Located on Highway 76 in the middle of White House, Austin & Bell Funeral Home has been a staple of the White House community for many years.
Before the first postage stamp came into being or the first locomotive whistle was heard in Robertson County; Marion Henry had started a company that would remain a family business for over 170 years — making it the oldest family funeral home in the state of Tennessee.
“Since 1842, my family has been providing sincere and compassionate services to families in their greatest times of need,” owner Robert H. Bell said about the family owned business. “To us, funeral service is not a job, but ‘a way of life’.”
Marion Henry was a cabinet maker by trade. In those days the cabinet shops also made caskets and buried the dead. Henry’s shop opened in 1842 in Turnersville, a small community in western Robertson County that was a trade center on the stage coach line from Nashville to Hopkinsville, Ky.
In 1900, W. T. Henry sold his interest in the firm to Frank Bell, brother-in-law of Joe Henry and in 1913 they moved into their first new building on Main Street, a three story structure of some 35,000 square feet. This building was equipped with the first electric elevator in the county.
In 1919, Frank Bell sold his interest to Robert Henry Bell, grandson of the founder and nephew of Joe Henry, his partner. Bell had recently returned from World War I.
Henry & Bell was 100 years old in 1942 when the firm merged with Austin & James Funeral Home and became known as Associated Funeral Home before finally taking the name Austin & Bell Funeral Home.
“We are proud to be family owned and operated,” Bell said about being part of one of the longest standing family-owned and operated businesses in the state of Tennessee.
Austin & Bell take pride in the company’s ability to give a caring and respectful service to families in many different varieties of service.
“We have dedicated ourselves to providing caring and respectful services to the families who call upon us,” Bell said. “We are a full service funeral home providing traditional services, cremation services, pre-arrangement plans, and quality cemetery monuments.”
After starting with a single location that ended up in Springfield, Austin & Bell has been able to open up three more locations, including the one in White House.
“In order to better serve our families with convenience, we have locations in four communities: Springfield, Pleasant View, Greenbrier, and White House,” Bell said. “Our dedicated staff is always willing to answer any questions you may have. We abide by our motto ‘Putting Families First’.”
Austin & Bell Funeral Home can be found at 533 Highway 76 right in the heart of White House and can be contacted at (615) 672-5000 for any funeral service needs.