Funeral services in Orange Park, FL and the rest of the country seem to be an integral, unchanging part of our culture. However, has this always been the case? Where did funeral homes come from, and where are they going?
The funeral service story begins with embalming. Before the mid 1800s, the dead were never that far from home when they passed. So, the bodies were displayed in the family home’s front room, or the parlor, immediately after death and before burial. Therefore, funerals took place quickly and in the home.
Then, in 1865 President Lincoln was assassinated. This shook the country, and people all around the States wanted to pay their respects. His body was embalmed to prevent decomposition during the resulting nationwide funeral train. People around the country began to accept the idea of embalming bodies as commonplace.
The Funeral Home Business
As embalming became more popular, families were able to expand the funeral services beyond the home. As the bodies were able to be transported and displayed, more neutral settings grew in popularity as families could invite more people to celebrate the deceased and host more formal events.
The Bucktrout family in Virginia saw a growing market, and rose to the occasion. Originally coffin and cabinet manufacturers, the family grew their business to include funeral home services similar to those we have today, becoming the country’s first funeral home.
The funeral home market grew, and businesses continued to expand. However, they were still all family owned and operated. In fact, most undertakers (as they were called then) used their home to run their funeral business. This is most likely where the name “funeral home” comes from.
Funeral Services as a Profession
More and more funeral homes were established in the 1900s all across the country. With this expansion, formal training for undertakers became crucial. The conversation changed a bit, and they began to be known as funeral directors and morticians. The National Funeral Directors Association was formed in the early 1900s to help consumers view the members as professionals.
Coffin makers, florists, life insurance agencies and other connected fields followed suit, and the funeral services business continued to blossom into what it is today. By 1920, there were around 24,469 funeral homes in the United States, showing a 100% growth in less than 80 years.
Funeral Home Diversity
Like other United States institutions, funeral homes grew out of Christian backgrounds. However with the relaxation of immigration laws in the 1960s, there was an influx of new beliefs and cultures. Funeral homes rose to the occasion, and began offering services for other ethnic and religious groups from Vietnamese and Eastern European to Buddhism and Hinduism.
Naugle Funeral Home & Cremation Services, located at 808 Margaret St Jacksonville, FL 32204, continues this long funeral home tradition by offering compassionate Orange Park, FL funeral services. We would be honored to serve you and your loved ones during your time of loss. Please give us a call at (904) 683-9288 to learn more about what we can do for you.