Columbus Marble Works, established in 1846, is a designer and manufacturer of monuments, mausoleums, signage and architectural pieces for both residential and commercial construction. To ensure longevity, we work with only the finest grades of granite, marble, limestone and bronze from around the world. Our modern computer operated machinery is paired with our vast hands-on expertise to create true works of art that will tell a person's story to future generations. We welcome the opportunity to help you tell your loved one's story. Purchasing a monument should not be a chore that is driven by pressure and a limited selection of generic designs. When handled correctly, it can be a very rewarding experience. We encourage you to offer input that will help us to design the perfect monument that will be admired for many generations. Give us a call or visit one of our indoor showrooms and let us show you why we have been a company to trust for 175 years.
History of Columbus Marble Works
In 1846, the Mexican-American War began. The United States won and the victory added California as the 31st state. Ulysses S. Grant fought in the battle as a 24 year old soldier. On the east coast, a first year Congressman from Illinois named Abraham Lincoln was taking his seat in the House of Representatives.
That same year, on March 6, 1846, two Scotchmen named Cornelius and Richard Miller opened the doors on their new business, Columbus Marble Works in Columbus, Mississippi. Their business produced tombstones, mantles and urns. In 1891, the business was purchased by John Stinson. He had only one employee.
In 1900, a high school boy named Thomas Arthur "T.A." McGahey took a job smoothing the surface of stone for 50 cents a day. T.A. was a hard worker and worked his way up to a full partner. The business grew to serve a radius of more than 80 miles. In 1908, T.A. bought a half interest in the business and moved it to a new larger shop in Columbus.
After Mr. Stinson’s death, Mr. McGahey bought his interest and began to expand the business. Columbus Marble Works began to do business in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas and Arkansas. Next, a power plant was added, followed by an additional office building. In the 1930’s, branch offices were opened in Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Atlanta and Memphis. Not only was McGahey a good businessman, he was also a wise investor. He grew the business without borrowing a single dime.
In 1935, the company purchased a mail order monument business, a one-fourth interest in Moretti-Harrah Marble Corporation, and two other businesses in Tennessee and Vermont. In 1942, the partners split the businesses giving Columbus Marble Works sole ownership of Moretti-Harrah Marble and the Alabama Marble quarry in Sylacauga, Alabama. Soon after, he purchased Columbia Marble Company in North Carolina. Over the next several decades the quarries were depleted of quality monument grade blocks and they were sold. The business began to focus on its’ core area and sold several of the branch locations.
In 1974, under the leadership of Mr. McGahey’s son-in-law, W.L. “Bill” Jones, the company built a larger modern plant on the highway. Columbus Marble Works was known for their skilled craftsmen and ability to create beautiful monuments from marble and granite. The new plant allowed for many efficiencies and increased production.
Fred A. Jones, succeeded his father as the next President of Columbus Marble Works. Fred believed in modernization and the plant continued to add the latest in tooling and machinery. Fred's vision positioned us to be more efficient and increased our ability to build intricate and complex monuments. With knowledge and enhanced equipment, we began to create more custom architectural elements, such as signage, mouldings, and pieces for both residential and commercial construction.
Sadly, we lost our latest president, R.L. "Ed" Edmonson, in 2020. Ed was T.A.'s grandson and grew up in the business. Ed was involved in many varied interests over the years and we miss his wisdom dearly. His friendly personality was well known in the region as was his devotion to his family, tennis, hunting and playing cards. Some of Ed's grandchildren are now active in the business, making them the 5th generation of McGaheys at Columbus Marble Works.
Today, Columbus Marble Works and its’ subsidiaries are still family owned by the heirs of Thomas Arthur McGahey. The manufacturing plant now consists of more than 130,000 square feet with computer controlled automated machinery. The company has the experience and ability to create virtually anything that can be designed from granite, marble or limestone. Columbus Marble Works has long been known in this region for our ability to build true works of art. Our reputation for quality has expanded over the years and today we ship monuments and architectural products to every corner of the United States and several additional countries.