The rich history behind Bartholomew Funeral Home

The rich history behind Bartholomew Funeral Home
By: Sarah DeMars Last Updated: November 8, 2019

Valparaiso has many beautiful and noteworthy landmarks scattered throughout the city. Since its founding in 1836, the city has been home to businesses, homes, a courthouse, a university, and more. Today’s city has intricately incorporated new, bustling businesses with historical places, creating the community so many people call home. One of the most noteworthy historical places citizens pass by every day is Bartholomew Funeral Home, settled on the corner of Monroe Street. 

Since the company first opened its doors in 1892, Bartholomew Funeral Home has proudly served the Valparaiso community. C.W. “Charlie” Bartholomew started the business after revamping an old furniture store into a funeral home. Since then, the Bartholomew Funeral Home has passed through multiple locations in the community including where Parea Restaurant and the Langer & Langer Law Firm currently stand.

In 1946, the funeral home established its roots on the corner of Monroe Street. The current facilities feature a beautiful lounge area, a chapel seating more than 150 people, and parking beside the iconic brick building. 

Over the last 125 years, the Bartholomew Funeral Home has been passed down through generations of the Bartholomew Family. For three generations, men in the Bartholomew Family took the mantle of the family business upon themselves to create a peaceful place for the Valparaiso community. Original owner C.W. Bartholomew ran the business himself for 30 years, after which his son, C.L. “Doc” Bartholomew, joined his father in running the business.

After his father passed away in 1922, C.L. became the owner of the funeral home. This new responsibility did not deter C.L. from his other interests—from 1934 until 1944, C.L. served as the mayor of Valpo. C.L. served as a memorable mayor, making many noteworthy contributions to Valparaiso’s history. For instance, in 1937, he proclaimed February 23 “Valparaiso Day” in honor of the 100-year anniversary of the founding of the city, and to celebrate the men and women who helped pave the way for the city as a whole.

C. Robert Bartholomew took over the business from his father in 1949 after serving in the Navy. C. Robert ran the funeral home for almost 50 years before retiring in 1997. Before Robert passed away in 2007, he sold Bartholomew Funeral Home to the current owner, a friend and Valparaiso native, Michael Newhard. 

To this day, the Bartholomew Funeral Home stands tall, full of pride in its personal history and its significance to the city of Valparaiso as a whole. For more information on this beautiful building, the family history, or more about the services that Bartholomew Funeral Home provides, visit their website at https://www.bartholomewnewhard.com/