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Cleveland County African American Heritage Trail
Item 3 of 11

The Dockery family owned one of the oldest funeral homes in the county and were the first to sell burial insurance to African Americans. The original structure on Buffalo St. in the Freedmon Community of East Shelby is still standing as a testament to the early history of the African American community there.


  • Window, Brick, Property, Real estate
  • Window, Plant, Property, Road
  • Motor vehicle, Automotive exterior, Automotive parking light, Classic

Dockery Funeral Home serves as a testament to the opportunities afforded African Americans during the era of segregation in the South. Carl Dockery and Sherman Enloe both became some of the earliest business owners in the fledgling Freedmon community of East Shelby in the 1920s and 1930s. Being a mortician was one of the few opportunities afforded African American men during segregation as funeral homes tended to be segregated spaces. Segregation meant that some of the only jobs African Americans could get with a college degree were Clergy, Morticians, and educators. Both Dockery and Enloe were college educated in order to learn the mortician trade.

Written by Chavis Gash and Zach Dressel

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Chavis Gash

Chavis Gash

Cleveland County Historical Collection