Crown Hill Cemetery
Crown Hill was incorporated as a nonprofit, nondenominational cemetery on September 25, 1863, at a time when Greenlawn Cemetery was the principal burial ground in the city.
Concern over Greenlawn’s limited acreage and lack of care spurred the creation of a 30-member Board of Corporators that established Crown Hill. Civil War dead caused Greenlawn to become full, so Crown Hill Cemetery was created because of and during the Civil War.
The land selected for the cemetery was considered some of the most beautiful in Marion County. From 842-foot Crown Hill, so named because it was the “crowning hill among all hills in Marion County,” visitors encountered an extraordinary view of Indianapolis and the surrounding countryside.
The board contracted with John Chislett, a landscape architect from Pittsburgh, to design the cemetery shortly after it purchased 274 acres of land for $51,000. The following spring, his son Frederick Chislett supervised the development of seven burial sections and remained the cemetery’s first supervisor for the next 30 years, after which his own son, also named John, succeeded him. Lucy Ann Seaton became the first interment on June 2, 1864, one day following the cemetery’s dedication.
Today the cemetery includes 555 acres, with its southern boundary at 32nd Street and the northern limit at 42nd Street. The western border is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Street and Michigan Road, with both Clarendon Road and Boulevard Place on the east.