History of Sparkman/Hillcrest Funeral Home
In 1893, Will R. Sparkman began a “Tradition of Excellence” in service that prevails today at Sparkman/Hillcrest Funeral Home and Hillcrest Mausoleum & Memorial Park. For four generations, the Sparkman family and their caring, compassionate staff have perpetuated the uncompromising standard of service that makes Sparkman/Hillcrest exceptional in the industry and a “Dallas tradition.”
In the early days, when horse-drawn carriages would lead the funeral procession from home or church to a nearby cemetery, the funeral home had been owned by the George W. Loudermilk Undertaking Company since 1893. Historically the term “undertaker” comes from the concept of one agreeing to undertake a necessary service. Early undertakers were former cabinet makers who were called upon to make coffins for the deceased. To transport coffins to the cemetery, Loudermilk matched teams and beautifully outfitted carriages sporting “the only rubber tires in the city” and became a source of great pride. As the business entered the age of the automobile, hearses were the original ambulances for transporting the sick to hospitals as well as the deceased to the burial ceremony.
The four generations of Sparkmans began when Will R. Sparkman purchased the business in 1920 and operated it under the name of Loudermilk-Sparkman for many years. In keeping with his firm’s growing reputation as Dallas’ premier funeral home, Sparkman moved his business to a famous city landmark in 1926, the A.H. Belo Mansion at Ross and Pearl Street, built and presented by Colonel A.H. Belo, founder of The Dallas Morning News, to his son and his family. Under lease for 50 years, the lovely mansion was remodeled, with its homelike qualities and colonial grandeur carefully preserved.
At that time, Mr. Sparkman’s two sons, Louis N. and Hal C. Sparkman, joined the family business. Under the presidency of the second generation of Sparkmans, the business was expanded to include a second funeral home at Garland Road and Easton to serve the White Rock and Garland areas. Louis N. Sparkman’s son, L.N. “Bill” Sparkman Jr. entered the family business in 1951 as the third generation. Today, David L. Sparkman continues to serve the community as the fourth generation represented.
The original Sparkman’s funeral home remained at the downtown location until it moved in 1968 to its present location at Boedeker and W. Northwest Highway, resulting in what we know now as Sparkman/Hillcrest. This new corporation gave the North Dallas area its major full-service funeral home surrounded by the rolling acres of a cemetery that dates back to 1850.
Over the years, Sparkman/Hillcrest has provided caring service for Dallas residents including many famous and infamous.