The name “Doan” has been associated with funeral service in this community since 1891, when Walter J. Doan formed a partnership with Henry C. Shaw. The firm was known as Doan & Shaw until Mr. Shaw's Death.
Walter Doan then formed a partnership with Edward Klute, and the firm continued as Doan & Klute for a number of years. In 1901, Walter Doan was in the first class of funeral directors to be licensed in the state of Indiana. (His license number was 77.) Later, Walter Doan was joined in the business by his son, Harry. The name was changed to Doan & Son.
In 1909, Walter Doan moved the business from 18 South 8th Street to a home at 1106 East Main Street. At that time, most funerals were held at the family residence. Mr. Doan was interested in progress and constant adaptation of facilities and methods to meet ever-changing customs and conditions. He realized funeral service was changing and much more complete.
The Doan family lived on the second floor of the home. The whole first floor was used as the funeral home. There was a casket reposing room used for the casket and flowers, a chapel, family room, and another reposing room that could be used in different ways. There was also a Wurlitzer pipe organ. The number of funerals held at the funeral home increased. The chapel could accommodate more people, and it was not necessary to disarrange the family's home. The family was also assured of privacy if requested.
Walter Doan died February 13, 1939. Harry Doan had several employees, including Orville Williams and John Edwards, to assist him. In 1956, Lindley Johnson was employed by Harry and later became a partner which changed the name to Doan & Johnson. The firm name had changed several times, but the name of Doan has always been retained.
The Welfer Funeral Home at 15 North 10th Street in Richmond was owned and operated by William A. Welfer. Upon Mr. Welfer's retirement in 1952, Harry Doan purchased the firm. In 1957, the Welfer Funeral Home was moved to 220 East Main Street in Centerville. In 1964, the firm was moved to its present location at 405 East Main Street in Centerville.
In 1957, Ernest Mills became associated with the funeral homes while attending Indiana College of Mortuary Science in Indianapolis.
In 1963, Harry Doan retired and turned the business over to Lindley Johnson. Harry died in 1966.
On November 17, 1967, Ernest and Betty Mills purchased both funeral homes which became Doan & Mills Funeral Home in Richmond and Mills Funeral Home in Centerville.
Doan & Mills was moved to the new building designed as a funeral home on January 29, 1974.
Most people reading this history, probably know Ernie Mills from his many years serving your family and friends. He has dedicated his life to this ministry and enjoys providing respectful and meaningful service with integrity, helping families and getting to know them, and being involved in the community.
He has been blessed with a very experienced and professional staff of thoughtful, caring funeral directors - Ron Smith since 1977, Hugh Yount since 1981, Chad Olmsted since 1995, David Lydick since 2002, Gil Alford since 2003, and Bob Clark since 2011.
In 2002, Ernie and Betty's daughter Beth and her husband David Lydick, who graduated from Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science in 2003, moved back to Richmond to be involved in the family business.
Since 1932, The Doan Funeral Home has been a member of National Selected Morticians (NSM). The organization is now called Selected Independent Funeral Directors (SIFD). SIFD is a non-profit trade organization of leading funeral directors throughout the U.S. and also other countries. Membership is by invitation only, which is extended after an investigation that shows the firm conducts business efficiently and at a reasonable cost. Mills Funeral Home is also included in this membership.