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.
Loudermilk's listings in the early 1910s Dallas Business directories list
George W. Loudermilk - funeral director, fine ambulances, funeral cars and
463-465 Main St. crnr of Hardwood.
Used Cunningham equipment exclusively in late 1890s.
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.
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
"Mr. Loudermilk, I understand, in addition to his equipment of
carriages, has the finest matched team of white horses in the state, and
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
Mr. Coffman left last night for the Fort.
May 23, 1897, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 9, col. 4-6
1927 called Loudermilk-Sparkman Funeral Homes
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
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.