For years, they’ve been “local legends.”
Now, they are officially “Texas Treasures.”
That’s the name of the honor presented to a pair of local businesses Wednesday by the Texas Historical Commission, as Corsicana’s Old Mexican Inn and Corley Funeral Home were recognized with the Texas Treasure Business Award.
The program pays tribute to businesses that have provided employment opportunities and support to the state’s economy for 50 years or more.
Both businesses honored Wednesday certainly fit the requirements — Corley Funeral Home dates back to 1878 in Mexia, and to 1929 in Corsicana; Old Mexican Inn traces its beginnings back to the corner of Seventh and Beaton Streets in 1941.
Julius Flores was joined by two more generations of family members for the presentation by State Rep. Byron Cook on behalf of the Texas Historical Commission.
“The community has always been here for us, and we’re glad to be here,” Flores said in accepting the award. “We’ve seen Corsicana grow and we’ve grown at the same time.”
Best known for its secret-formula “orange dip” which began as a salad dressing, the Old Mexican Inn originally opened in 1941 just off Beaton and Seventh Avenue. The move to the present location on West Seventh Avenue was made in 1965.
In a 2009 interview, family matriarch Caroline Flores said she borrowed $500 from a friend to start the business. Their first dinner — enchiladas, and they ran out early, she said.
“You’re a ‘Texas Treasure’ but the Old Mexican Inn has been a ‘Corsicana and Navarro County Treasure’ for forever,” Cook said. “We’ve all grown with you.”
Flores thanked his family members, employees, and the customers that have supported the restaurant for 73 years and counting.
“We are very, very proud of this,” he said.
The original Corley Funeral Home was established in 1878 in Mexia by John R. Corley Sr., and as most funeral homes did in that era it began as a furniture store that offered funeral supplies, coffins, livery service and “undertaking” services.
The elder Corley had two sons that followed in his footsteps, and John R. Corley Jr. purchased the present Corsicana location of Corley Funeral Home in 1929. He was joined by his son, John R. (Bob) Corley III after the younger Corley finished school and military service.
In 2009, Ron and Suzanne Smith purchased Corley Funeral Home and today it is still located in the stately facility at Second Avenue and 13th Street. Several additions have been made through the years, and the facility now encompasses approximately 17,000 square feet as it enters its 85th year of service to Corsicana.
“Corley Funeral Home has been an important part of the fabric of Corsicana since 1929,” Cook said. “I am pleased to present this award to Ron and Suzanne Smith in appreciation for the significance of Corley Funeral Home to our community.”
“It is such an honor to receive this recognition from the Texas Historical Commission, and I accept it on behalf of the Corley families; three generations that built this fine business,” Ron Smith said.
“It’s a privilege also for Suzanne and I to be the proud owners of such a historic funeral home, one of the few remaining of its kind in the State of Texas. But most of all we thank the good people of Corsicana and Navarro County for their loyalty and trust over all the years.”
Cook said the Texas Treasure designation was very appropriate for the two businesses honored Wednesday.
“The award recognizes companies that have had a long tenure of investment, community involvement and have been a part of this community for a long time,” Cook said. “Both of these are Corsicana traditions.”
A third Corsicana business — Oil City Iron Works — is scheduled to receive the Texas Treasure Business Award on July 21.
You may reach the Daily Sun newsroom by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
For years, they’ve been “local legends.”
- Latest News
County values up for 2014
The property value of Navarro County went up 5 1/2 percent in value for 2015, a rebound from the last two years when the city and county were reeling from the loss of some major companies’ plants.
Home, sweet home
Judy and Wayne Nelson had a family of visitors last week — the daughter and grandchildren of the architect who designed their 1927 house on Mills Place.
Six arrested following drug raid
Six people were arrested following the execution of a search warrant Thursday night by the Corsicana Police Department’s narcotics detectives, patrol officers and a Navarro County Sheriff’s deputy who works as a courtesy officer for the Arbors Apartment, 1300 N. 45th St.
AgriLife adds two new agents to Navarro office
It’s been awhile since the AgriLife Extension office in Navarro County has been fully staffed, but it’s going great guns now.
New to the staff are Meredith DeBorde, and Lorie Stovall, who will be heading up the 4-H programs and the family and consumer programs, respectively.
Sheriff seeks salary shuffle
Navarro County Sheriff Elmer Tanner went to the County Commissioner’s budget workshop Thursday to ask for a change of how his officers are compensated, or, alternately, an 8 percent across-the-board raise.
Floating a big fundraiser idea
The big night is fast approaching for the 10 Grand Country Jam, an Aug. 2 fundraiser for the Child Advocates of Navarro County. What will make it a big night is the grand prize, a $31,000 pontoon boat.
Honoring a hero
Since March of this year, the family of Candelario Garcia Jr. has been so proud of him, they could burst.
Commissioners start budget process
The Navarro County Commissioner’s Court held its first budget workshop Wednesday, the first of a dozen or more over the next month or so.
Public pianos invite players
Corsicana has always been a musical town, with emphasis on country and western, rock and roll, bluegrass and Gospel, but now the parks and recreation department is moving towards bringing music to the masses in a different way. They’re going to put pianos downtown, on the sidewalks for anyone to play at random.
Navarro County 4-H Club holds event
Texas A&M AgriLife Extention will hold Summer Exploration Days at the Navarro County Expo on Tuesday, July 29 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.
- More Latest News Headlines
- County values up for 2014