Funeral, Cremation & Cemetery

Crown Hill Funeral Home & Cemetery

Families have placed their trust in Crown Hill Funeral Home & Cemetery for generations. Compassionate care and outstanding service have been our priorities since 1863. Crown Hill Funeral Home is a beautiful place to plan and host a funeral, memorial or reception. Crown Hill Cemetery is a home for history, a cultural landmark and a beautiful final resting place for loved ones. Working together, the funeral home and cemetery deliver personalized funeral, cremation and burial services for families in Indianapolis, Indiana, and nearby areas.

We know that losing a loved one is an emotional and challenging experience, and our mission at Crown Hill is to alleviate as much stress as possible. By devoting ourselves to the utmost care and attention at the time of need, guiding your family through the process, and sharing the benefits of planning ahead, we've built lasting relationships and earned our community's trust.

Crown Hill burial locator

Five hundred and fifty-five acres is a lot to navigate, and with more than 190,000 gravesites, Crown Hill Cemetery can seem overwhelming when you are trying to locate a particular loved one. Our online tool can help. Use the burial locator to enter the first and last name of your family member or friend to find the cemetery section of that person's final resting place. You can also enter only a last name to find all of the people with that name who have been buried here.

 

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Personalized funerals & memorials

Funeral Home Exterior at Crown Hill Funeral Home and CemeteryFuneral and memorial services are a way to say goodbye to loved ones, share memories with family and friends, and start the healing process. Crown Hill Funeral Home offers many types of services. We'll work with you and your family to create a personalized ceremony that deeply reflects the details of a special life. There are endless ways to personalize a service. Start with a special life story—we'll take it from there.

When you first meet with a funeral director or certified celebrant, we'll ask questions about your loved one: what he liked to do, what she cherished, how he thought about the world, how she liked to spend time. From there, we'll help you create a service that speaks to the unique life of your loved one, whether that's a traditional religious funeral or a contemporary and upbeat celebration of life.

Tell us if your loved one was a Hoosiers fan, an Indy car enthusiast, a champion gardener, a world traveler, a pet lover or a baker extraordinaire. We take the things that mattered to your special person and weave them together to create a singular, heartfelt memorial. We're here to help express the details of your loved one's life through cherished traditions, favorite music, photos, flowers, a tribute video and more.

Whatever kind and size of service best suits you or your loved one, we can easily accommodate that. Crown Hill Funeral Home has four indoor venues, each a unique and beautiful setting. Our staff works with you to determine the option that best fits your wishes.

 

An onsite crematory & cremation options

Cremation Garden at Crown Hill Funeral Home and CemeteryCrown Hill Funeral Home operates its own crematory. This allows us to have complete control of a cremation, from start to finish, which means your loved one never leaves our care. Our licensed funeral directors and certified cremation technicians handle every step of the cremation process with diligence and compassion. The crematory includes a viewing suite, so your family may witness the cremation if that's your wish. You can also opt to have some private time with your loved one prior to the cremation.

Not everyone knows that there are many cremation options. If you are interested in this increasingly common decision, the funeral home team can explain the different choices. From a simple cremation without a memorial service to a full funeral service before or after the cremation and a catered reception, we can help you understand cremation and will handle all of the arrangements.

We also offer cremation jewelry, which is a lovely way to keep a loved one close. Delivery of ashes can be made to your home by a member of our staff—it would be our honor—or the U.S. Postal Service. Crown Hill Cemetery has a number of options for permanent and beautiful cremation memorials.

Catering services & receptions

Celebration Hall at Crown Hill Funeral Home and CemeteryAvailable to all the families we serve, Celebration Hall is spacious reception center filled with natural light and adaptable to any memorial gathering. With kitchen facilities, tables and chairs, and audiovisual equipment, it accommodates breakfast buffets, seated dinners, casual lunches and themed events. There's also outdoor seating, as well as a patio overlooking the stunning grounds of Crown Hill Cemetery. We work with local caterers to coordinate food and beverage needs of all kinds.

