Page 4 - Hamlett-Dobson Funeral Homes & Crematory
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  Our History...
          We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.
“Upholding high standards of service to the bereaved.”
Hamlett-Dobson has been a trusted family business since 1916—back when Kingsport was a small but fast- growing farming community. Maintaining the ideals of its founders, our staff of more than 30 individuals continues to serve the community with empathy and integrity. Explore the timeline to learn more about our history.
1915 - J. Fred Johnson recruits James (Jim) Hamlett, Sr.—manager of a store that held funeral services in Clarksville, Tenn.—to manage funeral services for “the Big Store,” Kingsport’s largest department store at the time.
1916 - Hamlett’s wife, Maude, and their four children (Clifton, Elizabeth, Clara, and Jim, Jr.) take their first train ride to join Hamlett in Kingsport.
1916 ~ 1919 - Hamlett, often accompanied by his children, travels throughout the Kingsport community to get acquainted with other area families. These beautiful walks through the countryside are some of daughter Clara’s favorite childhood memories.
1919 - Lawrence (“Jimmie”) W. Dobson returns home from WWI and, at age 27, joins Hamlett in the undertaking department of the Big Store. With Hamlett’s guidance, Dobson establishes his path as funeral director after attending the Gupton Jones School of Mortuary Sciences in Nashville.
1926 - Committed to the belief that the funeral home should stand alone in its service to the community, Hamlett and Dobson purchase the undertaking department from the Big Store for $3,200 and
move their partnership to the downtown location of Hamlett-Dobson Funeral Home near Church Circle.
1931 - Dobson marries Emma Lou McIllwain, a Kingsport school teacher from Parsons, Tenn. They raise two children, John and Emily.

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