History of Greenlawn Funeral Home
In 1918, the Dixie Pythian Lodge founded the Dixie Pythian Cemetery, named for the fraternal organization, the Knights of Pythias. Established in 1864, the Knights of Pythias was the first fraternal order to receive a charter under an act of the U.S. Congress and is dedicated to the cause of universal peace. At that time, members of the Dixie Pythian Lodge could purchase a 20-foot x 20-foot burial space.
Through the years, Dixie Pythian Cemetery eventually fell into a state of neglect. A local funeral home owner purchased the cemetery from the Pythians and changed its name to Greenlawn Cemetery. Improvements made under the new ownership included the addition of a wall along the front of the property, a pond and the establishment of a fund to take care of the grounds, which was not a state requirement at the time.
Some years later, Michigan native J. Howard Wendorph met the Greenlawn Cemetery owner at a convention. Mr. Wendorph expressed interest in Greenlawn Cemetery and sent his son, Vernon, who had just returned from military duty, to see the property. While there, Vernon Wendorph visited door to door in the surrounding neighborhoods seeking opinions about Greenlawn and the area in general. Based upon his findings, the Wendorph family purchased Greenlawn Cemetery in 1949.