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 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 at 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 80’s to Texas Lifeline, known today as Med Star.

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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; working at a funeral for a dear friend.

Joe B. Brown left his legacy to his wife and high school sweetheart, Alma L. Brown of 51 years, their daughter, Martha Brown LaFerney and Monte Joe Brown who had worked with his father since Meissner Brown Funeral Home opened 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.

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In February 2003, the Brown Family created a licensed commercial embalming establishment to assist other funeral home establishments in the professional removal transportation, embalming and delivery locally and out of state. This was made possible due to the funeral home having a second embalming room facility and a place for a separate office.

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In September 2007, we opened our crematory with the installation of our retort which has the capacity to cremate up to an 850 pound person. In addition, we also added a new I.D. viewing/witness cremation room next to our crematory for families who ask for I.D. viewings.

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In the summer of 2012 the Brown Family suffered another loss when their beloved matriarch, Alma Brown passed away.

Alma Lillian Brown passed away peacefully surrounded by her family Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012, at the age of 79. Celebration of life: 11 a.m. Saturday in Brown, Owens & Brumley’s Joe B. Brown Memorial Chapel with Dr. Bill Ramsey officiating. Interment: Alma will be laid to rest in a private service next to her beloved husband of 51 years, Joe B. Brown, in Perrin Cemetery with Dr. J.H. Ramsey Jr. officiating. Alma was born May 21, 1933, to the late Frank and Vada Woodell in Estelline. She attended Mineral Wells High School, where she met and fell in love with Joe who was the love of her life. He was the captain of the football team and she was a majorette. Alma and Joe were married June 21, 1949, and began their journey of life in Mineral Wells. Alma began her working career with First Baptist Church of Mineral Wells, The Baker Hotel and Ed Lee’s Chevrolet Dealer of Mineral Wells. Alma and Joe moved to Fort Worth in 1956 and Alma became a bookkeeper for Bill McDavid Pontiac where she worked for many years. Alma was given the position of office manager for David McDavid Auto Dealership in Weatherford. On May 3, 1974, Joe and Alma purchased their first family-owned funeral home, Meissner-Brown in the Polytechnic area. In 1988 Joe and Alma were able to expand their business with the acquisition of the oldest funeral home in Fort Worth, Gause-Ware Owens & Brumley Funeral Home. Alma was a member of The Woman’s Club, Ladies of El Texa Grotto, Ladies Oriental Shrine-Nyanca Court #34 where she was high priestess from 1995 to 1996, South Side Lady Lions Club, Celebrity Chapter, American Business Women’s Association, Ridglea Chapter #999, Order of Eastern Star and Ladies Without Shriners. The family would like to express their deepest gratitude to the doctors, nurses and specialists that compassionately cared for Alma during her time of need. Survivors: Daughter, Martha Jo LaFerney and husband, Ron, of Richardson; son, Monte Joe Brown and wife, Christine, of Keller; grandson, Carl LaFerney; grandson, Jacob Brown; granddaughter, Tori Brown; sister, Eva Liles; sister, Helen Todd and husband, Marvin; brother-in-law, Mack Brown and wife, Merla; numerous nieces and nephews; and many friends.

In 2019, we added a classic funeral coach and a matching limousine and also received approval for our cremation expansion which includes an additional retort along with the additional office space, viewing/witness room and a state of the art three station embalming center.

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Monte Joe Brown is past president (2003-2004) of the North Texas Funeral Directors Association. On March 15, 2018, Monte was awarded the annual award of Funeral Director of the Year at the Spring NTFDA meeting in Dallas, Texas.

Monte leads the family–owned business along with his wife, Chris, son, Jake and daughter, Tori.

For over 45 years, Monte and his, wife Chris Brown have honored the traditions established by the funeral home’s predecessors, providing meaningful services and trusted cremation options with exceptional attention to detail. Brown, Owens & Brumley Family Funeral Home & Crematory is proud to call the Fort Worth and Tarrant County area “home” and strives to meet the ever changing needs of our growing community.