History of Brookside Funeral Home
Brookside Funeral Home originally started in 1884, according to Milton Lockwood, whose family were ranchers just north of Greens Bayou on the old Humble road. Part of the Lockwood family is interred on the section where the first burial took place, which is how Berry Cemetery began. This cemetery, which extended north of Greens Bayou, was part of 140-acre tract that was owned by the James Berry family.
Before 1930, Ira Brooks, from Tulsa, Oklahoma, wanted to start a cemetery in the Houston area. He approached the Berry family and purchased the original 140-acre tract that was the original part of Brookside. This tract extended from U.S. 59 on the north to the center of Greens Bayou and on the south to the formerly known Lauter Road. Mr. Brooks then incorporated Brookside as a cemetery in June 1931. All of the sections that have “walkways” are part of the development that took place in the 1930s.
In the 1930s, a gentleman by the name of Pierce Posey Brooks bought out Mr. Brooks' interest in the business. These two men were of no relation to one another, and Ira Brooks was the gentleman from which Brookside got its name. Posey Brooks was a speculator and a candidate for the Texas Railroad Commission. It is undecided whether construction of the Chapel of the Chimes started with the ownership of Ira or Posey Brooks. The Chapel of the Chimes was built using stone from the old Presbyterian Church on Main Street in downtown Houston. This church was burned, and the stone was transported to Brookside.
Charles Saunders, a successful salesman and sales manager, had built up quite a large sales force at Forest Park Lawndale. In 1938, Mr. Saunders thought the cemetery business was pretty good business to be in, and decided to pursue ownership of a cemetery. In 1939, Mr. Saunders began managing Brookside Funeral Home, which was owned at the time by two attorneys in Oklahoma City, and Tulsa, Oklahoma. After Mr. Saunders took the job as manager, he decided to buy the business in 1940.
The crematory was installed in the Chapel of the Chimes in 1944, being one of the only three crematories in the state of Texas at the time. One was in Dallas, one in San Antonio and the other in Houston (Brookside). After 1940, most of the cemetery's development took place in the area east of the chapel. Around 1947, the underground drainage system was installed and the roads were paved.
At Brookside, families are offered many different venues in which to memorialize the life and accomplishments of their loved ones. The funeral home is located adjacent to the cemetery, providing families the ability to have all of their immediate needs met in one convenient location. The crematory, also located on the grounds of Brookside Memorial Park, provides comfort to our families desiring a service with cremation in knowing that their loved one never leaves the caring and professional hands of our staff.
Through the assistance of trained Dignity Memorial® service providers, meaningful tributes are designed according to the unique qualities of the life that is being remembered. We offer many facilities for memorialization and funeral ceremonies, including visitation and staterooms of varying sizes, a large and comforting chapel with seating for over 200 guests and our private and historic Chapel of Chimes. The Chapel of Chimes is located in the center of Brookside Memorial Park alongside the historic Berry Cemetery, a family cemetery which was established before the Civil War and serves as the final resting place of many of the brave men who lost their lives during battle. The simple masonry architecture of the Chapel of Chimes is a perfect complement to the serene setting it occupies. The beautiful chimes from the chapel tower can be heard from several surrounding areas and their soft tones add to many services of remembrance held there.
Brookside Memorial Park is situated on 290 acres distinguished by oak and pine trees, some of which are estimated to be over 300 years old, Spanish moss and a carefully tended lawn which enhance the natural beauty of the park-like setting. Its beauty will be maintained in perpetuity through the established and carefully managed Endowment Care Trust Fund. Our park includes a veterans monument located next to our Chapel of Chimes, a beautiful altar monument, various religious features throughout our grounds and a George Washington statue in our Masonic gardens.
We are committed to providing a standard of service that is 100 percent guaranteed. Brookside Funeral Home began with a commitment to a high standard of service, and throughout our history we have continued to lead and innovate while maintaining those high standards of service. Everyone at Brookside is proud to uphold this heritage and commitment to our community
Today, we are proud to be a member of the Dignity Memorial® network of more than 1,600 funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers.