top banner

Our History

The Callahan part of our name comes from the current owner, David R. Callahan (left), a third generation funeral director and embalmer.


David's grandparents, Thomas F. and Charlotte Callahan (below right) founded what was formerly known as the Callahan Funeral Home in 1913. They, along with their five sons; Thomas S., Frank, John, Charles and Joe operated the family funeral home at the southwest corner of 13 1/2 Street and Wabash Avenue in Terre Haute, IN. The family lived on the second floor of the funeral home while the business operated primarily on the main level. In the mid-1950's, John P. Callahan (one of their five sons and David's father, image below left),set out to build a new modern funeral home on the east side of Terre Haute. The new building was constructed on the southwest corner of 25th Street and Wabash Avenue and opened in 1957. It is this location that many Wabash Valley families associate the name Callahan with, although much has changed over the years.



In the 1960's and 1970's, the Callahan Funeral Home became the leader in funeral service in this area based upon very high standards of professionalism and service to people of all faiths. During this time, two grandsons joined the business, Edward (Frank's son) and David (John's son). In the early 1980's, the Callahans, just like the families they served, experienced their share of loss from death. Tom died in 1981 followed by John, Frank and Charles' deaths in 1984.


After his father's death, David continued to work for his uncle, Joe, until 1987 when he decided to purchase his own business. In July of 1987, David purchased the Ball-Porter-Hughes Funeral Home, located at 605 South 25th Street, and has carried on the Callahan tradition of funeral service at that location ever since. In the time since David's leaving, both Joe and Edward have died and what was left of the old family funeral home at Wabash Avenue has been sold to a competing firm. The name has been changed several times, but no Callahan has been associated with or worked there since the early 2000's.



In 2013, David and his family recognized 100 years of service to the citizens and families of the Terre Haute community. For three generations of Callahans, it has been and will continue to be our distinct privilege and honor to be called upon by families at the time of their greatest personal loss.


The Hughes part of our name came from the Ball-Porter-Hughes Funeral Home which was founded in 1847 by Isaac Ball, and was one of the first funeral home establishments in the State of Indiana. Isaac was one of the first undertakers/funeral directors and originally operated Ball Undertaking Company. As time went by and families began using funeral homes instead of their own homes to hold funeral services, the firm became known as Ball Funeral Home. The funeral home was known for its friendly service and smaller intimate atmosphere. Upon Isaac's death, his family and staff continued to operate the funeral home until 1959 when it was sold to Francis and Grace Porter and the name was changed to Ball-Porter Funeral Home. In the late 1960's, the Porters constructed only the second funeral home in this area specifically designed to be a funeral home (not an existing residential home) at 605 South 25th Street. There were no stairs to climb, the hallways were wider, there was ample parking and the rooms were comfortable. Francis and Grace operated the funeral home until 1978 when they sold it to Richard Hughes and it became known as Ball-Porter-Hughes Funeral Home. Richard and his wife, Frances, continued the friendly tradition of their predecessors until July 1987 when they sold it to David Callahan. Since by that time, both the Ball and Porter families had passed away, the name was shortened to Callahan & Hughes Funeral Home.


Trying to keep the traditions and values of both family heritages, David has established very high standards of professionalism yet keeps his staff and facility friendly and inviting. He believes that all families are deserving of respectful, professional and dignified funeral services. It is a daily goal of Callahan & Hughes to provide staff, facilities and other resources as well as to offer caring, compassionate services that meet or exceed the expectations of the families they serve.


Over generations of time one would ordinarily expect changes to occur. And so it has with funeral homes and those who own and operate them. One thing that has not changed, however, is the dedicated, professional and compassionate care that the staff of Callahan & Hughes Funeral Home strives to provide.