|Favor Jennings and Edwin
(1938) Packard Hearse
Jennings and Ayers Funeral Home, established in 1880 in the
Greenvale community of Wilson County, Tennessee, was the brain-child of J.F.
Jennings, Sr. Later, J. Favor Jennings, Jr. and Edgar F. Ayers
became partners and moved the business to the Lascassas and
Cainsville communities. The time was during an era when funeral
services were conducted in churches, homes or even under a shade
Edwin Ayers was born in May 1912,
the son of Edgar Freas Ayers and Ella Mai Pearcy Ayers and
literally grew up in the business. Even as a youngster he helped
his father and his uncle selling miscellaneous items and groceries
from a peddling wagon. Edwin also worked in what was a general
store and funeral facility located in Cainsville near the
Rutherford and Wilson County border.
Edwin knew from these
early years exactly what he would do professionally. After
graduation from Lascassas High School he enrolled in Gupton-Jones
Mortuary Science School, in Nashville, Tennessee. He later
graduated in 1935. In 1936 Edwin purchased his father's share in
the funeral home and moved the operation to
The business was housed in two
other locations before being permanently situated at 820 South
Church Street, its present site. The former homes, one across the
street from St. Paul's Episcopal Church on East Main Street and
another next door to the Murfreesboro Woman's Club on East College
Street are no longer standing. In 1961, Mr. Favor Jennings died.
After Mr. Favor Jennings died, Edwin bought the beautiful
antebellum home of the Ledbetter family and remodeled to
accommodate an attractive facility with an abundance of parking
space for the future of the business. Edwin Ayers continued to work
and manage the business until his retirement in 1999. Edwin Ayers
died on September 6, 2001.
Mr. Edwin Ayers and his
wife, Blanche Knight Ayers had three children, Eleanor Ayers
Teasley, Edwin Jr. and Donald K. Ayers. Donald K. Ayers and Edwin
F. Ayers Jr. have been working in the business for over 40 years.
Edwin and Blanche have five grandchildren. All of their
grandchildren, George William Haynes III (Chip), Chadwick Ayers
Haynes, Donald K. Ayers Jr., Edwina Ayers, and Amy Ayers are
currently working at Jennings & Ayers.
The hearse pictured above is the only originally family
owned hearse in Rutherford County. This carriage was last used to
carry Edwin Ayers' mother to the cemetery in 1915.