Union Chapel Cemetery
UCC header
8306 Union Chapel Road, Indianapolis, IN 46240

Historical and Operational Overview

Originally, in 1822, the Cemetery was located in the present South Section of Union Chapel Cemetery and was known as the Whitinger Family Cemetery. Later in the 1800s, Joseph Whitinger donated this cemetery ground to the community by means of a Land Grant, on the basis that it would be used as a community cemetery and for “divine worship without denominational ties”. A memorial has been erected on the original cemetery site to acknowledge that generous and pivotal gift.

Over the subsequent years, additional adjoining acreage has been purchased by the Cemetery, including a 13.37 acre area north of Union Chapel Road, now known as the “North Area” of the Cemetery. The Cemetery now occupies over 24 acres with nearly 10, 788 burial sites.

The Cemetery is divided into twelve Sections ( Sections A through K , plus an Infant Section) to facilitate the location of gravesites. A map depicting the locations of these Sections may be found in the "LOCATION" section of this WebSite. Each Section is further divided into a number of Lots. Each of these Lots contains from 1 to 5 Gravesites. Maps showing the location of the lots in each section may be found in the "SECTION MAPS" section of this WebSite.

When Gravesites are sold and the payment has been completed, Deeds for those gravesites are issued to the owner. A location designation on the Deed, such as Section H, Lot 213, Grave 2, indicates that this gravesite is located in Lot 213 of Section H and it is the 2nd grave from the north side of that Lot. When deeded, gravesites are then the property of the owner, but their use is subject to the Rules and Regulations of the Cemetery. These Rules and Regulations encompass areas including monument type and placement, number of burials in a gravesite, burial rights, interment regulations, etc.

In 1836, the Union Chapel Cemetery Association was formed to manage the Cemetery and, in 1901, the Association was incorporated. It is presently recognized as the Union Chapel Cemetery Association, Inc. and operates as a 501(C)(13) not-for-profit organization.

The Cemetery was designated as an Indiana Historic Cemetery in 2003 by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and, at that time, a plaque so stating was affixed to the northwest entry gate. Union Chapel Cemetery is governed by a 12 member Board of Directors. These directors are unpaid volunteers who serve three year, staggered terms and whose backgrounds are chosen to provide the experience, talent and dedication required to support and manage the present and future needs of the Cemetery. Many of these directors have multiple generations of family members buried in Union Chapel Cemetery.

In order to provide improved lot owner service and operational activities, the Board has contracted with the Buchanan Group, Inc. (BGI), an experienced cemetery management organization, to manage the daily operations of the cemetery and maintain the grounds.

The UCCA Board is continuing to implement a series of programs to ensure the future operations of the Cemetery and to further improve the operations, beauty and ambiance of the Cemetery. Examples include:

  • Contributions of 15% of gravesite sales income into a restricted and closely monitored Perpetual Care Fund
  • Construction of an Equipment Storage and Maintenance building
  • Construction of a new Caretaker House on the grounds
  • Paving of all of the double-width drives in the North Section
  • Development and implementation of a computer-based database for gravesite availability, sale, and burial information
  • Development of computer-based maps of the Cemetery that depict Section and gravesite locations
  • Development and implementation of a custom financial computer program that provides accurate financial records and instant visibility of the financial status of the Cemetery
  • Addition of sidewalks and a Central Garden in Section K
  • Addition of a cremains scattering area and a related Memorial Monument in the Central Garden
  • Contracting with a professional cemetery management organization for day-to-day operation of the Cemetery, including grave sales and burial operations support, lawn mowing and grounds keeping
  • Planting of over 50 trees in the Cemetery during the past 5 years
  • Installation of decorative brick and wrought-iron type fencing for the roadside frontage of both sections of the Cemetery
  • Implementation of a Program to provide Memorial Posts with cast bronze memorial plaques for prominent personal memorials
  • Development and implementation of a Union Chapel Cemetery InterNet WebSite to more widely share Cemetery information
  • Design and installation of a Columbaria Pavilion for cremains niches


      Cemetery Acreage:

          South Area: 11.12 acres

          North Area: 13.37 acres

          Total Area: 24.40 acres

      Number of gravesites: 10,788

      Number of burials to date: 3,615

Burials in the Cemetery include those of over 400 veterans, including a number of Civil War and Spanish-American War veterans. Flags are placed on the graves of these veterans each Memorial Day.

The Central Garden, which includes the cremains Scattering Garden, is located at the center of Section I in the North Area of the Cemetery.