At Chambers and Grubbs, we know that it takes a lot to impress people these days and to gain someone’s trust. That’s why we’d like to share our story with you to explain what we’ve done over the last 110 + years to earn the trust of Northern Kentucky families and to show you there is a difference when choosing a funeral home.
In 1906 C. Scott Chambers, a young horse breeder and trainer, left his home in Petersburg, KY on horseback to investigate the purchase of a farm in Lexington, KY and traveled by train from Walton. There he boarded his horse at a Livery, Coal, Feed & Undertaking business until his return trip. Disappointed he was unable to purchase a farm in the bluegrass area, he returned to retrieve his horse and go back home. While there, he showed great interest in the Livery and Undertaking establishment and bought half interest in the business. Later, he graduated from Cincinnati College of Embalming and purchased the remaining half interest, and became sole owner of the business.
Only future generations would realize his decision would start a family tradition that would span four generations and over 110 years. One of his three daughters, Mary, tagged along with her father whenever she could and was a bright study of the profession. She grew to become part of history herself; she graduated high school at sixteen and started mortuary school, graduating at the age of nineteen. Due to her age, she was unable to receive her license. In 1925, at the age of twenty-one, the state of Kentucky finally recognized her degree and Mary became the first female licensed embalmer in the state. A year later, she married a man that won her heart, Wallace K. Grubbs. Two years later, Wallace also became a licensed funeral director and embalmer. In 1931, the business name was changed to Chambers & Grubbs.
In the early 1900’s funeral services were much different than today; most were held at the decedent’s home, church, or cemetery. Occasionally, they were held at a funeral establishment. Initially, Mr. Chambers used his home in Walton. In 1936, he bought a 1 ½ story residence and took on the challenge of making the location a grand funeral home, complete with a chapel, music room, slumber room, residence, open hallways and a covered side porch for access protected from harsh weather.
Wallace and Mary also resided there with their five children: Jeanette, Wallace ‘Buddy”, John, Jim, and Elizabeth. Mr. Chambers enjoyed serving the families of the area in this first-class facility until he passed away suddenly seven years later. Wallace and Mary continued serving families as the second generation of professional funeral Directors until their deaths. Wallace died in 1975. Mary died in 1980, after being honored by her peers in the Kentucky State Association of Funeral Directors and Embalmers for being the first woman in the state holding a license for 50 years. It was a great honor, and a very momentous occasion for her. As a tribute, a connector road from interstate 75 to the city of Walton was completed and named Mary C. Grubbs Highway in Mary’s honor in 1980.
After their deaths, the business continued with Wallace “Buddy” Grubbs, and Jim Grubbs at the helm, as the third generation of the Chambers & Grubbs family to serve the families of Northern Kentucky in their time of need. Buddy retired in 2001, and passed away in 2011. In 1963, Jim and his wife Janice, a licensed funeral director opened a location in Independence and in 1996 to better serve the area, they expanded by adding a location in Florence. Before his death in 2010, Jim served in many capacities in funeral service including the past President of both the Northern Kentucky Funeral Directors Association and the Funeral Directors Association of Kentucky.
As a family owned business, many family members and associates have contributed to the business’ longevity, with nine family members, all at one time, holding licenses during the 1960’s and 1970’s. Today, as the funeral home continues to provide quality, compassionate care to the families of Northern Kentucky, it is led by a fourth generation of family funeral practitioners. Through the leadership of Steve Grubbs, Vice President, Chris Grubbs, President, and the support of a capable, caring, well trained, professional staff, the firm continues to implement modern conveniences into their facilities and processes, while holding on to the ideals set forth by their family’s four generations in funeral service. Their pledges of “Treating others the way you would want to be treated”, “Going beyond expectations to ensure the satisfaction of those you serve”, and “Treating families like they are your own” have become community trademarks in their commitment to excellence and a family history of building relationships with the families they serve.
Honored to be entrusted with the care and satisfaction of families since 1906