Dudley Funeral Home, LLC is a family owned and operated business serving middle Georgia.
Founded as C. D. Dudley & Son, Funeral Directors, in 1922, the funeral home is now in its fourth generation of its service tradition and offers a full range of services including memorials, cremation, and traditional funeral and final rites for all faiths.
Dudley Memorial Cemetery is a 30 acre landscape in the northeast section of Dublin, Georgia, and is the final resting place of choice for many families in the area. Originally chartered in 1934, the cemetery has available spaces for those who desire a tranquil park setting surrounded by established neighborhoods. The cemetery is conveniently located near many of the downtown churches.
The Dudley History...In Celebration of Life℠
Clayton D. Dudley and his wife, Katie Dudley, originally from Cordele, Georgia, came to Dublin, along w their two children, Josephine and Herbert “Hub”, in the late 1800s. Katie Dudley, for which Katie Dudley Village, the first housing project for African Americans in Dublin, was named, was also a teacher and educator. One of their original businesses (circa 1900) was C D. Dudley & Sons, General Merchants, in Dublin, which was in the building that now houses the chapel of Dudley Funeral Home. This store offered dry goods, meats and groceries. They operated the store that was one of the first black owned businesses that served all of the community. In the 1920s, Herbert added other businesses based on the needs for services. A meat market, barber shop, café, grist mill, wood yard, saw mill, mattress factory, and truck farm were started which created a job training and employment base for many people. The marriage of Herbert, to Mayme Ford Dudley, originally from Arlington, Virginia (in the DC Metro area), added to the family.
Clayton, Katie, and their son, Herbert, founded C.D. Dudley & Son, Undertakers & Embalmers, in 1922. As the funeral home business grew to take more space in the original building, it displaced the meat market and barber shop. The barber shop was relocated to Lawrence Street, and expanded, as Thomasenor’s Beauty & Barber Shoppe in 1934, when Thomasenor Walker was born. Also in the same year, the thirty acre Dudley Memorial Cemetery, located on East Mary Street, was chartered. Another expansion in the 1930s was Laurens County Casket Company that manufactured hand crafted wood and cloth caskets that were distributed throughout Georgia. Laurens County Benevolent Association, which provided burial benefits for its members, was started during this time. Virgil R. “Rich” Walker, wrote the charter for the association. Rich, and his wife, Jennie Ford Walker, sister of Mayme Ford Dudley, also operated the funeral home acquired in Eastman, Georgia.
Laborers-Mechanics Realty & Investment Company, a banking and lending institution, was located in the west end of the East Jackson Street building. During the early 1940s, the funeral home and the casket businesses grew again to occupy the entire facility, and the current brick façade was added. The dry goods and groceries were moved to Dudley’s Amoco Service Station. The food service operations were moved to the USO (the United States Officers Club associated with the local “Naval Hospital” during World War II) which later became Dudley’s Retreat, a café and soda fountain on Truxton Street. In the late 1950s, a newly constructed Dudley’s Motel and was added for travelers’ accommodations “for discriminating Negros” as part of the culture of the segregated south prior to the Public Accommodations Act.
Over time, many people in this, and in other, communities have been a part of the extended Dudley Family. Today, Alfred Pearson, Sr., husband of Thomasenor “Tommie” Walker Pearson, and their children and the extended Dudley Family carry on this history of over 100 years of the family service tradition in Dublin...In Celebration of Life℠
Herbert Horatio Dudley
January 8, 1892 - June 4, 1965
Mr. Herbert Horatio “Hub” Dudley was born in Cordele, Georgia, in 1892. He relocated with his parents to Dublin just before the turn of the century.
He worked with his wife, Mayme Frances Ford Dudley, as partner. As a pioneer in services and commerce for the Black community, he was instrumental in enhancing access to education, developing local culture and financing others in business ventures in Georgia.
He served on the board of trustees for the AME Church’s Morris Brown College in Atlanta and funded scholarships for middle Georgia students who matriculated there, was the major sponsor for the local 4-H Club Camp in Dublin, and started Laborers-Mechanics Realty & Investment Company, the first black owned and operated bank in Dublin.
He studied law and business which led him to be the first black appointed county official in Laurens County in 1916. As such, this event led to a public protest. As the Dublin Courier-Herald reported on August 8, 1916, “Following the appointment of Herbert Dudley, a negro, as notary public by Judge Kent a few days since, a protest to revoke the appointment has been filed against the proceeding and this is to be heard on Wednesday morning at 10 o’clock by Judge Kent here. Under the law, Judge Kent had no option but to appoint the man when his application was duly presented and filled out in every particular according to law, but after the appointment has been made, then application can be made to have it revoked, this being the legal course in such a matter. Action to have the commission revoked on the ground of “bad character” has been brought, it being one of three grounds upon which application for revocation can be filed. The matter has caused a good deal of comment all over the county, especially since this is the first time that a negro has ever been appointed to such a place in Laurens County.” This was early in the record of firsts for the 24 year old Herbert Dudley in Dublin, Laurens County, and Georgia.
Since that time, Herbert Dudley has been celebrated, documented, and honored numerous times. His influence and leadership in times of change in this middle Georgia community had great impact and the legacy of benefits and services continue as history builds.