Mr. Columbus Blount Murry or "Papa B" as he was affectionately known, and his wife, Fairy Lee, started Murry Funeral Home, the year was 1905. He proceeded to build his business with honesty and integrity and set a standard that remains our goal 100 years later. He knew almost everyone in the county by name. His trademark was at the end of each funeral service, "Papa B" would stand and give a brief eulogy. People that remember these events say they were the best part of the funeral. In 1944 the Murry family constructed a new, two-story funeral home at 517 Clay Street and still remains our current address. Mr. and Mrs. Murry resided upstairs and the funeral home below. The unique feature of this establishment was what Mr. Murry referred to as a "Funeral Church" attached to the building. Although attached, the "Funeral Church" now known as the chapel, had completely different architecture by design.
This was a first for the time. "Papa B" was active in the business until his death in 1952. Two of Mr. Murry's sons, Emory Hoss and William B. took over until 1964, at which time Emory sold his interest to Billy Ruggles, a faithful employee since 1950. William B. and Billy remained partners in the Murry-Ruggles funeral home until William B's death in 1977. Billy and his wife Ramona purchased Mr. Murry's stock from his estate. In 1980 the Ruggles sold interest to their son Murry L. Ruggles and Mike Wilcox. The name remained the same until a devastating tornado March 1,1997. At this time a new funeral home was built and the name changed to Ruggles-Wilcox funeral home. We are very proud of our heritage. Through the years, three of the owners have had the privilege of serving as president of the Arkansas Funeral Directors Association: C.B. Murry 1912, Billy Ruggles 1967, and Mike Wilcox 1994.
We believe that every good funeral home should be integral to its community, a goal that can’t be achieved just by being there the longest. One of our core values at Smith Family Funeral Homes is giving back to the families who make us great, and we do that by supporting first responders, veterans, caregivers and others by hosting cookouts, birthdays, and more. Our directors and other team members volunteer their time to work with the Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club. We also host an annual Christmas toy drive to support the Union Rescue Mission Dorcas House in their effort to care for abused women and children in the Central Arkansas area.