Stevens Funeral Home began as part of the hardware store founded by Mr. & Mrs. J. E. Stevens, who moved to Coleman in 1889 from DeLeon, Texas. The Stevens boys - Will, Tom, and Frank - worked with their father in the store. The youngest son, Frank, decided to become a mortician and went to school. In 1907 he returned to start the funeral business. A room was fixed on the second floor of the hardware store for the caskets and necessary equipment.
Frank and his friend, Bob Gardner, worked together in this new venture. Wooden caskets (then called coffins) were stocked unfinished and were trimmed as needed. At the time of a death, a special table known as a "cooling board" was carried to the home. The body was prepared in the home and placed in the coffin. Most funeral services were held in the home. Horse-drawn hearses were used to carry the body to the cemetery.
In 1924, a brick building was built south of the hardware store adjoining the main building. Approximately half of the East side of the new building served the funeral business. By this time, the horse-drawn hearse had been discarded. A fireproof space to house the funeral coach was built on the northeast end of the new building. A preparation and casket display room with a small room for viewing the body after preparation was included. Services were still held in the home or church.
In 1924, Mr. J. B. Hough, better known as "Uncle Bun" became associated with the business as a mortician. He was much loved by all who knew him and remained with Stevens Funeral Home until his death in 1945. He was well known for his practice of taking new mothers and babies home from the hospital in the ambulance free of charge.
In 1932, a brick building was constructed on the West side of the hardware store with the front opening on Concho Street. This was built exclusively as a funeral home building and included a large chapel. In 1934, Joe Stevens, son of Will Stevens, went to mortuary school. Upon his return, he assisted "Uncle Bun" at the funeral home, while also continuing to work in the hardware store. Upon Mr. Hough's death, Joe became funeral director-in-charge.
In 1956, because of the serious parking problem downtown, a new funeral home was built at 400 W. Pecan Street. The brick building was constructed with a beautiful chapel, along with all-necessary rooms, and offices. The business was incorporated and known as Stevens Funeral Home, Inc. In 1958, Mike Wright purchased a funeral home in Brownwood and sold his funeral home in Coleman to Stevens Funeral Home. Thus, the two funeral homes merged.
In 1976, Joe Stevens died suddenly, but the family continued to operate the business. Lana Kading became co-owner in 1985 and sole owner and funeral director in charge in 1991.
As you can see, there are many lifetimes of dedicated service to the families of Coleman and Coleman County by Stevens Funeral Home. Stevens Funeral Home is more than buildings and cars; the people that serve are the backbone of our continued progress and prosperity.