George W. Loudermilk - 1880s-1925 - Dallas, Texas


   

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May have made or re-badged vehicles in the 1910s-1920s, possible just a livery service, ads are unclear. Had an established relationship with Cunningham going back through the 1890s.

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Loudermilk's listings in the early 1910s Dallas Business directories list him as:

George W. Loudermilk - funeral director, fine ambulances, funeral cars and carriages.

463-465 Main St. crnr of Hardwood.

Used Cunningham equipment exclusively in late 1890s.

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Mr. Geo. W. Loudermilk, who, for the past eight years has been Managing Undertaker for P. W. Linskie, has formed a co-partnership with H. M. Miller, in the Miller & Ward establishment, now known as Loudermilk & Miller, Mr. Ward having sold his interest to Mr. Miller some time ago. Their office at 350 Elm street is always open to all calls, either personal or by telephone, and will be promptly attended to, night or day.

- January 5, 1895, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 2, col. 4.

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A Man with the Trade Has Something to Say.

The Many Vast Improvements Made in the Building of Funeral Cars in Late Years - Some of These Noted.
 

    Mr. B. K. Coffman, the Southern agent of The James Cunningham Son and Company, of Chicago, builders of fine hearses and carriages, was in the city yesterday and chatted pleasantly with a Times Herald reporter.
    In the course of the conversation, Mr. Coffman had occasion to speak of the growing demand for the high grade variety of carriages and especially for those used in the undertaking business.
     "You see," said Mr. Coffman, "the undertaking business is unlike any other business. The ethics of the business do not permit an undertaker to advertise the fact that he is burying people at reduced rates. He can't declare a sacrifice sale of coffins, either. A funeral is to those interested, an occasion of sadness, always. The duties devolving upon the undertaker call for the exercise of tact and he must go about his work in the most unobtrusive manner. This is obvious.
     "It follows as a matter of course that the most effect means of increasing his business lies in his having as full and as excellent an equipment of hearses, carriages and horse furniture as money can buy.
     "Our house has customers all over the country; I sell to the trade in seventeen different states, and I can truthfully say that among the equipments possessed by the largest undertaking firms in the South, there is not none that is more complete and elaborate than that of an undertaker right here in Dallas. I suppose you know whom I mean -- young Geo. W. Loudermilk, up on Elm street.
     "I speak of this gentleman particularly, as our house, last month, sold to him two of the finest funeral cars, popularly known as "hearses," that ever went out of the factory, together with what is known as a "top casket wagon," sometimes erroneously termed an ambulance wagon, and the horse furniture for each.
     "Oh, yes, there have been immense improvements made in the building of funeral cars. You might think that there aren't any fashions to speak of in the line of funeral get ups, but you'd be greatly mistaken. Mr. Loudermilk ordered from us last winter, a black and a white funeral car with all the accessories. Some six months were spent in designing and building them and they are the highest type of the carriagemaker and designer's art. Only one finer funeral car was ever built by us, and that was an elaborate affair built for exhibition purposes solely. It was at the World's Fair and was finally sold to a big Eastern firm for $6500.
     "The special features of these cars are many. One of the most melancholy things about the old style hearses was the row of stiff carved funeral urns on top. In the new cars, there is nothing of this, only a smooth, rounded top, with a polished surface like glass. On each side, and at the back, there are three handsomely hand carved columns, while between are heavy windows of French plate glass, deeply beveled. Hammer cloth seats heavily draped with fringe are another striking feature. The hearse lamps, each with four plate glass faces full silver plated, give an indescribably fine appearance to the vehicles.
     "The features of the interiors of the cars are the polished mahogany bottoms with full silver ornaments on which the caskets rest and the heavy broadcloth curtains, with worsted fringe and tassels.
     "They are exquisitely springed throughout, according to special designs prepared by us. The trimmings throughout, hub bands, lamps, etc., are all full silver plated.
     "The top casket wagon is, in itself, a work of art. Inside, it is fitted with a folding rack able to accommodate not only a casket, but also flowers, robes or any accessories that may be demanded. This is the very latest in top casket wagons and is a great convenience to an undertaker at large funerals where the floral offerings are many and elaborate. It opens from the rear, the glass doors moving on slides. The vehicle sets high from the ground and is a beautiful solid black with a monogram in ground glass on either side next [to] the driver.
     "Undertaker Loudermilk has, undoubtedly, the finest equipment for doing business in the state, if not the South.
     "One of our carriages recently finished for him is provided with the finest tufted silk plush cushions, with electric bell and patent window raising device that make it a magnificent example of what is done now in carriage building.
     "Mr. Loudermilk, I understand, in addition to his equipment of carriages, has the finest matched team of white horses in the state, an
d while I live in Fort Worth, I yield the palm to a Dallas undertaker when it comes to a full complement of the things required by an up to date man in the business."
     Mr. Coffman left last night for the Fort.

