Nelson Funeral Service Inc
Funeral & Cremation Services
In 1931, Rea L. Nelson established Nelson Funeral Home in Berryville, Arkansas. He set up the practice of Mortuary Science with a store front “Funeral Parlor” located on the city square. Rea Nelson brought the word “service” to this area by giving of himself and his experiences. 1931 was just after the Great Depression had begun, and very few people had little money at the time of a death in the family. As a result of this, in early 1934, he was issued the first Charter for a Burial Association in the state of Arkansas, and began the Carroll County Burial Association. This was a very low cost insurance protection which was the only way many of the local families had to finance necessary expenses at the time of death. Soon after, almost every funeral home in the state had a burial association or something similar to it.
Though times were tough, through hard work he was able to obtain enough financing to construct the Nelson Funeral Home building in 1938, one block east of the city square, where it stands today.
Nelson Funeral Service Inc. holds the distinction of being one of the oldest funeral home buildings in operation today which was built for the primary purpose of offering funeral goods and services. Nelson Funeral Service Inc. also holds Funeral Establishment License #1 in the state of Arkansas.
In 1946, Charles M. Nelson, Rea’s son, graduated from St. Louis College of Mortuary Science, and joined his father in the family business. Charles’ age of 18 made him the youngest licensed embalmer in the state, a record that still stands today.