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History

Our Beginnings

I n 1910 two Denton residents W. W. Russell and B. I. Harrison founded Piedmont Furniture Company selling furniture and "Undertaking Supplies". They changed the Name around 1917 to Rex Furniture and Undertaking because a company in Lexington, the county seat, was using the name Piedmont. In 1919  the company was sold to Carl A. Hoover. W. W. Russell then established a funeral business in Thomasville that after several changes in ownership is still in operation today. Mr. Hoover attended Brown’s School of Embalming in Raleigh to learn the trade of embalming. Over the next 28 years, until his death in 1947, Carl Hoover served the community as a highly respected funeral director, embalmer, retail merchant and public servant. Carl’s son, Charles C. Hoover graduated from Cincinnati School of Embalming in 1929 and joined a distant cousin in a funeral business in Asheboro, later acquiring complete ownership. He sold that business in 1936 and returned to Denton and entered a partnership with his father to operate Rex Furniture Company and Hoover Funeral Home. In 1937 they purchased a residence on Salisbury Street that had been constructed in 1915 by J. O. Garner. They build a brick building beside the residence to house Rex Furniture and moved the funeral business to the remodeled residence. Charles Hoover died in 1968 and his widow, Ruth Jarrell Hoover sold the business in 1970 to Mark Lanier and Jack Briggs, who had both started in the business working for Charles as summer jobs. Through many expansions, the businesses continue today in the same locations and may be the only remaining company in North Carolina that operates as a funeral home and furniture store. Jack Briggs and his wife, Joan Carroll Briggs became the sole owners of the business in 1980. In 1973 Briggs & Lanier purchased the Candor Funeral Home in Candor, North Carolina from Ronald Franklin, the grandson of the founder, Rufus H. Lassiter. Mr. Lassiter along with a brother had gone to Candor in 1920 from Randolph County and opened a furniture store and funeral parlor. He later constructed a building for the funeral home operation. This building was rented from Mr. Franklin until 1988 when the Briggs family purchased 3.39 acres from the town of Candor and built a new building next to the new Highway # 220 bypass. In 2003 an expansion was done to this facility. In 1980 Jack Briggs opened a third location of Briggs Funeral Home in Troy, North Carolina in the Hurley residence on W. Main Street. They continue to operate this location. In 2010 the company celebrated it's 100th anniversary. Several local newspapers published stories about the firm and the Briggs Family.





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