Francis Marion Compton
Founder of Compton-Connally Funeral Home Grand Master of Texas Independent Order of Oddfellows 1931 President of Waco Lions Club
Francis Compton was born August 24, 1871 in Illinois. He grew up there and began to build quite the respected reputation as a young man until he moved to Waco in 1908.
Most Wacoans will recognize Compton for his name as he spent his life in the funeral service business and established the very well known Compton Funeral Home. This long-time Waco mainstay was originally at 214 South 4th Street before moving to 1024 Austin Avenue where it stayed for many years. Compton Funeral Services began when he arrived in Waco in 1908 but it truly established itself as the leading undertaking service in central Texas during the 1918 flu epidemic. Today, the business is known as Connally-Compton. His success in that capacity led to him serving as a President of the Texas Funeral Directors Association. As a side venture and hobby, farming/gardening took up a lot of Compton’s rare spare time. He took it very seriously and went so far as to hire soil scientists to determine what plants were best suited for the soil on land he owned. At the time of his death, he was endeavoring to develop what he hoped would be the best rose farm in Texas.
He was very involved socially and fraternally. Sadly, Compton passed away during his year in the East at Waco 92. By that time, he had already served as president of the Waco Lions Club, the Kiwanis Clubs, and was a Past Grand Master of the Odd Fellows of Texas. Compton was also a Karem Shriner and a member of the Knights of Pythias. He was remembered as having constantly served in various capacities at Central Christian Church.
When Compton died as Worshipful Master of Waco 92 in 1938, his funeral at Central Christian Church was one of the most highly attended services in the history of our city. Thousands of people arrived and they could not fit in the church. Hundreds of others were waiting at Oakwood Cemetery when his remains were laid to rest. Witnesses said the floral arrangement was by far the most incredible they had ever seen.