The historical narrative surrounding Ward’s Funeral Home in Opelika, Alabama, reflects a rich tapestry of individuals and events that shaped its legacy.
Constructed in 1870 on Avenue A in Opelika, the building eventually became the residence of Dr. Eugene Anthony Lindsey and his wife, Clara Brown Lindsey. Dr. Lindsey, born in LaGrange, Georgia, in 1882, moved to Opelika with his wife in the 1920s. A prominent figure in the community, he owned Lindsey’s Drugstore and Soda Fountain on 9th Street, providing a rare space for black citizens to socialize during prescription waits.
In the 1953 Opelika City Directory, K. C. Ward and Christine Ward established Ward’s Funeral Home, taking ownership of the historic building. K. C. Ward, also associated with the White Angel Insurance Company, and Christine Ward, an educator, were integral members of the community. The funeral home expanded to Valley, Alabama, under Jerome Ward’s leadership.
Operational until 1989, the Opelika location faced deterioration, prompting discussions about demolition due to safety concerns. Maurice O. Ward, son of K. C. and Christine Ward and owner of the property, sought additional time for repairs. In October 2019, the city approved a demolition order, and on November 13, 2019, the structure was demolished.
Maurice Ward continues the family’s funeral business from Valley, Alabama, preserving the legacy of Ward’s Funeral Home while adapting to changing times. The story of this historic site intertwines with the broader history of Opelika, reflecting the contributions of individuals like Dr. Lindsey, K. C. Ward, and Christine Ward to the community’s social and cultural fabric.