Built in 1940 by Robert Henry McAnelly, the McAnelly Building is located at 215-219 South Market Street. It is a two-story, red-brick building with a cornice and a soldier row of brick. The panel below the cornice displays the legend "McAnelly, 1940.” There are six plate glass display windows. These stores are separated by a stairway to second floor. The left retail space with the 215 address is larger than the right side with the 219 address.

The McAnelly Building currently houses the Family Life Center and the Drug Testing Program Management groups on the left, and the right side is unoccupied (the name on the windows is Patrick J. Hood and F. Brian Rice, Attorneys at Law). The S & H Surveying Company is located upstairs.

Current view: Family Life Center and unoccupied

The McAnelly Building has been home to a number of businesses. As noted earlier, building is asymmetrical; the left side is larger than the right side. When the building was built, the first tenant was David Lee department Store. In the 1956 phone book, the left side of this building housed the David Lee was department store, and the right side housed Scottsboro Jewelry. David Bradford remembers that Scottsboro Jewelry was the only shop in Scottsboro to carry high-end music instruments, stocking guitars by Fender and Gibson. In 1965-67, the left side was home to Mac’s Auto Electrical Parts and Service, while Scottsboro Jewelry continued on the right. In the 1970 and 1972 city directories, the left side of the building was empty. By 1975, the entire building was devoted to Western Auto, which had moved here from the Benson Building. In the late 1970s, the right side of this building was home to Ferrell Hallmark, owned and operated by Charlotte Mettenberger.

Robert Henry McAnelly and his undertaking business

Henry McAnelly was the first board certified embalmer in Jackson County. He went to an embalming school in Nashville, and operated a funeral home from his furniture store from about 1914 or 1915 until shortly before he was elected Jackson County Probate Judge in 1934 in a building that was torn down when the Proctor Building was built.

He married Lula Wilhelm and they had one child, a daughter Opal, a accomplished pianist who was the apple of her father’s eye. Great niece Ann Chambless remembers stories that her mother told of the early days of this building. Robert Henry McAnelly married her grandfather Houston Wilhelm’s sister Lulu. Her mother Era Coe was an only child and so was her first cousin Opal McAnelly, daughter of R. H. and Lulu. The almost-sister pair of cousin played in this building as children. They would go up the 2nd floor where Mr. McAnelly stored his coffins and test out every one of them to decide which was the softest.

Opal died in 1930 of tuberculosis at age 17. The illness ran rampant in the Wilhelm family, and six years after Opal died, it also claimed his wife Lula. For a time, Henry suffered a breakdown. When he began to recover, he changed everything about his past life. He sold the funeral home business and built the McAnelly Building in 1940 and lived upstairs. His great niece Ann Chambless remembers: “He was compassionate man who spoke with sadness about burying nine people in the same family during the flu epidemic in 1919. It was obvious to me as a young girl, this tragedy really bore on his mind and stayed with him until his own death.”

In the mid-1940s, Henry McAnelly became a partner in the McAnelly-Word-Yates Funeral Home. When Henry died in 1949, the funeral home became Word-Yates and later, when Bill Yates died, Word-Bolton Funeral Home. The Heritage Center has the original death records from the McAnelly Funeral Home. “These records were in his upstairs apartment in the McAnelly Building when he died,” Ann explains, “and remained there until I located them when my first cousin Jim Sentell purchased the McAnelly Building and I got them donated to the Heritage Center.” A 1960 photo of Word-Boulton is shown below. This building was eventually remodeled and is currently Rudder Funeral Home.

Tenants of the McAnelly Building

Phone books and city directories provide some insight into the the people and businesses who shared their past with the McAnelly Building. Based on the number of addresses listed by city directory workers, there were 11 offices upstairs in the McAnelly Building.


  • Mary B. Brewer Insurance Agency
  • Emergency Aid Insurance
  • Loy Campbell, Attorney (who later was a judge and had his office in the courthouse before moving to the Campbell Building)
  • Emergency Aid Insurance Company
  • Army Recruiting Station

  • Campbell & Campbell
  • County Solicitor
  • Mary B.Brewer Agency
  • Mutual Savings and Load Insurance Company


  • Campbell & Campbell and County Solicitor (Rooms 1 an 2)
  • Mack’s Studio (Room 11)


  • Campbell and Campbell, Attorneys

In 1975, there were no occupied offices are in the McAnelly Building.

1930: tenants of the Proctor building predecessor

1958: a good view of the McAnelly building during a parade

1960: city directory ad for Word Bolton funeral home

McAnelly Building in 1975