5 things to know about the iconic 1800s Franklin funeral home slated for demolition

A stately old funeral home that has overlooked downtown Franklin since the mid-1800s is slated for demolition in the next several weeks.

The old house was where Robert Eaton moved his funeral home business after acquiring the former Croll Funeral Home in 1940, according to the local history book, “Franklin in the Great Miami Valley.” In 1980, the present owner, Charles Anderson, became an affiliate of the Eaton Funeral Home and the name was changed to the Eaton-Anderson Funeral Home in 1982.

Over the years, the loved ones of many Franklin area families were served at that funeral home. Anderson owns funeral homes in Franklin, Springboro and Middletown.

Here are five things to know about the iconic funeral home:

The house wasn't always a funeral home: The house located at 121 E. Second St. was previously owned by the Schilling family. In 1913, an explosion at a nearby paper plant resulted in a huge piece of a boiler landing in the yard. The owner, Mary Schilling donated the large piece of metal to a scrap metal drive to aid in the war effort in World War I.

The house became a funeral home in 1945: Robert Eaton moved the funeral home from Third and Main streets to the Second Street location. It stopped being a funeral home about 15 to 20 years ago. Since then it was used as training facility and office space.

No interest in the house: Current owner Charles Anderson said the house was on the market for two years. It also received no bids when placed up for auction.

The house was built in 1843: The house has just more than 6,000 square feet of living space and the true value is $370,000, according to the Warren County Auditor's website.

Maintenance and utility costs forced demolition decision: Anderson said the costs of (natural) gas, electric and maintenance as well as deteriorating windows forced him to make the decision to demolish the building instead of watching it deteriorate further. Only the former funeral home will be demolished and the adjacent house and multi-bay garage will remain on the property. He said the goal will be to reorient the property to build a new building for a company wanting visibility.

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