Historic Crown Hill Cemetery

Front Entrance at Crown Hill Funeral Home and CemeteryCrown Hill Cemetery was established in 1863 at what was known then as Strawberry Hill. The summit, which overlooks Indianapolis, was renamed The Crown. An Indiana icon, Crown Hill Cemetery is the most prominent cemetery in the area, and is known around the world for its historic treasures and breathtaking natural beauty.

A truly tranquil final resting place, Crown Hill Cemetery’s 555 parklike acres include 25 miles of winding roads, the gravesites of more than 190,000 loved ones, and Gothic structures dating back to 1875. It has a magnificent view of the Indianapolis skyline, and it echoes with the remarkable stories of the lives memorialized here. Many of the men and women buried at Crown Hill were nationally or globally famous politicians, artists and sport figures.

Burial options

Crown Hill Cemetery offers families an array of burial options--both traditional and contemporary.

Traditional in-ground burial. Spaces range from individual to companion and family areas, or special estate plots.

Aboveground burial. Both indoor and outdoor community mausoleums include single, companion or family crypts. Crown Hill Cemetery also offers prestigious private family mausoleums.

Cremation options. Ashes (cremated remains) may be scattered in our scattering garden, permanently memorialized in our cremation garden or placed in cremation niches.

Custom grave markers. Selecting a grave marker can sometimes seem overwhelming, but our monument design specialists work with families to ensure loved ones get memorials that celebrates their unique lives.

Crown Hill National Cemetery

Cemetery Grounds at Crown Hill Funeral Home and CemeteryCrown Hill National Cemetery lies within the perimeter of Crown Hill Cemetery. Situated on the gently sloping hill behind the Gothic Chapel, the 1.4-acre property was purchased by the U.S. government in 1866 for the purpose of moving 707 Union soldiers from City Cemetery. Today Crown Hill National Cemetery is the resting place for 2,135 soldiers, representing many of the wars with U.S. involvement. The last soldier buried in the cemetery was Maj. Robert W. Hayes, an Air Force pilot killed in Vietnam in 1969.

Each Memorial Day, Crown Hill Cemetery honors the men and women who are interred in the national cemetery with a traditional Memorial Day celebration.

Companion Meadow

We understand that your pet is an important part of your family. That’s why we created a dedicated section for your pets' burial. Called Companion Meadow, it is a peaceful cremation garden that includes several options for memorializing beloved animals, including columbarium niches and a variety of monuments.

Veterans services

When it comes to honoring veterans, our level of dedication and commitment is unrivaled. We go above and beyond to recognize and pay respect to the courageous men and women who risked their lives for their country. To that end, we offer these extra services and recognition to fallen veterans:

  • Veteran’s first call. When we transport the deceased veteran, we drape the stretcher with an American flag.
  • Veteran’s final march. When we accompany the veteran to his or her final resting place, the coach is identified with an American flag and the emblem of the veteran’s branch of service.
  • Pallbearer identification. We identify pallbearers by providing each with a lapel pin of the American flag as our gift to them in recognition of their service for a veteran.
  • Patriot’s walk. Prior to the arrival of the funeral procession, our cemetery staff installs a double row of flags from the road where the coach will stop to the graveside, creating a patriot’s walk in honor of the veteran. The gravesite is also decorated with special draping for the chairs and lowering device.
  • Honor Guard. The local Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion Posts maintain a volunteer group of veterans to serve as an Honor Guard to provide a final salute to comrade.
  • Other options. Additional special touches might include a dove release, canon firing, horse drawn carriage or playing of Taps.

As part of our Armed Forced Veterans Program, all active-duty, reserve, retired or former members of the military receive a complimentary veteran’s burial space in the cemetery’s Field of Valor of America section. This burial space is provided at no charge other than a one-time perpetual care fee required by Indiana State Law.

If a member of the U.S. armed forces is killed in action, all cemetery and funeral goods and services for the veteran are complimentary.

Services for public safety heroes

Statue in the Veterans Field of Valor at Crown Hill Funeral Home and Cemetery At Crown Hill, we believe that a simple thank you is not enough to show our gratitude to those who protect and serve our community day after day. That’s why we created the Heroes of Public Safety Program for emergency personal. This program provides dignified and honorable tributes, at no cost, for career and volunteer public servants who lose their lives in the line of duty.

