Fort Worth’s Oldest and First Funeral Home - Since 1879

Our History

The following is a brief history of how we became who we are today. The late George L. Gause created the first funeral home in the frontier town of Fort Worth in 1879. Through five generations, he and his descendants served the families of Fort Worth in their time of need. In a tragic event, the funeral home at Pennsylvania Avenue and 5th Street burned to the ground in 1979.

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In addition, within weeks of the tragic fire, Morton Gause Ware, great-grandson and leader of the funeral home, passed away. During this difficult time for the Ware family, Mrs. Morton Gause Ware (Dolly) led her family to overcome their hardships and continue their family business by purchasing their competitor Owens & Brumley Funeral Home located two blocks north from their former funeral home location

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Owens & Brumley Funeral Home and Ambulance Service had been serving families since their beginning in 1922 by their late founder R. D. Owens.

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Less than ten years after acquiring Owens & Brumley Funeral Home, the Ware children decided to explore their own different careers. Their desire was to find someone to carry on the business that would be as passionate about funeral service as their late father. In 1988, Joe B. Brown funeral director/embalmer who had a history of serving families in the Fort Worth area met with the late attorney Robert G. (Bob) Ware, the great-great grandson of the founder. Mr. Brown along with his family purchased the building, name, and assets of Gause-Ware Owens & Brumley Funeral Home. This acquisition created the longest name in our area for a funeral home, (Brown Gause-Ware Owens & Brumley Funeral Directors).

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In 1956, Joe B. Brown moved to Fort Worth where he began working as a funeral director/embalmer for Harveson & Cole Funeral Home. Because Joe was very active in the community and served in several civic and Masonic organizations, the late Mr. E.C. Harper Jr. (a stockholder of Robertson-Muller-Harper Funeral Home), approached Mr. Brown and hired him to join their firm as their personnel director. The Harper family later expanded their business by purchasing Ray Crowder Funeral Home, which they asked Mr. Brown to manage. Through the funeral home and his many contacts, Joe created the Ray Crowder Ambulance Service, which was contracted by the City of Fort Worth.

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In May of 1974, Mr. Brown was given an opportunity of a lifetime. Being a successful funeral home manager, he was given the chance to own his own business in Fort Worth. Meissner Funeral Home in the Polytechnic area, on the corner of Nashville Street and Avenue B (founded in 1933), became available. Joe B. Brown along with his wife, Alma Brown, and their son, Monte Joe Brown, purchased the business and changed the name to
Meissner-Brown Funeral Home & Ambulance Service of Fort Worth.

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While being successful in both the funeral industry and ambulance service, Joe B. Brown became very active in the Texas Ambulance Association. This eventually led him to run the emergency ambulance service for the following cities: Hurst, Euless, Colleyville, Keller, Watauga, Haltom City, Saginaw, Haslet, Blue Mound, River Oaks, Burleson, Cleburne and all of Johnson County. The ambulance company Meissner-Brown, was sold in the mid 80s to Texas Lifeline,
known today as Med Star.

After fourteen years of family service, the opportunity to move the funeral home business out of its eastside Poly location and into the heart of Fort Worth’s Medical District became a reality. The former Owens & Brumley Funeral Home building became available and Brown Gause-Ware Owens & Brumley Funeral Directors was created on September 7, 1988. Twelve short years later at today’s present location, the Brown family experienced their own loss. In the summer of 2000, Joe B. Brown unexpectedly died while doing what he loved best; directing a funeral for a dear friend.

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Joe B. Brown left his legacy to his wife and high school sweetheart, Alma L. Brown, of 51 years and their two children, Martha Brown LaFerney and Monte Joe Brown. Monte had worked with his father since their beginning in 1974. Raised in real life situations of life and death, both as an EMT/paramedic and a licensed funeral director/embalmer, Monte gained the knowledge and compassion needed to serve families during their time of loss. Monte is past president of the North Texas Funeral Directors Association and leads the family–owned business along with his mother, Alma, and son, Jacob Paul Brown.

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In conclusion, Brown Owens & Brumley Funeral Directors is a combination of three time-honored Fort Worth funeral home establishments: Meissner-Brown Funeral Home (founded in 1933), Gause-Ware Funeral Home (founded in 1879), and Owens & Brumley Funeral Home (founded in 1922 and current location). Just as our history is unique, so is our staff and the kind and compassionate way they handle each family we serve. If you have any questions, please contact one of our experienced staff and they will do their best to assist you.