Stop 11-Hillman-Pratt & Walton Funeral Home

The next stop is the Hillman-Pratt & Walton Funeral Home. This LaVilla based business is currently operating as Hillman-Pratt & Walton Funeral Home. Established in 1900, this is the oldest funeral home in the state of Florida. Started by Lawton L. Pratt, it was founded as a funeral home for the African-American Community in Jacksonville. The Pratts lived upstairs, and the ground floor served as the funeral home. This is the last surviving business from Old LaVilla. Opening his business in 1900, Lawton Pratt is recognized as the second licensed black funeral director in Florida. A graduate of the Cincinnati School of Embalming, Lawton Pratt was one of the organizers of the Florida Negro Funeral Directors and Embalmers Association. In 1915, Lawton Pratt built a new funeral home building. The attractive two-story brick building was designed and constructed by Joseph Haywood Blodgett, one of Jacksonville’s pioneer African-American contractors. The funeral home was the meeting place of the first organization meeting of the Florida Negro Embalmers & Funeral Directors Association. Mr. Pratt was well beyond his time and included women in the field of embalming. Head to the next stop and press play.

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