Benefits for fallen public safety heroes include:

  • Funeral and graveside or memorial service
  • One day of visitation
  • Professional service fees, including embalming (if requested or required)
  • Customary transportation fees, such as removal from place of death (50-mile radius), transportation to the cemetery, funeral coach and flower care on the day of the service
  • Burial option: 20-gauge steel or hardwood casket, minimum-lined concrete outer burial container, and a 24 x 12-inch personalized bronze marker with vase mounted on granite base
  • Cremation option: rental casket or cremation container, sheet bronze urn and personalized cast bronze memorial plaque
  • Burial, niche or urn space at Crown Hill Cemetery
  • Interment or crematory fees
  • Register book, acknowledgement cards and memorial folder

Planning ahead

Couple at home pre-planningIn addition to assisting during your time of need, our team specializes in helping families and individuals plan final arrangements in advance. We recognize that funeral arrangements and associated expenses can be overwhelming. By preparing these details ahead of time, you provide a sense of relief and comfort to your loved ones while ensuring your personal wishes are known. We can provide information or answer questions about pre-planning your funeral, cremation and cemetery arrangements.

Public safety heroes and their families, veterans, current or widowed spouses of veterans, children and stepchildren of veterans, and parents of veterans all may qualify to save on funeral and cremation services when they plan in advance.

Here for you

Thank you for considering Crown Hill Funeral Home & Cemetery for your funeral, cremation and burial needs. We are honored by the trust placed in us by the people of Indianapolis, and we strive to uphold our legacy. Please contact us if you need immediate assistance, wish to tour our funeral home or would simply like more information about our services. Arrangements can be made in person, by phone or by email. We're here to help.

Crown Hill Heritage Foundation

Chapel Exterior at Crown Hill Funeral Home and CemeteryListed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, Crown Hill is a community treasure that serves a broad range of needs and stands as a monument to the memories of hundreds of famous Hoosiers and the thousands more who selected Crown Hill as their final resting place. Crown Hill Heritage Foundation was founded in 1984 to preserve and share the architectural, cultural and natural heritage of the city’s oldest urban green space.

The important work of Crown Hill Heritage Foundation includes:

  • Preservation and restoration of historic buildings, mausoleums, iconic monuments and precious artwork
  • Education through public and private tours and events that celebrate the history of the city, state and country, as well as natural surroundings
  • Preservation and enhancement of the cemetery through tree plantings and cultural landscape section preservation

The foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit. Donations to the foundation are tax deductible, and the foundation welcomes contributions, multiyear pledges or estate gifts.

Guided cemetery tours

Guided historical public tours take place May through October, on several weekends a month. Tours are scheduled in advance and cover a variety of themes. The majority are scheduled so visitors can see the sunset and city skyline from the memorial for James Whitcomb Riley on the top of The Crown. Discount tickets can be purchased in advance or you can pay the full fee at the gate.

Guided historical private tours take place late March through October, 9 a.m. until dark, on every day of the year except holidays, as long as a tour guide is available. Tours must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance. Most guided tours last 90 minutes, are walking tours and cover about one mile at what is a comfortable pace for most. We also offer driving tours in your cars, vans and very small buses.

Guided private tours are walking or driving tours of historic Crown Hill Cemetery that are scheduled at least two weeks in advance. We offer these tours for individuals; adult groups; families; school groups; and children's groups, such as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Tours typically last 90 minutes to two hours. Those scheduling the tour can choose the tour theme.

Get private tour information.

History

Crown Hill Cemetery has a storied past. Here are a few highlights.

September 25, 1863
Crown Hill Cemetery is incorporated as a nonprofit, nondenominational, nonsectarian cemetery with a board of 30 corporators.

October 16, 1863
The first 236 acres of land are purchased from three local farmers for $51,000.

December 31, 1863
Fredrick Chislett, landscape architect and first superintendent, moves his family into a cabin on the south approach of the cemetery's highest point, called The Crown.

June 1, 1864
Dedication ceremony for the new cemetery takes place.

June 2, 1864
Lucy Ann Seaton becomes the first burial at Crown Hill. Rev. Hanford Edson conducts the funeral.

Fall 1864
The first private mausoleum—for the Caleb Smith family—is completed (Section 5).

