Historic Markers Across Tennessee

R.S. Lewis & Sons Funeral Home

Marker ID:  
Location: 374 Vance Ave, Memphis. TN
County: Shelby
Coordinates: N 35° 8.118    W 090° 2.962
  35.1353    -90.04936666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: None


R.S. Lewis & Sons Funeral Home

Founded in 1914 by Robert Stevenson Lewis Sr. and later operated by sons Robert Jr. and Clarence, the family business became committed to improving the quality of life for African-Americans in the community. Among their achievements, in the 1920s Robert Sr. owned baseball's Negro American League Memphis Red Sox and financed Martin Stadium. also called Lewis Park. In the 1950s Robert Jr. helped establish T.O. Fuller State Park, one of the first state parks open to African-Americans. In 1968 when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated at the nearby Lorraine Motel, Robert Jr. was asked by King's aides to prepare and restore Dr. King's body, which lay in state at R.S. Lewis & Sons. Hundreds gathered for the viewing and memorial service for the civil rights legend.

Erected 2014 by R.S. Lewis and Sons Funeral Home
and Shelby County Historical Commission.