Cashion) 1899  
McEwen Funeral Home 1938  
Nichols, Burgess 1879-1880  
Robinson, Alexander & Co. (Thomas W. Alexander, W. P. Robinson, S. T. Moore, H. C. Cogwell and N. D. Dwiggins) 1908 colored
Robinson, W. P. and Co. 1911 colored
Tipton & Paisley Co. 1931  
Tipton Funeral Home 1933  
Tipton-Davis Funeral Home 1940  
Wilhelm, W. M. 1879  
Yandell & Withers Funeral Home 1939  
Yandell Bros. 1927  
Yandell-Crouch Funeral Home 1934  

Piedmont Marble Company Advertisement J.M. Harry & Company Funeral Directors Advertisement Douglas and Sing Mortuary Advertisement
McEwen Funeral Home Advertisement

Mecklenburg County has been a place of many mergers and break ups in the funeral home industry. Although many funeral homes still have family names in this country, most have been bought by large corporations and retain their former name for community recognition.

The Hovis Mortuary, once located in Charlotte at 508 N. Tryon, was designed by architect William Peeps and was featured in his book published in 1928.
The Hovis Mortuary, once located in Charlotte at 508 N. Tryon,
was designed by architect William Peeps and was featured in his book published in 1928.


Funeral Homes and Suppliers
August, 2001
(back to top)


Name Address City Phone Date Est./History
Alexander Funeral Home, Inc. 1424 Statesville Ave. Charlotte 704-333-1167 formerly W. L. Coles
Almond Raymer & McConnell Funeral Home 16901 Old Statesville Rd. Huntersville 704-892-9669  
Beasley’s Funeral Home 3925 Beasley Ln. Charlotte 704-376-2273 1977
Carolina Mortuary Service 6101 Idlewild Rd. Charlotte 704-369-0221  
Carolina Transportation-Mortuary 7300 Rollinridge Dr. Charlotte 704-362-2044 10/17/1997
Carolina Funeral and Cremation Center 5505 Monroe Rd. Charlotte 704-568-0023 6/1/1997
The Casket Outlet 4913 Chastain Ave., Suite 29 Charlotte 704-523-8058 1999
Casket Mart 9229 Lawyers Rd. Mint Hill 704-573-0001 5/1999
Charlotte Mortuary Funeral Home 3431 Rozzelles Ferry Rd. Charlotte 704-399-7610 1994
Consumer Casket 1427 South Blvd. Charlotte 704-346-0011  
Family Mortuary 2310 Statesville Ave. Charlotte 704-377-4400 1995
Grier Funeral Service 115 N. Cloudman St. Charlotte 704-332-7109 1930
Hankins & Whittington Funeral Service – Dilworth Chapel 1111 East Blvd. Charlotte 704-333-6116 1946
Harry and Bryant Co. 500 Providence Rd. Charlotte 704-332-7133 1883
A. L. Jinwright Funeral Service 4300 Statesville Rd. Charlotte 704-599-5994 10/1997
Johnson Funeral Service Inc. 3715 Beatties Ford Rd. Charlotte 704-399-6301 formerly Metrolina Funeral Home
King Funeral Home 4000 Beatties Ford Rd. Charlotte 704-394-2722 mid 1960s
Long & Son Mortuary Service 2312 Beatties Ford Rd. Charlotte 704-394-1111 1947
Lowe Funeral Home 4715 Margaret Wallace Rd. Charlotte 704-545-3553 9/1999
McEwen Funeral Service, Inc. 10500 Park Rd Pineville 704-544-1412 12/1993
McEwen Funeral Service, Inc. 727 E. Morehead St. Charlotte 704-334-6421  
McEwen Funeral Service, Inc. 7428 Matthews-Mint Hill Rd. Mint Hill 704-545-4864 about 1918
McEwen Funeral Service, Inc. 6300 Mallard Creek Rd. Charlotte 704-596-3291 1971
Raymer Funeral Home 16901 Old Statesville Rd. Huntersville 704-892-9669  
Richmond Funeral Home Inc. 6701 Beatties Ford Rd. Charlotte 704-399-2664 1/1998
Tucker Mortuary Services 1315 E. Woodlawn Rd. Charlotte 704-892-9669  
William-Dearborn Funeral Service 3700 Forest Lawn Dr.   704-846-3771  
Wilson Chapel of Hankins & Whittington Funeral Service 5301 Albemarle Rd. Charlotte 704-568-2106 5/1999; formerly Wilson Funeral Service, 1926; Douglas and Sing; Miller and Kerns

Top right image of F. M. Shelton Furniture and Undertaking
Photo coutesy of Daily Charlotte Observer, 7/1/1873, p. 1

Top left image of Don Wilson and the Cadillac
Photo courtesy of Don Wilson

Center left image of the Robinson Funeral Home
Photo courtesy of Margaret Alexander

Center right image R. J. McEwen
Photo courtesy of The Mecklenburg Times, 11/19/1953, p. 3

Four advertisements for funeral homes from various Charlotte city directories


Reference/Research Policy

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