Wells Funeral Homes, Inc. & Cremation Services of Canton and Waynesville was founded in 1888 by C. T. Wells, Sr. He started Haywood County's first undertaking business in Canton, in a general mercantile store. In the history of Wells Funeral Homes, Inc., it is documented as the oldest family owned business in Haywood County.
Over the years, the family business was passed down from C. T. Wells, Sr. to his sons, C. Broadway Wells and James M. Wells and his wife Dutch Mc Cracken Wells. The business was then owned and operated by the daughter of James M. and Dutch Mc Cracken Wells, Miriam Wells Greeley and her husband J. Patrick Greeley. The year 2000 marked a transition of ownership within the Wells family. J. Wells Greeley and his parents completed succession-planning efforts, which allowed Wells Greeley to become the fourth generation of the Wells family to operate their family owned business.
From the mercantile store, Wells Funeral Home moved to Main Street and then to Academy Street in Canton. Marking their 75th anniversary, a modern facility was built on Asheville Road in Canton. This facility presently serves the needs of families of eastern Haywood and Buncombe counties.
In 1985, Wells Funeral Homes, Inc. purchased Crawford Funeral Home located at 296 N. Main Street in Waynesville. A new facility was built on this site in Waynesville in June of 1990. This facility serves the families of western Haywood and Jackson counties.
In 1996, a cremation facility was constructed by J. Wells Greeley in a partnership in Buncombe County. Cremation Services of WNC serves the needs of Wells Funeral Homes and other funeral homes. By owning their own cremation facility, Wells Funeral Homes have greater control in serving the needs when families choose cremation services. This gives Wells Funeral Homes the ability to be a full service funeral home and crematorium for the families they serve.
J. Wells Greeley and a professional staff are honored to carry on the Wells' family tradition of dedicated service to families throughout Haywood and surrounding counties since 1888.
Tribute to Jim Wells
A piece of gum is a little thing,
To you and me today;
But it is a beautiful symbol
Of this friend who passed away.
Most called him Jim, some James
And a few Mr. Wells.
Today the town seems silent,
But he hears the heavenly bells!
He roamed the town and country,
Pockets filled with gum
Turnpike to Soco, Pisgah to Max Patch.
Jim Wells was everyone's chum.
He was a mountaineer;
A character if you please!
A unique personality,
He always liked to tease.
He had a way about him
That made you feel at home;
In times of stress and sorrow
You never felt alone.
And how the people loved him;
He greeted all with a smile.
He eternally reached in his pocket and gave,
With the joy of a child.
I guess you could call him a Santa Clause,
Who celebrated all the year.
And even on this sad occasion
I wonder-Would he have us shed a tear?
Perhaps I am slow and simple
But I have been led to believe,
That Jim's piece of gum, was his way of saying-
"Tis more blessed to give than to receive".
Rev. H Edwin Young
J. L. Sprinkle