The HOUSE OF WILLS, a funeral home established in 1904 as Gee & Wills, was,
in 1995, one of the oldest and most successful black businesses in Cleveland. It was reportedly the largest black funeral
home in the state. Gee & Wills originally opened at 2323 Central Ave. The partnership dissolved in 1907, at which time
J. Walter Wills SR. †, began to operate under the name of J. Walter Wills
& Sons. Subsequent locations were 2525 Central and
2340 E. 55th St. In 1941 the home moved to its present (1995) facility at 2491 E. 55th St. A second location operated at 14711
Harvard Ave. in the 1980s. For many years the House of Wills hosted black community gatherings, barred from most comparable
public facilities during the first half of the 20th century.