1927In 1927, Jackson & Highley Funeral Home, Inc. was founded by Charlie James Jackson, also known as “Mr. Fred” and his partner Clark Highley. They were successful farmers in the Phillips County area following a dream to enter the funeral industry. Neither of them had any experience in funeral services but stepped out on blind faith and opened the first black funeral business in the area. At that time, this was one of the few professions open to black men. They combined their last names and named the business Jackson – Highley Funeral Home. Mr. Jackson’s daughter Frank Ella Jackson Jordan pursued her interest in the family business and received her formal training at the Gupton-Jones School of Embalming in Nashville, Tennessee.
1929After graduating in 1929, She returned to West Helena, Arkansas to operate the business for the two men. Neither man ever truly worked in the funeral business for their love was farming. Mr. Highley died first leaving the operation to the Jackson family. To this day the business continues to operate under their last names.
1933Although Frank Ella Jackson Jordan has always been apart of the family business, in later years Mr. Jackson retired from the business giving total control to her and her husband, Mr. D.W. Jordan. Mrs. Jordan was a licensed Mortician and Funeral Director in the State of Arkansas. Mr. Jordan was a carpenter by trade but obtained Arkansas Funeral Director licenses to work within the family business. To their union, they had three sons; DeWitt, Frank, and Calvin.
DeWitt had no interest in the family business. He was an accomplished artist depicting scenes from the south. However, Frank attended college at Tennessee State University, Nashville Tennessee and Cincinnati College of Embalming, Cincinnati Ohio receiving a Mortuary Science Degree returning to West Helena to work in the family business. Frank later decided to pursue his ambitions and open Jordan Funeral Home in Helena, Arkansas. It later burned. Calvin on the other hand wanted to be a doctor but his paths led him in another direction. He graduated from Central State College, Wilberforce Ohio and Cincinnati College of Embalming, Cincinnati Ohio where he also received a Mortuary Science Degree and returned to West Helena, Arkansas to work with the family. Calvin was the first black to hold national mortician licenses in the State of Arkansas. Along with his national licenses, he held Arkansas Funeral Director and Embalming Licenses. Both Frank and Calvin were masters of their skill.
Overcame many of Life’s ObstaclesMrs. Jordan who was legally blind, overcame many of life’s obstacles. She didn’t allow the lack of sight to hinder her from servicing the community with compassion. Even after the death of her husband and sons, she maintained the business with such dignity and grace. Mrs. Jordan work ethic was impeccable. She went to the office six days a week, eight hours of the day leaving no indications of retiring. Mrs. Jordan health began to deteriorate in early 2000 opening the doors for the fourth generation to continue the legacy established by the two men – Jackson & Highley. In 1999, Mrs. Jordan requested her grandson, Calvin, Jr. to return to Arkansas to take over the daily operations of the business. At that time Calvin, Jr. was a licensed Funeral Director and Mortician in the States of Arkansas, Mississippi, Illinois, and Tennessee. Later he was licensed in the State of Arizona. Like his dad, Calvin, Jr. also holds National Licenses. Calvin, Jr. received his formal training at Northwest Community College, Senatobia Mississippi and Everett School of Nursing, Phoenix Arizona where he received licensure as a Registered Nurse.
New GenerationBy the end of 2000, Genia transitioned from the United States Air Force to join her brother, Calvin Jr. in the family business. Having no experience in the funeral industry, she accepted the challenge and pursued formal training. Genia graduated from St. Leo University, St. Leo Florida with a BAA in Human Resource Administration and Northwest Community College, Senatobia Mississippi with a Funeral Service Degree. Like her father and brother, she also holds National licenses as well as an Arkansas Licensed Funeral Director and Mortician.
Calvin, Jr. and Genia honor the legacy of their great grandfather, grandparents, uncles, and father by providing continual quality service at an affordable price throughout the years and into the next generations to come.
"Compassion, Honor, Dignity, and Respect" is the cornerstone of our business and the heart of our personal creed. We were instilled daily with these attributes at an early age and now strive to imprint these values as the foundation of our business model as well.
Jackson & Highley Funeral Home is a local, family owned facility; created to provide an environment of quality, comfort, and care so that you can focus on celebrating the life of your loved ones.
The funeral process does not have to be one of stress, anxiety, or high expense; as all of our burial and cremation options are affordable and of high value.
While “Compassion, Honor, Dignity and Respect” remains our personal standard, We believe families also deserve affordability and the professional value of our provided services.
It is our goal to honor the traditions of yesterday, while helping you create the traditions of tomorrow. We hope to provide you the opportunity not only to celebrate the life of your loved ones but to also help you give thanks for all the good that they brought to your life and to the lives of those around them. The best possible care and service is here at Jackson & Highley for you.
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