In 1912 Mr. Webb bought the Wagner Undertaking company, it had been started in 1869 by Col. A.B. Wagner. The funeral home was located at 811 22cnd Avenue when Mr. Webb bought the business. After purchasing the business Mr. Webb moved the funeral home to 7th Street and 24th Avenue.
After working at that location Mr. Webb moved the business to a location on 6th Street and 21st Avenue in 1920. In that year the great cyclone of 1920 hit the southern part of Meridian killing 15 residents and injuring 81 other.
After Mr. Webbs untimely death in 1933, his wife Laverne took over operating and running the business with Mr. Louis Boyd (a loyal funeral director) until her son, J. Cliff Watts was able to take control in the late 1930's.
Mr. Watts brought the funeral home into the modern times by updating and modernizing the facilities in 1940 (bricking and updating parlors/chapel) and by starting Greater Mississippi Burial Association (the early days of preplanning).
Upon his death in 1975 his son, Brian "Spike" Watts became General Manager of a funeral business that consisted of 3 locations (Meridian, Newton, Dekalb) and a monument company.
We are proud to have been able to bring the Watts family back into the fold with Spike Watts. I have been able to use his past experience as a sounding board for my ideas. We are the only funeral home in our city that has a location downtown, which is important to our downtown growth (which is getting a boost from the state) and helping to rebuild our downtown community. We are also the the only location in our city that is in the southern part of the city (all other locations are north) which allows us a unique advantage on serving families in our county to the south of us.
The staff of James F. Webb and I want to thank the community for allowing us to serve you over these 150 years. Thank you for your continued support - here is to 150 more years to come!
- Managing Funeral Director, Joe Tew