Bloomington Cemetery Association
The Bloomington Cemetery Association (BCA) was a private stock corporation that operated the Bloomington Cemetery from 1857 through 1963. A Perpetual Care Trust Fund, to which plot owners individually and voluntarily contributed for the maintenance of the cemetery. The area was a point of pride to the citizens of the City of Bloomington. After 1960 the neglected appearance of the Cemetery caused concern among local residents, who became suspicious of the Board of Trustees of the BCA and its responsibility for overseeing the Association’s financial affairs. Although funds were still supposed to be available for the care of plots and general areas of the cemetery, the Board claimed these were insufficient. In 1962, a mass protest was made to the City Council by Bloomington citizens, with a request for the City to assume management of the cemetery. This process began with an investigation into the financial status of the BCA, which found that the President of the Board of Trustees had mismanaged the Perpetual Care funds, possible deliberately. By mid 1963 the report of the investigating committee was made public, and governance of the cemetery was turned over to a board elected by Bloomington Township officials.
The Bloomington Cemetery, now known as Evergreen Cemetery, is located in the fourth ward of Bloomington, with its main entrance at Miller Street, off East Street. Many notable McLean County citizens are buried there, including Adlai E. Stevenson and David Davis.
The Bloomington Cemetery Association Papers contain a Secretary’s ledger from 1857-1936, Bloomington Cemetery Association publications and papers from the early 20th century, and papers, correspondence and newspaper clippings concerning a 1963 investigation into the BCA’s financial status and the subsequent transfer of deed. The items were donated anonymously sometime after 1963.