History of Harry & Bryant Funeral Home
Harry & Bryant Co. have been serving the residents of Charlotte since 1883 and is the city’s oldest funeral service. In fact, we are the oldest continuously operating business is Mecklenburg County. (The next oldest is The Charlotte Observer.)
The J.M. Harry Company began in the 1st block of West Trade Street as a division of Andrews Music Company. At that time, Mr. John M. Harry was a young man and was head of the Undertaking Division of Andrews Music Company. James R. Bryant, Sr. came to work for Harry in 1924. In 1929, the company moved to 406 North Tryon Street into a home that was converted from a private residence. The space, now empty of its original building, is located diagonally across Tryon Street from St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.
James became a partner with Harry and the name changed to Harry & Bryant Co. When Harry died in 1943, James became the sole owner. In the late forties, James moved the business to its present location at 500 Providence Road and was told it would never work because he was “too far out in the country”! The present building that houses the funeral home was built as a private residence just after the turn of the century. The “Chapel in the Oaks” was the first addition. The chandeliers, which were equipped for both gas and electricity, were brought to the new location and still provide lighting and beauty for our services today. Shortly after, a wing with a library and staterooms was added on the east side of the building.
James’ sons joined him in the business—James R. Bryant, Jr. in 1945 and Donald G. Bryant in 1950. The Bryant sons not only continued the exemplary funeral service established by their father and Mr. Harry, but were also church leaders and Little League Baseball sponsors, as well as promoters of many other worthwhile civic organizations. Harry & Bryant has continued sponsorship of our baseball team, and have the distinction of being the oldest continuous sponsor of Little League Baseball in the world.
Although we have broadened our focus to make every service tailor-made and personal, Harry & Bryant Co. continues, after more than one hundred and thirty years, to serve the families of Charlotte in the dignified manner established by our founders.