May 23, 1897, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 9, col. 4-6

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1927 called Loudermilk-Sparkman Funeral Homes

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Aristocrat Hotel of Dallas

Hilton's concept for a new hotel in Dallas, in contrast, marked a sharp departure from the "dowager" circuit. It was to be a new, highrise hotel whose profile would stand conspicuously on the Dallas skyline, whose cost of over $1,000,000 was substantially greater than anything he had yet undertaken, and whose architectural design would contribute to a city already renowned in the South for its architectural distinction.

For the building site, Hilton chose a prime location near the theater district and major financial business houses in downtown Dallas, on the northwest corner of Main and Harwood Streets. The site was then occupied by a two-story masonry building and was owned by George W. Loudermilk, former undertaker and wealthy real estate investor. Hilton broke ground for what would become the first hotel in his Texas highrise chain on July 25, 1924.

 

    For more information please read:

The Professional Car (Quarterly Journal of the Professional Car Society)

Gregg D. Merksamer - Professional Cars: Ambulances, Funeral Cars and Flower Cars

Thomas A. McPherson - American Funeral Cars & Ambulances Since 1900

Carriage Museum of America - Horse-Drawn Funeral Vehicles: 19th Century Funerals

Carriage Museum of America -  Horse Drawn - Military, Civilian, Veterinary - Ambulances

Gunter-Michael Koch - Bestattungswagen im Wandel der Zeit

Walt McCall & Tom McPherson - Classic American Ambulances 1900-1979: Photo Archive

Walt McCall & Tom McPherson - Classic American Funeral Vehicles 1900-1980 Photo Archive

Walter M. P. McCall - The American Ambulance 1900-2002

Walter M.P. McCall - American Funeral Vehicles 1883-2003

Michael L. Bromley & Tom Mazza - Stretching It: The Story of the Limousine

Richard J. Conjalka - Classic American Limousines: 1955 Through 2000 Photo Archive

Richard J. Conjalka - Stretch Limousines 1928-2001 Photo Archive

Thomas A. McPherson - Eureka: The Eureka Company: a complete history

Thomas A. McPherson - Superior: The complete history

Thomas A. McPherson - Flxible: The Complete History

Thomas A. McPherson - Miller-Meteor: The Complete History

Robert R. Ebert  - Flxible: A History of the Bus and the Company

Hearses - Automobile Quarterly Vol 36 No 3

Marian Suman-Hreblay - Dictionary of World Coachbuilders and Car Stylists

Daniel D. Hutchins - Wheels Across America: Carriage Art & Craftsmanship

Marian Suman-Hreblay - Dictionary of World Coachbuilders and Car Stylists

Michael Lamm and Dave Holls - A Century of Automotive Style: 100 Years of American Car Design

Nick Georgano - The Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile: Coachbuilding

Marian Suman-Hreblay - Automobile Manufacturers Worldwide Registry

G.N. Georgano & G. Marshall Naul - The Complete Encyclopedia of Commercial Vehicles

Albert Mroz - Illustrated Encyclopedia of American Trucks & Commercial Vehicles

Beverly Rae Kimes & Henry Austin Clark Jr. - Standard Catalog of American Cars 1805-1942

John Gunnell - Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1946-1975

James M. Flammang & Ron Kowalke - Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1976-1999

 



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