Sixty-five years ago today and tomorrow, Callaway-Jones Funeral Home, Inc. opened its doors at 2001 S. College Avenue in Bryan. It was located “across from the Country Club,” which is exactly what used to be located there. Family living quarters occupied the second floor. Notice the mailbox on the curb, so conveniently located. You saw those everywhere, and mail was retrieved from them every day.
My great-grandfather was Manley Jones, Sr., and his wife was Homer Lacy Callaway. Homer had helped her father, who’d opened the family’s first funeral home in Crockett (Houston county) before 1904. They’d relocated to Bryan in January 1954, and six months later, their new funeral home was opened.
In time, a stately red Roman brick building was our new home, of 5,000 sq. ft. with a chapel, two reception rooms, family room, display room and arrangements office.
We were always building to meet the needs of our growing community. You’ll notice we still have the same basic phone number today, with just a few more digits: (979) 822-3717. Before all you had to do was dial 3717! You can tell just how much we’ve grown by the phone number.
We ran our opening ad in The Eagle at that time, and then other businesses ran ads, congratulating us on our new building.
Sometimes they didn’t always spell our name correctly but that’s okay we only had 4 digits in our phone number and that’s never changed!
And it describes our ambulance that is “capable of traveling 130 miles per hour.” I’m not sure which of my family members would have pointed that out to the reporter, or how they even might have known its maximum speed, but I also know not to question my ancestors.
We also ran an ambulance service in the early days. Our fleet included an “air-conditioned” Cadillac Meteor to “carry the patient in luxurious comfort across the city or across the country.” At the time that car (valued at more than $10,000) was only one of three such vehicles in Texas.
The Callaway-Jones family was asked to help as Bryan police investigated a high-profile murder case in the 1960s. And when tragedy struck our community in the Texas A&M bonfire stack collapse, the Jones Aggie family helped families deal with the tragedy.
Three years ago, Chelsea, Lorene and I opened this new funeral & cremation center on the same land site because we believe strongly in our roots here. Just recently we debuted our newest Platinum Phoenix-C Cadillac Funeral Coach to serve our families, the same model that transferred President Bush during services in Washington, DC.
My father and grandfather always assured our individual and family clients would have the very best in every aspect of our caring for them. I think they’d be pleased to see our funeral center with its warm, welcoming feel and sunlight streaming through every window.
This is an ad we ran in The Eagle in 1977. Notice we had two more digits in our phone number! Then, as now, we are always honor policies when you want to transfer those to our care. You can count on us.
We’re proud to have been here for 65 years, and our family is here to stay. Although large corporations may come and go, you’re always with family when you’re in our home, still in the heart of Bryan on College Avenue, one block past Villa Maria.
As we continue our personal one-to-one relationship with each of you, Callaway-Jones Funeral & Cremation Centers are proud to serve the Brazos Valley, and to be located in the heart of Bryan for 65 years! Here’s to the next 65 as the Bryan-College Station area grows stronger ever day.