Tag Archives: Georgia Funeral Homes

Buck House, 1905, Tifton

This beautiful house is best known today as the Bowen-Donaldson Home for Funerals. Their website notes: The Buck House, built in 1905, had an interesting history of its own. When the original owners were all killed in a series of tragic accidents, the property passed to the Mellon family. Eventually, the Buck House became a dilapidated apartment building. Bowen-Donaldson’s building improvement, however, made the quality of the house’s structure and surroundings better than ever.

It has been a bit of a tradition in many small Georgia towns for funeral businesses to move into and restore large historical homes. The Buck House in Tifton is a great example.

Tifton Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places


Dudley Funeral Home, Dublin

I’ve admired this structure for many years, thinking that it must have originally been an automobile dealership, but in the process of documenting some historic properties of the Dudley family, I discovered it is actually a well-established funeral home, celebrating its centennial this year. It is one of the best-known landmarks of Dublin’s African-American community and features some of the finest commercial brickwork I’ve seen in rural Georgia.

The brickwork is what first caught my eye and is obviously the work of a very skilled mason. Dudley Funeral Home notes that the building originated as a general merchandise store circa 1900, one of the first Black-owned businesses in Dublin. In 1922, the funeral home was established in the store building, typical of the era. Other business originated here, as well, including a barber shop, casket showroom, and realty and investment business. During the early 1940s, the funeral home and casket business had grown to a point that they occupied the entire building; the other businesses were relocated. The present brick facade was added at this time.

Jacob Phinizy House, 1882, Augusta

This Second Empire house was built for Jacob Phinizy (9 August 1857-30 May 1924) circa 1882. Phinizy was the great-nephew of John Phinizy, owner of the iconic house next door, and a cotton factor with his family’s firm, F. Phinizy and Company. He also served as a president of the Georgia Railroad Bank. His father’s family was from Oglethorpe County.

Beginning in 1946, the house served for many years as the Poteet Funeral Home. It was modernized at that time by the local architectural firm of Scroggs & Ewing.

Greene Street Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

C. W. McDougald Funeral Home, Butler

Robert Lee McDougald established his undertaking business in 1936 and it continues to this day, as the C. W. McDougald Funeral Home. Robert McDougald, known as “Professor”, also served as the principal of the Butler Colored School [later known as Eureka High School and McDougald High School] located next door to the funeral home. The McDougald family has been prominent in the African-American community of Butler for nearly a century.

Greek Revival House, Americus

This amazing Greek Revival townhouse likely dates to the 1850s-circa 1860. The only history I’ve been able to track down so far is that it once served as a funeral home. I hope to update with a name and a more accurate date. The facade of the house was obscured by pines for many years but has recently been exposed by the removal of the trees.

Americus Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Killen-King House, 1852, Perry

Built for Judge Samuel D. Killen, this Greek Revival home was later owned by the Francis Marion King family and the Penn-Dixie Cement Company, who used it as a clubhouse. It was purchased by Gardner Watson in 1955 and has been used as a funeral home since then.

Hilton House, 1890, Sylvania

As is often a tradition in Georgia towns and cities, one of the grandest homes in the city now serves as a funeral home. In Sylvania, it’s the Thompson-Strickland-Waters Funeral Home. Its history is shared here by Nancy Hilton Scherr, via Norman Scherr: The funeral home was built in 1890 by my grandfather, Lee Holmes Hilton, who was only 25 at the time. He moved his wife and children in and the Hilton Home remained in our family until about 1950. He was killed in 1911 after achieving so much including bringing the first bicycle to Sylvania, the first car (an Orient Buckboard), the first bank (Screven County Bank), the first oil mill (Screven Oil Mill), and the first telephone company which was a line connecting Sylvania with the outside world at a station on the the Central of Georgia Railway. Founding the nearby town of Hiltonia, he served on the Sylvania Board of Education, and he also served in the 1900 and 1901 Georgia House of Representatives. My father, named after him, practiced law for years in Louisville, Kentucky, until he moved us back into the Hilton House where he had been born in 1904. I loved living there as a very young girl. Papa died at age 79 and was prepared for burial in the home he was born in, a full circle of life.

G. L. Haynes Funeral Home, Warrenton

This is an old African-American funeral home.

Uriah B. Harrold House, 1893, Americus

This imposing Queen Anne has served as the Hancock Funeral Home for many years.

Americus Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Charles J. Williamson House, Circa 1909, Montezuma

montezuma ga watson mathews funeral home mckenzie house photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

This unique home was built for Charles J. Williamson. A postcard of the house dated 1909 was probably produced soon after its construction. This is one of the most unique houses in the area. It became a Watson-Mathews Funeral Home in 1969.

montezuma ga watson mathews funeral home photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

Montezuma Historic District, National Register of Historic Places