Location: Near Northwestside, 2424 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. St.
Frank Flanner, Indianapolis mortician and civic leader
Flanner was born in a Quaker village in Ohio in 1854 and moved to Indianapolis when he was a young child. He attended local Indianapolis schools. In 1881 he became an undertaker and built the state’s only crematory at the time. Several years later, he and a new partner Charles J. Buchanan founded the mortuary of Flanner & Buchanan.
Aside from his business, his Quaker upbringing spurred him to be an active civic leader. He was involved wit the development of Indianapolis’ parks system and worked with the Civic League, the Indianapolis Art School, and the Commercial Club. He also helped secure the first law establishing boards for the various benevolent, charitable, and penal institutions of the state. Frank Flanner’s residence was discussed in this HI article from December 18, 2012.
In 1903, he helped found the Flanner Guild, a “settlement house” which helped African-Americans access opportunities in healthcare, education, workforce training,and other efforts. He donated the land, near present day Lockefield Gardens, which jump-started the effort. In 1912, it was renamed Flanner House. That same year, Flanner committed suicide.
Photos courtesy of Ryan Hamlett.