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.

Our History

The funeral home’s beginning can be traced to the late 1800’s. Prior to 1906, there was a furniture store with an undertaking department on the northeast side of the square that was owned and operated for many years by George W. Irvin.

In 1906 a prominent citizen of Knoxville named Lyman L. Bybee and a partner bought the business, renaming it Bybee & Mills. Mr. Mill’s interest was bought out by H.C. Hall and the business was renamed Bybee & Hall. With Knoxville’s growing population, the business needed to expand, so in 1911 a new funeral home was built at 201 West Main Street.

Later that same year, Lyman’s son, Allen “Pete” Bybee purchased Mr. Hall’s interest and the business became known as Bybee & Son. Two years later, with the business in good hands, Lyman left to pursue other business interests. Soon after, Pete Bybee would take on a partner, Chester A. Metz, and the business was renamed Bybee & Metz. The two worked together for many years before Chester’s death in 1919.

In 1921, J.M. “Jim” Davis created a partnership with Pete Bybee, forming Bybee & Davis Furniture & Undertaking. In 1927 they would take on another partner, Ralph Jacobs, who had been an employee of the business since 1912. With the continued success and expansion of the funeral home, operations for that part of the business were moved to its present location at the E.R. Hays House at 301 North Second Street in 1935. In 1953, Pete Bybee retired and sold his interest in the business to Clarence Miers and Stella Bybee Clark, both employees since 1921. Following the death of Jim Davis in 1960, Don Whitlatch also purchased a business interest.

A major remodeling effort took place in 1961, in which a chapel, selection room and garage were added onto the building. Soon after, Stella would retire and following Don’s untimely death in 1965, Jerry Zager purchased Bybee & Davis Funeral Home from Clarence. Jerry continued to operate the business until his semi-retirement in 2000. He then sold the funeral home to his son, Ray Bertrand. Many updates have been made to the funeral home since 2000. The selection room was completely remodeled to add displays for cremation, monument and Memorialization Options, expansion of the burial vault display, as well as the display of over 30 caskets. The chapel was renovated, which allowed for the updating of the audio/visual equipment and added more space for floral displays. The parking area has also been expanded. Ray continues to provide the highest standard of service for quality and care that was established by Lyman Bybee over 100 years ago.

History of Mason Funeral Home

In 1920, Charlie Mason opened a furniture and undertaking business along East Monroe Street in downtown Pleasantville. He and his son, Francis, operated the business together until 1927, when Francis took over ownership. Three years later, he would move the funeral home to a building on Washington Street, north of the square. In 1968, construction of a new building at 902 North State Street was completed and the funeral home moved to its present location.

Francis and his wife, Frances, continued to operate the funeral home and their furniture business until 1983, when they closed the furniture store.

One year later, after serving the town of Pleasantville for over 57 years, the couple retired, selling Mason Funeral Home to Jerry Zager, who also owned Bybee & Davis Funeral Home in Knoxville. In 1986, Jerry remodeled the funeral home, adding a selection room. The funeral home was sold to his son, Ray Bertrand, in 2000 when Jerry went into semi-retirement. Ray has made many updates to Mason Funeral Home in order to provide a higher standard of service, including an update of the audio/visual equipment and a complete remodel of the selection room, adding a cremation options display. He has managed to maintain the level of quality and care that the Mason family provided for many years to the families of Pleasantville and the surrounding area.