In 1888, Mr. W. A. Murray gave up the profession of school teaching and came to the small sawmill town of Ashburn. His business ventures included grocery, hardware, and dry goods stores. He also owned a barber shop, livery stable, café, farm, and Ashburn's first funeral home.
Initially, the funeral home sold only caskets and gave very little in the way of professional services and no embalming was offered. About 1890, Mr. Murray purchased a horse drawn hearse for the funeral home and began to offer services to the families of Ashburn and Turner County.
In 1901, Mr. Murray employed his nephew, Clyde Z. Harden of Conyers, GA to work in the dry goods store and manage the funeral home. In 1908, Mr. Harden attended Southern Embalming College in Augusta, GA. Upon graduation, he was awarded his embalmer's license, making him one of the youngest and first licensed embalmers in the state of Georgia. He returned to Ashburn to work at the funeral home and practice the art of embalming along with increased professional services in the planning and direction of funerals. Mr. Harden purchased Mr. Murray's interest in the funeral home in the 1930's.
Mr. Harden served in the Georgia State Legislature from 1930-1950 and served as State President of the Georgia Funeral Director's Association in 1935.
In 1932, Mr. Harden's nephew, Charles V. Perry began assisting with embalming and funerals and managed the funeral home for Mr. Harden during his absences while serving in the Georgia Legislature.
Mr. Perry attended the John A. Gupton College of Mortuary Science, graduating in 1938 and was awarded his state license in 1939.
In 1951, Harden Funeral Home moved into a beautiful new building at 301 McLendon St. that was especially designed and built for a funeral home. Mr. Harden lived to enjoy this new building until his death in 1953.
In 1955, Charles V. Perry was one of the founders and served as the 2nd Vice President of the Academy of Graduate Embalmers of Georgia, now the largest funeral service organization in Georgia. Mr. Perry's sons, Charles B. Perry served as President of the Academy in 1979-80 and Edgar F. Perry served as President in 1996-97.
In 1957, Charles V. Perry purchased the funeral home from Mr. Harden's widow and the name was changed to the Charles V. Perry Funeral Chapel.
In 1964, Mr. Perry's oldest son, Charles B. Perry, following his graduation from the University of Minnesota and receiving his embalmer's and funeral director's license joined his father as a full time employee. In 1967, Mr. Perry's middle son, H. Paul Perry joined the staff as a licensed funeral director upon his graduation from Southern Business College.
In 1971, Charles V. Perry, Charles B. Perry and H. Paul Perry incorporated Perry Funeral Chapel. That same year, a major remodeling project was implemented increasing the size of the funeral home by almost one-third along with major renovations to the remaining building.
In 1977, Mr. Perry's youngest son, Edgar F. Perry joined the staff of Perry Funeral Chapel, Inc., later attending Gupton Jones College of Mortuary Science and recieving his embalmer's and funeral director's license.
Charles V. Perry died in 1988, 100 years after the founding of the funeral home now known as Perry Funeral Chapel, Inc.
In 2002 & 2003, Perry Funeral Chapel, Inc. embarked on several major remodeling projects enlarging the present facility to better serve the residents of Ashburn & Turner County.
The present owners, Charles B., H. Paul, and Edgar F. Perry are all actively involved in numerous funeral service organizations, political, church, & community activities and are dedicated to improving the quality of life in Ashburn, Turner County, and all of southwest Georgia.
What is now known as Perry Funeral Chapel, Inc. is one of the oldest family owned and operated businesses in Turner County. We are proud of our history and proud to serve our community with dignity, respect, and an acute sense of propriety.
TOP / HOME / BACK
McLENDON AT MURRAY AVENUE, P O BOX 687, ASHBURN, GEORGIA 31714-0687