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The Eads family was prominent in Bell County, serving citizens in a variety of capacities. George C. Eads, father and son, operated the only mortuary in Belton during the first half of the twentieth century. Grandson, Arthur "Cappy" Eads served six terms as district attorney in Bell County, and son, George C. Eads III pursued an acting career and was known for his roles on the police drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and on the action-adventure series MacGyver.

Eads Funeral Home

Building, Window, House, Line

George C. Eads, Sr.

Black-and-white, Art, Monochrome photography, Monochrome

George C. Eads, Jr.

Art, Monochrome, Monochrome photography, Pattern

George C. Eads III

Forehead, Smile, Eyebrow, Beard

George Coleman Eads, Sr., came to Belton in about 1891 from Van Zandt County, Texas, possessed with an entrepreneurial spirit. From 1897 to 1906, he was in the grocery business. About 1907, he began operation of a funeral home in connection with a furniture store. His undertaking and embalming service was the only such business in Belton. According to the 1914 Belton Journal, Mr. Eads was “an expert and licensed embalmer, fully equipped to handle this line of work, has a handsome hearse and casket wagon, also a beautiful team of dapple gray horses.” Early records indicate the first funeral home was located on Central Avenue next door to James’ Grocery Store.

George Coleman Eads, Jr., joined his father in business. In August 1934, Eads & Son planned a new building on the site of the old Park Hotel with Crow’s Sandwich Shop on the south and a Magnolia Service Station on the left. The lot was L-shaped, 110-feet in length with a 40-foot front. The new funeral home was a light brick, one-story building facing Main Street. It contained all the modern conveniences necessary to conduct a private funeral. A reception room, a 100-seat chapel, and a private family room were installed. There was also a casket room, a modern sanitary operating room, and one bedroom in the rear. Adjoining the building was a three-car garage. All funerals were carried out through the Second Street entrance.

The ambulance was a 1927 Sears-Scovel model with a large hinged door on the back. On its side were running boards and chrome handrails so that a person could stand if they wished. Many Beltonians recall hearing the screaming siren of the ambulance as Eads came around the corner of Second Street and Main headed to an emergency. Many wondered if Eads would turn the corner without flipping over. 

When the Belton Sanitarium closed in 1945, George Eads purchased the building which was near the funeral home. In 1947 he opened the Ranch House Hotel following a complete transformation of the building, both inside and out. The new ranch style decor featured Western touches such as simulated cedar wainscoting, desert murals on the dining room walls, and wagon wheel chandeliers. Each piece of furniture was marked with the “GE” brand. The new hotel filled a long-felt need in the community and was well-received by the citizens of Belton.

George Eads, Jr., owned the funeral home until 1950 when he was no longer able to operate it due to his declining health. His father had died in 1947. Following his retirement, he was employed with the Texas Railroad Commission in Dallas, where the family moved. His son, Arthur Coleman “Cappy” Eads, was an attorney who served Bell County with distinction. He served as the Bell County Attorney from 1975 to1976. He was then elected District Attorney of the 27th Judicial District, which at the time included Bell, Mills and Lampasas Counties, and served honorably in that position from 1976 until his retirement in 2000. George Eads III, the son of “Cappy” Eads was born in Belton and is an actor, known for his roles on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and MacGyver.

"Eads Funeral Home Will Be Begun in Aug." The Belton Journal (Belton, TX), June 28, 1934.

"Services Held Tuesday at 2:30 For G.C. Eads." The Belton Journal (Belton, TX.), January 16, 1947

Image Sources(Click to expand)

The Belton Journal

The Belton Journal

The Belton Journal