Davenport & Harris Funeral Home

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Davenport & Harris Funeral Home is a family-owned undertaking and funeral services business located at 301 Martin Luther King Jr Drive. It was founded in the mid-1890s by Charles Harris, who operated it from his general store on 22nd Street and 3rd Avenue North. With his sister, Hattie Davenport, Harris closed the store and began operating at Davenport & Harris. Charles Harris founded the Protective Industrial Insurance Company (PIICO) in 1923. Davenport and her children sold their share of the funeral home business back to her brother in 1924.

Harris died in 1938 and Davenport & Harris Funeral Home, Inc. was formally incorporated that same year. Charles' son, Walter Harris, an attorney in Cincinnati, Ohio, became president of the company, traveling frequently between Ohio and Alabama. His brother, Charles Jr took over after Walter's death in 1945, and also commuted to tend to his medical patients in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He stepped down in 1946, turning the business over to their mother, Mattie Harris, who held the office until her death in 1955. Her youngest son, Virgil succeeded her. William Sterling oversaw the business as general manager, a position he held from 1938 until his death in 1972.

Virgil was assisted by his wife, Wilma "Billie" Harris. They moved the business offices to their present location on November 1, 1978. Virgil Harris designed the building, and Angi Proctor created the interiors. His son, Paul succeeded him as president in 1988 and retired in 1995. James Harrison stepped in as president until 2005, when Carol Mitchell, Virgil's daughter, took over. She served for one year before passing the job over to Marion Sterling.

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