Chestnut Funeral Home has been serving Gainesville area families for years. We are honored to be a part of the rich history of this community and plan to be a part of it for many years to come.

Mr. Matthew E. Hughes, also known as “Boisey” approached Mr. Charles S. Chestnut, Sr. about opening a Funeral Home in Gainesville, Florida. They opened Hughes and Chestnut Funeral Home in Gainesville and later in Ocala, Florida. Hughes and Chestnut are also listed among the founding members of the Florida Mortician Association, a Black Association for Black Morticians.

The Florida law establishing licensing of Funeral Homes was passed in the 1959 session of the Florida Legislature. Therefore, the first licenses issued were in July 1959 for the fiscal year 1959-1960. On September 2, 1959, license #199 was issued to Hughes and Chestnut Funeral Home, Gainesville, Florida. The application for this establishment indicates that operation began in 1914, and the co-owners were Matthew E. Hughes and Charles S. Chestnut, Sr. Mr. Hughes died June 15, 1947, Mr. Chestnut, Sr. died July 14, 1977.

Mr. Chestnut was among the first forty Black Embalmers having received his license #388 on May 20, 1928. The law was passed in 1917 for Embalmers, but only thirty-nine black men had been grandfathered in or granted a license.

Licensing of Funeral Directors became applicable in 1935 and Mr. Chestnut was among the first to receive his license; #115, and he was also one of the first fifteen who were initially licensed as a Funeral Director. All other Funeral Directors were grandfathered in at that time of which, forty-six black Funeral Directors were licensed.

For one hundred years or more, Chestnut Funeral Home, Inc., has been serving the Gainesville, Alachua County, and North Central Florida areas. We stand on the principal of Charles S. Chestnut, Sr.; who believed in the “Code of Good Funeral Practice”.

“As Funeral Directors, our calling imposes upon us special responsibilities to those we serve and to the public at large. Chief among them is the obligation to inform the public so that everyone can make knowledgeable decisions about funerals and funeral directors”.

Hughes and Chestnut Funeral Home was established in 1914 by Mathew E. Hughes and Charles S. Chestnut, Sr.

Chestnut Funeral Home | (352) 372-2537
18 NW 8th Ave, Gainesville, FL 32601

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