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gas city History
L.C. Frank established the L.C. Frank Funeral Home in the east portion of the Avalon Hotel at 310 East Main Street in Gas City in 1892, and Mr. O.H. Jay joined Mr. Frank as a partner of the business in 1933. The firm then became known as the Frank, Jay Funeral Home.
In 1936, Frank and Jay purchased the property at 400 East Main Street, which was the original Gas City Land Company office. Mr. R.N. Swift purchased Mr. L.C. Frank’s interest in 1946 and the firm became known as the Jay and Swift Funeral Home. Mr. John M. Storey joined the firm in 1960 and purchased an interest in the firm in January of 1963. The name was then changed to Jay-Swift & Storey Funeral Home, which remained that name until the merger with Needham & Son Funeral Home in 1987. Its name then changed to Storey Chapel. The business was moved from an adjourning lot to its current facility when a funeral home was constructed in 1981.
Mr. O.H. Jay died in August 1969 and Mr. R.N. Swift retired in 1976.
Needham-Storey continues to be the oldest continuous business in the Twin City area dating back to 1892.
In 1912, Benjamin Franklin Needham opened B.F. Needham Funeral Home in the 300 block of South Branson Street. The funeral home moved to the corner of 6th and Washington Streets fifteen years later in 1927. While at this location, Mrs. Ben (Lola) Needham became the first licensed female embalmer in the state of Indiana. In 1930, Raymond E. Needham joined the funeral home and it was moved to 805 South Adams Street. Five years later in 1935, the funeral home’s name was changed to Needham & Son Funeral Home. In 1936, Raymond served as President of the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors when the main body of current state law pertaining to funeral practice was adopted. He also served as President of the Indiana Funeral Directors Association (INFDA) in 1949.
In 1946, the funeral home moved to 814 South Adams Street and Raymond became the sole proprietor in 1951. Following Raymond’s death in 1967, Justine I. Needham became the sole owner and Ben R. Needham joined the firm in 1969. It was four years later, in 1973, that Needham & Son Funeral Home became incorporated. The South Adams Street property was remodeled in 1980 with a new chapel added. In 1985, Ben R. Needham and John M. Storey negotiated for and purchased Grant Memorial Park Cemetery and Memorial Services, Inc..
A new venture in 1989 produced a new 13,000 square foot funeral home in Marion featuring four chapels, located at 1341 North Baldwin Avenue, and would be named North Chapel. In 1996, the South Adams Street discontinued its operation at that location and was sold. That same year, a Funeral Planning Center at 1337 North Baldwin Avenue was opened, specifically designed to provide an intimate, private setting for families to make funeral arrangements.
Needham-Storey-Wampner Funeral Service History
In 1987, as a result of the joint investment in the Grant Memorial Park Cemetery and Memorial Services, Benjamin R. Needham and John M. Storey merged their respective funeral homes of Needham & Son Funeral Home and Jay-Swift & Storey Funeral Home to form Needham-Storey Funeral Service, operating funeral homes in both Marion and Gas City. At the time of the merger, Paul A. Shane, J. Mark Storey, and Steven A. Wampner joined John Storey and Ben Needham as stockholders in the Needham-Storey Funeral Service Corporation.
In 1989, Ben and John purchased property at 1341 North Baldwin Avenue in Marion to build a chapel to serve North Marion. Since that time, Needham-Storey has operated the North Chapel to serve Marion and outlying communities, as well as the Storey Chapel in Gas City to serve the needs of the twin cities area and southern Grant County.
Benjamin R. Needham retired from the firm in 1997 and his interest was purchased by the firm through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). The firm’s name was changed to Needham-Storey-Wampner Funeral Service in 2000.
In 2011, the Casey Lloyd Chapel in South Marion was purchased and it is now named Integrity Funeral Care.
Mr. Perry Wyckoff opened a funeral home in Swayzee in 1918 on Washington Street next door to the current post office and later in the same location as the post office. Mr. Morris Rybolt purchased business in 1945 and changed the name to Rybolt Funeral Home. In 1953, the business moved to its current address, 314 North Washington Street, in a building designed specifically for funeral service.
Mr. Philip Rybolt owned the business from 1979 until his retirement in 2000, at which time he and his wife, Martha, sold the funeral home to Needham-Storey-Wampner Funeral Service. The funeral home is now known as Rybolt Chapel in honor of the Rybolt family’s dedication to the Oak Hill community.
NEEDHAM - STOREY - WAMPNER FUNERAL SERVICE