In May of 1881, Frank W. Flanner became Indiana’s first licensed embalmer and opened a mortuary in downtown Indianapolis. In 1887 Charles J. Buchanan joined his brother-in-law in the business, and the Flanner and Buchanan partnership was formed. The company was initially funded with money received from a Civil War pension.
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The company continued to grow under the leadership of Paul H. Buchanan, a son of Charles J. Buchanan, and Frank B. Flanner, Frank W. Flanner’s nephew. In 1925, the pair constructed a beautiful new state-of-the-art facility on Fall Creek Parkway at Meridian Street. It became “the” mortuary for northside families. Many funeral homes once lined North Meridian Street, but this location became the leader and served close to 1,000 families annually at its peak.
As the city’s population expanded north, so did F and B. In 1953, the stately brick funeral center in Broad Ripple was constructed. A few years later the Zionsville location was purchased, and facilities on North Shadeland Avenue and Mann Road in Decatur Township were added. F and B also purchased the Farley funeral homes on West Morris Street and in Speedway on North High School Road.
F and B constructed a beautiful new funeral center in Carmel in 1980. Later, F and B built funeral centers on the grounds of both Washington Park East Cemetery and Washington Park North Cemetery and Family Center. The aging Mann Road funeral center was later relocated to a spacious new home on South Kentucky Avenue just south of I-465.
Funeral Centers at Oaklawn Memorial Gardens and Hamilton Memorial Park now serve Hamilton County residents. Opened in 2008, our newest funeral center is located at Floral Park Cemetery.
Hon. Paul H. Buchanan Jr. 90, former Chief Judge of the Indiana Court of Appeals and a member of the court for 22 years, and a grandson of the founder of Flanner and Buchanan Funeral Centers, passed away on November 6, 2008.
In 2001 the Community Life Center opened on the campus of Washington Park East Cemetery. This “jewel” of the east side is now a popular destination for weddings, funerals and community events. As our community grows and traditions change, Flanner and Buchanan will continue to be there, putting families and community first.