Honoring Collins Funeral Homeby Representative Bennie G. Thompson
Posted on 2013-12-12
in the house of representatives
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Mr. THOMPSON of Mississippi. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor
Collins Funeral Home, Inc. in Jackson, Mississippi. This is the funeral
service business for African-Americans which began in the 1880's. The
business was Lyman and Harvey Undertakers at the corner of Pearl and
Farish Streets. Lyman came from Vicksburg, Mississippi where he had
also started a funeral home. He and Jack Harvey sold their business to
G. F. Frazier who operated from 406 North Farish Street beginning in
1903. Records from this year forward are maintained by Collins Funeral
In the late 1880's, Malachi Collins and E.W. Hall established a funeral service business, Hall and Collins Funeral Home was in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. This was the first funeral home owned by African-Americans to service the African-American population.
In 1924, as G. F. Frazier prepared to move from Jackson to Cleveland, Ohio, he sold his business to Malachi Collins and his wife Mary A. Collins. For many years, although owned exclusively by Mr. and Mrs. Collins, the company was known as Frazier and Collins Funeral Home. The Collins Burial Insurance Company was established in 1925.
In April, 1939, Mr. and Mrs. Collins moved the business from 406 North Farish across the street to 415 North Farish Street, its present location. Mr. Collins died later that year, and Mrs. Collins, along with a dedicated staff continued to operate the business.
Clarie Collins Harvey, the only child of Mary and Malachi Collins, joined her mother in management of the business in 1950. The Frazier name was dropped and the business became known as Collins Funeral Home, Inc. Mary A. Collins remained president and CEO until her death in 1970 when her daughter assumed these responsibilities.
Since Clarie C. Harvey had no children or siblings, she developed a close relationship with some of her many cousins. Two of them joined her in the business: Ralph E. Collins in 1963, and his sister, Annette Collins Rollins in 1973. They have owned and operated the Collins Funeral Home and Insurance Companies since Mrs. Harvey's death in 1995.
Collins Insurance Company was formed to offer burial insurance to people of color in the community at a time when standard life insurance was not available. Mrs. Harvey took this service a step further by offering to Collins' patrons a funeral service for these limited amounts. In an effort to meet the needs of our changing society, Collins now offers life insurance in face amounts up to $5,000 and has continued the burial insurance allowing patrons the opportunity to upgrade. Prearrangements are also available for those who want to assure that their needs are met and to lighten the burden on loved ones.
Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in recognizing Collins Funeral Home, Inc.