Enloe Mortuary on N. Lafayette St., the oldest African American-owned funeral home in Cleveland County, was established by Sherwood T. Enloe, Sr, one of the first black businesspersons in the county. Still in operation, Enloe Mortuary is the longest-running black owned business in Cleveland County. Sherman and his wife were also civic leaders in the African American community.
Backstory and Context
In 1922 at age 22, Enloe became licensed as a funeral director and established the funeral home. Later, in 1926, he became a founding member of the N.C. Funeral Directors and Morticians Association.
In 1923, Mr. Enloe married Jennie Lee Friday of Dallas, NC, and she became the first black licensed beautician in Cleveland County. Mrs. Enloe worked side by side with her husband at the funeral home, serving black families in Cleveland County and beyond. The Enloes had three children, Sherwood Jr, Elsie, and Shirley Gwendolyn. Sherwood T. Enloe,Jr., known as Bubba, worked in the family business as a licensed funeral director and embalmer until his death in 1982. His son, Kevin, completed his studies at Gupton Jones in Atlanta, Ga in 1983, and currently operates the family business.
Written by Chavis Gash
Earl Scruggs Center