More than 75 years of history follow the Hardage-Giddens Funeral Homes name. It began in 1929 when two gentlemen, Hugh L. Hardage, Sr. and Ralph Williams, opened a mortuary located at 517 Park Street in the Riverside area of Jacksonville, Florida. It was known as Hardage & Williams Funeral Home. The company became Hardage & Sons when Williams retired in 1944, and four of Hugh’s sons (Hugh Jr., Robert, Gordon and Richard) became partners in the family business. Mr. Hardage, Sr. died in 1964, and his sons continued the family business, even expanding it by acquiring Estes-Krauss Funeral Home in 1971.
Meanwhile, in 1932, two more gentlemen in Jacksonville opened the first Giddens Funeral Home at 85 Riverside Avenue. Mr. T. J. Giddens owned and operated the firm, while Mr. J.D. McEwen served as a silent partner. Mr. McEwen sold his part of the business to Mr. Giddens in 1935. Then in 1941, the funeral home moved to 116 Riverside Avenue.
Mr. Giddens’ son, Ronald T. Giddens, became a partner in 1947. In 1960, William H. Griffith joined the firm as a partner until his retirement in 1972. In 1970, Mr. Ronald T. Giddens opened the Edgewood Chapel in the Murray Hill District.
The two firms of Hardage & Sons and Giddens-Griffith merged in 1972, yet operated under their respective names. In 1975, an affiliate of Service Corporation International® acquired both firms. Both businesses continued to expand throughout Jacksonville, and in the mid-80s they became known as Hardage-Giddens Funeral Homes.