On May 15, 1870 St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Indianapolis, Indiana purchases 13 acres of farmland located on high ground south of Pleasant Run Creek in Marion County. The western border of the property was Three Notch Pike, the main road leading north into the center of Indianapolis. The land south and east of the property was farmland and forest. The reason for the purchase was to start a cemetery for the members of St Paul’s church and other city congregations where cemetery property was not available close by.

The population of Indianapolis was growing rapidly. It expanded about two and one half times in the ten years between 1860 and 1870, and grew to more than 48,000 people. During that period, epidemic diseases flourished including cholera, typhoid, measles, scarlet fever, diphtheria, and smallpox. These illnesses were almost always fatal, especially to infants and young children. Since families were large in those days, there was a need for cemeteries. It was common for a family to purchase a number of grave sites at the same time for present and future use. These family lots consisted of as many of 20 gravesites.

By 1902 the city limit was on the cemetery’s north property line and Three Notch Pike had been renamed South Meridian Street. The land surrounding Concordia Cemetery was changing from farms to residential lots. In 1932 the Cemetery formed a separate corporation named The Concordia Reality Company and raised forty thousand dollars to purchases 10 acres of land adjoining the southern border of the cemetery Stock in the Concordia Reality Company was offered for sale at ten dollars per share to members of the churches that supported the cemetery. Shares were exchangeable for cemetery lots.

As the city of Indianapolis continued to grow, so did the number of churches that supported the Cemetery. By 1934 Concordia Cemetery was organized as a Voluntary Association of several city churches, and ownership of the Cemetery property was divided equally between them. A Perpetual Care and Maintenance Fund was created to fund future needs. Prior to that time, lot owners were accessed annual fees for maintenance. Money from gravesite sales and donations in the form of memorial wreaths were a source of revenue for the Perpetual Care Fund.

About the same time, Indianapolis extended the city limits to Troy Avenue, annexing the cemetery into the city. New streets were added to serve new housing additions. The cemetery property was then bounded by Southern Avenue on the north, Yoke Street on the south, Pennsylvania Street on the east and South Meridian Street on the west. Those remain the boundaries today. The present address is 2703 South Meridian St. Indianapolis, Indiana 46225.

In 1959, two mausoleums were constructed in the cemetery with 236 crypts in each building. On May 24, 1979, Concordia Cemetery ownership was converted into a Not For Profit Corporation. A Columbarium to store cremains was added in 2014. In 2019 Concordia Cemetery partnered with the Indianapolis Airport Authority to move Bethel Cemetery from airport property to Concordia. Bethel is a Pioneer Cemetery with 543 graves dating from 1827 to 1935. When the graves and monuments were moved they were placed in the same relative positions to each other as they were originally located by the Bethel pioneers. Bethel Cemetery is nested on the southern border of the Concordia Property.

Concordia Cemetery Association Incorporated is managed by Directors who are appointed by member churches as required by the Corporation’s Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws. All faiths, races and ethnic heritages are welcome.