Established in 1906, the Brown-Teman & Christiansen Funeral Home has been serving the needs of area families for 100 years.
While the precise founding day in 1906 remains unclear, records indicate that Mead J. Brown was already working in Greenville as an "undertaker" -- as well as in the furniture business. Sometime in 1908, Raymond A. Brown (known thoughout the community simply as "R.A."), took over the business of Mead J. Brown, after R.A. and his bride of two years, Caroline, moved from Plymouth, Michigan.
At the turn of the nineteenth century, it was common that the local undertaker also served other functions... many were associated with a furniture business, cabinet maker, or livery stable (horse and carriage rentals).
At the time, most functions of the undertaker where performed at the home of the deceased... when a death occured (most deaths happened at home) the undertaker was summoned to the home (a messenger had to relay the news either by foot, horseback, or carriage) to embalm and prepare the dead (often in the bedroom or even on the kitchen table). With the assistance of the family, he then dressed the deceased and then layed them out (in their own bed or on a temporary reposing couch), and began making preparations for the funeral ceremony itself... returning with chairs, ferns and seasonal flowers, and the coffin.
The deceased was then "waked" for a period of several days in the parlor of the family home, allowing friends, colleagues, and family time to get the news of the death and travel for the funeral service. The ceremony itself was held either in the home or the family's church.
R.A. Brown, on Oct. 19, 1908, established a fixed place of business at the corner of Benton and Franklin streets. He then moved to a main street (Lafayette) storefront on Nov. 16, 1912, when R.A. Brown became associated with the Miller and Harris Furniture Store, where he had charge of the funeral directing division of the business. Nov. 1, 1917 saw yet another move... this time to the Rasmussen building.
In 1922, the name of the Miller and Harris firm changed to Brown-Hall Company, after A.M. Hall of Belding joined R.A. Brown. The partnership operated two mortuaries... one in Greenville and one in Belding.
The year 1927 saw the partnership dissolved and the business, then known as Brown Funeral Home,moved to our present location, a stately former lumber baron’s home on South Franklin Street. For almost 140 years it has been the home of this town’s prominent businessmen and is considered by many to be one the community’s landmarks.