February 19, 1865
Josephine Jones becomes the first Black interment at Crown Hill.

May 1, 1866
The gatehouse at the east entrance is completed.

July 1, 1866
A total of 480 burials are recorded with 71 monuments and 85 memorials.

August 27, 1866
The U.S. government purchases land at Crown Hill for a national cemetery. The first 707 soldiers are moved to this section in November.

September 9, 1867
A residence for the superintendent on the grounds is approved. It is completed in 1869.

May 30, 1868
Crown Hill, along with Arlington National Cemetery and 182 others in 27 states, participate in the country's first Memorial Day celebrations.

June 1, 1869
Grounds are expanded to 256 acres.

April 12, 1871
The Crown Hill board votes to help finance the replacement of a wooden bridge over Fall Creek with an iron one, so that large monuments can be brought into the cemetery.

January 7, 1875
Construction on the Gothic Chapel designed by D.A. Bohlen is started—and completed by the year’s end.

November 13, 1877
The cemetery donates several lots to various benevolent societies.

April 26, 1878
Oliver P. Morton become the first of 10 Indiana governors interred at Crown Hill.

January 20, 1880
The first telephone is installed at the cemetery.

November 1885
The New Archway and Waiting Station are completed at the east gate, which becomes the main entrance.

April 30, 1886
All property south of Maple Road (38th Street) has now been purchased and amounts to 393 acres.

July 1889
A total of 157 acres on the north side of Maple Road is purchased.

April 1901
The original main entrance on Michigan Road is razed and replaced by a new west entrance of the southwest corner of South Grounds.

October 11, 1911
Forty acres on north side of Maple Road is purchased.

February 1912
1,100 Indianapolis pioneers are moved from Greenlawn Cemetery to Crown Hill.

November 7, 1912
Automobiles are allowed into the cemetery.

May 1914
A new superintendent’s residence is planned south of the Waiting Station on Boulevard Place.

June 1914
The first sections of the brick and wrought-iron fence are completed on the north and south sides of 38th Street.

October 17, 1917
Poet James Whitcomb Riley becomes the first burial on The Crown.

April 1918
The first automobile is purchased for the cemetery.

Fall 1925
Construction starts on a bridge/underpass beneath 38th Street. It is completed by the summer of 1927.

October 27, 1931
Confederate soldiers—1,616 prisoners of war who died at Camp Morton in the city—are reburied from Greenlawn.

February 7, 1933
The last cemetery work horses are sold.

November 16, 1935
The first family interment is made in the North Grounds (Section 223).

October 1942
A military bivouac or “war show” consisting of more than 250 pyramidal tents and 2,600 soldiers is erected on the North Grounds to aid in recruiting efforts.

June 1950
The last two dwellings (including the superintendent’s home) are razed.

January 13, 1951
The community mausoleum is dedicated.

April 1957
An entrance north of 38th Street is opened.

Spring 1962
The first of several garden crypts is erected east of the community mausoleum.

April 1968
The southwest entrance (at 32nd Street and Old Michigan Road) is closed and removed.

July 1968
Groundbreaking for the new administration building takes place at the 38th Street office.

May 2, 1972
The restored Gothic Chapel is dedicated.

February 28, 1973
Crown Hill Cemetery is designated by the National Register of Historic Places.

April 1985
An equatorial sundial is placed in front of the community mausoleum.

Spring 1988
Crown Hill Cemetery is recognized as a museum of local and state history.

Fall 1990
The Lewis E. Enkema Fountain is placed inside the 34th Street entrance.

May 27, 1991
Dedication of a monument in the new military section takes place. Honors are extended to the United States Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.

Fall 1992
Historic brick fence restoration is completed.

Spring 1993
The Crown Hill Funeral Home is dedicated.

October 3, 1993
Rededication of the Confederate lot (bronze plaques at this site contain the names of those interred here).

November 11, 2004
The Field of Valor of America (4 acres of the North Grounds) is dedicated to expand the cemetery's military sections.

November 11, 2005
The Eternal Flame and Eagle Plaza installed at Field of Valor are dedicated.

Summer 2020
Crown Hill Funeral Home & Cemetery in Indianapolis, Indiana, becomes part of the Dignity Memorial® network.