Frurip-May Funeral Home began business in 1904 as the "grandchild" of John P. Caton, who started his own funeral home and furniture store business. Caton was born in 1877 in LaGrange County and was raised on a farm near Mt. Pisgah. He was a son of John H. and Annette (Kingsley) Caton, whose family came to LaGrange County in the mid 1800's. He attended Barnes School of Anatomy, Sanitary Science and Embalming in Chicago, IL, graduating on October 24, 1903.
Mr. Caton returned to LaGrange and worked for Johnson Brothers Undertaking for a short time before opening his own business. A few years later he was joined by his brother, Claud H. Caton, and they formed Caton Brothers Furniture and Undertaking Business, located in the building that the License Branch just moved into in 2004 on Detroit St.
In 1920 the business was moved to 112 North Detroit St., the current location of the Lewis & Lambright Auctioneers & Realtors business.
Leland Frurip graduated from Worshams College of Mortuary Science in Chicago, IL in 1936. In 1940 he established the Frurip Funeral Home at 309 West Michigan St. Mr. Frurip joined the U.S. Navy during World War II in March of 1944 and after returning from the war in 1946, he purchased half of Claud H. Caton's ownership in Caton Brothers Furniture and Undertaking, doing business as Caton and Frurip.
In January of 1957, Donald Diggins, son-in-law of John P. Caton, became a partner in the furniture and funeral business with John P. Caton and Leland Frurip. This partnership lasted until October of 1961. With the dissolution of this partnership, Mr. Frurip retained the funeral business and Mr. Diggins retained the furniture business.
In 1965-6 Leland Frurip built the current facility that the funeral home now operates from. In 1968, Lowell E. May, a native of Albion, Indiana, and a 1965 graduate of Indiana College of Mortuary Science, joined Frurip as an employee of the Frurip Funeral Home. Mr. May became a partner in the funeral Home in January 1973 in the now Frurip-May Funeral Home.
In 1974, the funeral homes of LaGrange County ceased to provide ambulance service to the community; LaGrange had its' first ever ambulance at the hospital.
Leland Frurip died December 22, 1981 and in 1982 Lowell May purchased the partnership of Frurip, continuing to operate the Frurip-May Funeral Home at 309 West Michigan St. as the sole owner until January 2001.
In 2001, Brian H. May, a native of LaGrange, IN, a 1991 graduate of Lakeland High School, a 1995 graduate of Central Michigan University with a degree in Communications/Marketing and a 1997 graduate of Mid-America College of Mortuary Science, formed a new partnership with his father at the current location on West Michigan Street in LaGrange.