James Bradshaw Earthman Sr. was a blacksmith and livery service provider in Taylor, Texas. The town of Taylor purchased a horse-drawn hearse, and as proprietor of the livery stable Earthman was frequently asked by the townspeople to assist with their funeral needs. Beginning in 1889, providing funeral services became James B. Earthman’s full-time profession.
In 1904, Mr. Earthman and his friend, railroad surveyor J.C. McCarty, moved to Houston and established the Earthman and McCarty Undertaking Company at 715 Main St. The company prospered and in 1924 moved to 2420 Fannin. After McCarty’s death, the company became the J.B. Earthman Company.
After James B. Earthman Sr.’s death in 1931, James B. Earthman Jr. ("J.B.”), a graduate of St. Thomas High School and Rice University, left his successful architectural career to manage the company. His wife, Blanche Bastien Earthman, worked with J.B. in the daily operation of the business and was one of the first women in Texas to become a licensed funeral director.
J.B. was a pioneer in advanced funeral planning, founding a burial insurance company in the 1930s. Together, J.B. and Blanche built Earthman Funeral Directors & Cemeteries into one of the largest family-owned and operated funeral companies in the United States. Their children and grandchildren continued to manage and expand the business further, with new locations throughout the community.
In 1956 Earthman Bellaire Funeral Home was established.
J.B. "Jim" Earthman IV is the fourth generation to be a part of Earthman Funerals, and he continues the proud tradition of his ancestors as general manager of Earthman Bellaire Funeral Home. The funeral home serves the Greater Bellaire and Southwest areas of Houston.