About Us

Lincoln County funeral home since 1903

Higgins Funeral Home is a full-service funeral home serving Fayetteville and Lincoln County. Our compassionate, experienced staff acts as a team, providing personal attention, grief support, and unparalleled service regardless of your budget.

Higgins Funeral Home has served Fayetteville and Lincoln County for four generations, back to the days when a horse-drawn hearse transported the deceased from home to church to cemetery.

Much has changed since January 1, 1903, when Hiram, Eugene, and Owen Higgins opened Higgins Brothers Furniture and Undertaking on the northwest corner of Fayetteville Square. The community has changed, growing in size and diversity. Funeral and burial practices have changed, too, in ways that might have shocked our Victorian founders in their full-dress black tails.

But our family has cared for yours for 121 years, and we are honored to help families through difficult times, if not the most difficult times.

Funeral customs change with time

As a full-service funeral business, Higgins Funeral Home provides pre-planning, at-need services, and referrals to after-care services.

Funeral services and memorials today feature personalized touches that celebrate the life of a loved one who has passed on. We offer a memorial DVD using old photographs and video footage that is shown on a screen during visitation and sometimes the service itself.

The family of one golf fanatic asked our staff members to skip the suits and wear khakis and golf shirts at the memorial. Families no longer must choose between a visitation and earth burial or cremation without visitation. How we celebrate each life has become personalized.

When my great-grandfather and his brothers started the business, the deceased was laid out in the home where friends would call to comfort the bereaved family. Embalming, if done, took place in the home. The family selected casket interior materials, which the undertaker installed. A retired fire horse pulled the hearse to the community church for a service and led the mourners to the cemetery.

Our high standard for service endures

The three Higgins brothers sold off the furniture business in 1931 to dedicate their efforts to helping Lincoln County families through times of loss.

Their commitment to providing personal, high-quality service has been passed down through the generations, first to Phillip Higgins, Hiram’s son and my grandfather, then to Charles Higgins, my father, who joined the family business in 1972.

Our business home was built in 1987, and as a child, I played hide-and-seek while my father worked. After working in the tech industry in Colorado, I returned to Fayetteville in 2001 with my wife Amy and our two children to work at the funeral home.

As my father neared retirement, I took a more active role and now am a fourth-generation owner who proudly continues the Higgins family legacy of compassion and service.

Higgins Funeral Home Timeline


Hiram, Eugene, and Owen Higgins opened the Higgins Brothers Furniture and Undertaking on the northwest corner of the Fayetteville Square in the building now occupied by Jonathan C. Brown, Attorney at Law.


One year later, the Higgins relocated to the opposite end of the block (the southwest corner), now occupied by The Dragon Fly. The furniture store was on the ground level and the undertaking store room on the second floor, they began a business that has set the community standard 121 years.


Fire at Higgins Brothers Furniture and Undertaking business on the Southwest corner of the square.

When Higgins Brothers caught fire, the Fire Department was able to put it out.

Photos courtesy of L.C. TN Pictorial History Book and L.C. Museum.

Horse-Drawn Hearse

Higgins Brothers used a horse-drawn hearse. Using a retired fire horse to pull the hearse presented a challenge. With the stable and undertaking establishment located near the fire hall (now Cahoot’s Restaurant), whenever the fire bell would ring, the horse would attempt to rush to his place at the fire engine. Part of the hearse is glass, protecting the coffin from the elements while allowing it to be seen. A team of gray horses were used for funerals of older people and a team of white horses for the funeral of younger people.


Higgins Brothers sold the furniture store and moved to their present location, 213 East Market Street.

They purchased the Holman home built in 1912, opening the first funeral home in Fayetteville.


In this picture, you can see the hair salon located next to Higgins Funeral Home. The upstairs was a residence used by Higgins employees and the downstairs served as a place for Wanda’s beauty shop.


In this picture, you can see the hair salon located next to Higgins Funeral Home. The upstairs was a residence used by Higgins employees and the downstairs served as a place for Wanda’s beauty shop.


Always alert to changes and improvements in funeral service, Higgins Funeral Home underwent extensive improvements and remodeling in the 1950s and 1960s. Pictured is Hiram Clay Higgins.


Hiram Clay Higgins was born in 1877 to the late George Higgins and Susan Carrigan Higgins. He married Mary N. Higgins of Chattanooga. Mr. Hiram held public office as an alderman and city clerk. He was a director at Elk Cotton Mill, Citizen’s Home Mutual Fire Insurance Company, and was a member of the Masonic Order, Elks Lodge, and Knights of Pythias. He was a bass guitar (fiddle) player in a local band and served as a deacon at Washington Street Church of Christ. Hiram passed away in 1955.

1955 S&S Ambulance (left)
1958 Superior Combination Ambulance/Hearse (right)

1960 S&S Ambulance and 1958 Superior Combination
Kenneth Lee, Philip Higgins, and Fred Sowell


In 1972, the Lincoln County Ambulance Service was established, retiring funeral homes from ambulance service. Higgins provided the first ambulance service in Lincoln County with their hearse, starting in the 1930s.


A fire destroyed most of the 68-year-old funeral home. Fortunately, there were no deaths or injuries in the blaze. Speculation says the fire started in the wiring in the older section of the building. The fire department had investigated smoke earlier in the day but could not find the source. The funeral home, equipment, furnishings, and records dating back to 1903 were lost in the fire. A temporary location was established in a building adjacent to the funeral home property.

(Now Carriage House Players; in 1986, Fred’s)


On Sunday, November 1, 1987, an open house was held for the new Higgins Funeral Home. This 25,000-square-foot building was the culmination of 18 months of planning and construction. However, the grandest building does not make a funeral home. The grandest funeral home is built on a team of people offering service built on tradition and dedication to offering the best service available to Fayetteville and Lincoln County.


Clay Higgins, son of Charles Higgins, joins the Higgins Funeral Home team. Clay and his wife Amy were proud to move back to Fayetteville, TN. Clay enjoys cycling, music and mules. Clay and Amy were race directors for Dirt Sweat and Gears, a 12 hour USAC bike race. They have two children, Hunter and Lucy.


Cedar Hills Memorial Gardens was established in 1984, by Jennings Stovall, just off Liberty Road in Fayetteville. Higgins purchased the cemetery in 2010 from the Stovall family. We pride ourselves on meticulously maintaining eighteen pristine acres of beautiful rolling hills beside the Elk River. As a perpetual care cemetery, you can be assured that your loved one’s place of rest will be cared for – for many years to come.

1984 – Road construction at Cedar Hills Memorial Gardens

1984 – First burial at Cedar Hills Memorial Gardens

Cedar Hills Memorial Gardens

1984 – Garden of Good Shepherd – Flat Markers

1984 – Garden of Everlasting Life – Flat Markers

2010 – Garden of Hope – Upright Markers

2018 – Garden of Hope – Family Estates

2018 – Garden of Honor – for Veterans

2021 – Garden of Devotion – Cremation Columbarium

We’re here when you’re ready

You don’t need to make every decision right away. Our funeral directors are experts ready to guide you when the time feels right to make your own arrangements.

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