When Those Who Bury the Dead Are Dead (Part 2)

This post concludes (see Part 1) a brief survey of the final resting places of those men for whom dying provided a living.

olivet petition 12-18-06 teleAfter Oakwood Cemetery opened in 1879, Fort Worth did not get a third public cemetery for another quarter-century. In 1906 F. G. McPeak petitioned the city to open a cemetery on his farm east of the river and north of the “old Birdville road.” The land had been settled by pioneer Charles Biggers Daggett. Clip is from the December 18, 1906 Telegram.

olivet opens 4-7-07 teleMount Olivet Cemetery opened on April 7, 1907 offering something new: perpetual care. Clip is from the April 7, 1907 Telegram.

mcpeak mount olivetFlavious G. McPeak is buried in the cemetery he founded on land where he once lived.

bailey greenwood ad 3-28-09 stWilliam J. Bailey, land developer and state senator, once owned two thousand acres on the near West Side. He founded Greenwood Cemetery in 1909. Clip is from the March 28, 1909 Star-Telegram.

bailey comboIn 1917 William J. Bailey bought Mount Olivet Cemetery. But he is buried in the cemetery he founded in 1909.

crowder 45 CDRay Crowder operated a funeral home and ambulance service on 5th Avenue . . .

grand reeves-walkerand then on Hemphill Street in the 1908 Reeves-Walker house.

crowder combo 1-3-75 dmnRay Crowder died in 1975. He is buried in Bailey’s Greenwood Cemetery.

baker james nathanJames Nathan Baker in 1926 opened a funeral home south of the “downtown” of Fort Worth’s African-American community. He is buried in New Trinity Cemetery, which he bought in 1947.

harveson sloan 11-24-14 stQuincy Adams Harveson and embalmer Samuel Sloan opened Sloan & Harveson in 1911. That undertaking company evolved into Harveson & Cole. For a while the funeral home was on the ground floor of the Masonic lodge building (still standing) on Magnolia Avenue. Clips are from the 1916, 1941, and 1968 city directories.

harveson comboQuincy Adams Harveson is buried in Greenwood.

thompson comboGuy Thompson joined Harveson & Cole in 1948. When Thompson died in 2010 at age ninety he was Fort Worth’s oldest working funeral director. During sixty years he buried more than twenty-five thousand people, including his parents, Amon Carter Jr., and J. Frank Norris.

The business is now Thompson’s Harveson & Cole Funeral Home.

Guy Thompson is buried in Greenwood.

owens 10-27-67 dmnR. D. Owens (1892-1967) cofounded Owens & Brumley funeral home in 1922. As we have seen, funeral homes are often subject to mergers and are owned by several generations of one or more families. And so it is with Owens & Brumley (now Brown Owens & Brumley), which traces its beginning to George Gause.

R. D. Owens is buried in Laurel Land. Clip is from the October 27, 1967 Dallas Morning News.

cheek comboThe Cheek monument company has been in business since Fred Cheek founded it in 1928. Fred Cheek is buried in Greenwood.

gwozdz graveDr. Feliks Gwozdz for many years was Tarrant County medical examiner, performing autopsies in both low-profile deaths and high-profile deaths (including those in the Cullen Davis murder case). Gwozdz, born in Poland, survived a Nazi concentration camp in World War II. He was director of music at Fort Worth’s St. Andrew Catholic Church. He is buried in Greenwood. Note the caduceus and musical staff denoting his profession and his passion.

Son Eugene, himself a musician, said the notes on the staff are the first four notes of the motet “Oh, How Blessed,” which Dr. Gwozdz often performed with the St. Andrew Catholic Church choir.

dead south side 1940 Evans“And who,” you ask, “is buried in South Side Cemetery?” Hah! You can’t fool me. That’s a trick question. There is no South Side Cemetery. Never was. But a 1940 city map (detail from Pete Charlton’s “1000+ Lost Antique Maps of Texas & the Southwest on DVD-ROM”) shows, just northeast of Echo Lake, a large tract along Berry Street on both sides of Riverside Drive (then outside the city limits) “reserved” for a “South Side Cemetery.” There is no such designation on 1939 and 1943 maps, and I find no such business listing in city directories. However, that area would later be home to Elliot Lake, Ward Plaza, Town Plaza, a tourist court, a municipal solid-waste incinerator, and a small amusement park where a monkey smoked cigarettes. And they are all dead.

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