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Gadsden Funeral Home records

 Collection
Identifier: AMN 1137

Collection Overview

The Gadsden Funeral Home records consist of three series documenting the history of the Gadsden/Duncan family, the Gadsden Funeral Home, and numerous affiliations. The bulk of the collection consists of records associated with the Gadsden Funeral Home, which detail the deceased, customers, funeral expenses, licenses and certificates. The collection is also comprised of detailed family history, organizational pamphlets and brochures, and a host of photographic material.

Series 1.Family History (1902-2006, undated) contains three subseries detailing the biographical history, educational material, and photographs of the family. This series includes a comprehensive historical sketch of the family beginning with the patriarchs, Eugene Gadsden and his adopted son Eugene Duncan who respectively founded and established the Gadsden Funeral Home.

2.Gadsden Funeral Home Material (1908-2003, undated) documents the business of the Eugene Gadsden Company, later to incorporated as the Gadsden Funeral Home. This section includes account books, bound and unbound ledgers detailing funeral and related expenses, and numerous certifications and licenses. The unbound ledgers are organized chronologically and separated by calendar year.

3.Affiliations (1892-2006, undated) contain a variety of material related to businesses and organizations associated with members of the family. Among this material includes information regarding the black owned bank Peoples Federation Bank and the Reserve Fellowship Society.

Dates

  • 1892-2010
  • Majority of material found within 1921-1986

Creator

Access Restrictions

Some bound ledgers require use of copies made for researchers.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the Avery Research Center's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Avery Research Center claims only physical ownership of most archival materials. The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Historical Note

The Gadsden Funeral Home was founded in 1902 as the Eugene Gadsden Company serving as one of the first funeral homes for African Americans in Charleston. The founder, Eugene Gadsden (1866-1928), was born to July and Maud Gadsden and later married Angeline Gadsden. The union produced no biological children, however they adopted their only son Eugene Duncan (1905-1964) who would assume the family business upon his father’s death in 1928. Duncan, an alumnus of Voorhees Technical Institute and Renouard Training School for Embalmers, officially incorporated the business as the Gadsden Funeral Home in 1930 along with his wife Vivian Austin Duncan. The Gadsden Funeral Home was operated and passed down through the family for over a century until it closed in 2005. The list of directors and their tenure with the Gadsden Funeral Home is as follows:

Eugene Gadsden, 1902-1928 Eugene Duncan, 1928-1969 Vivian Duncan, 1969-1979 Lewis Duncan, 1979-1990 Herman D. Singleton, II (director), 199-1993 Sam Halls, 1990-2001 Eugenia Duncan Johnson (sole owner), 1990-2005

Extent

5.0 linear feet (3 legal size archival boxes, 2 oversize material archival boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

The Gadsden Funeral Home was founded in 1902 by Eugene Gadsden (1866-1928) as the Eugene Gadsden Company. It was one of the first funeral homes for African Americans in Charleston. The Gadsden Funeral Home was operated and passed down through the family for over a century until it closed in 2005.

The Gadsden Funeral Home records consist of three series documenting the history of the Gadsden/Duncan family, the Gadsden Funeral Home, and numerous affiliations. The collection consists of records associated with the Gadsden Funeral Home, detailed family history, organizational pamphlets and brochures, and a host of photographic material.

Collection Arrangement

Series 1. Family History, 1902-2006, undated

Series 2. Gadsden Funeral Home Material, 1908-2003, undated

Series 3. Affiliations, 1892-2006, undated

Processing Information

Processed by Daron Lee Calhoun II, September 2014

Edited by Aaron Spelbring, November 2014

Encoded by Aaron Spelbring, November 2014

Title
Inventory of the Gadsden Funeral Home Records, 1902-2006 AMN 1137
Status
Completed
Author
Finding aid prepared by Daron L. Calhoun, II and Aaron Spelbring
Description rules
DACS
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English

Repository Details

Part of the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture Repository

Contact:
125 Bull Street
Charleston South Carolina 29424 United States
843-953-7608