200 North Main Street | Bloomington, Illinois | 309-827-0428

Bloomington Band Association Collection

Processed by: , October 2013


  1. Collection Information
  2. Historical Sketch
  3. Photographs
  4. Scope and Content Note
  5. Box and Folder Inventory
Collection Information

Volume: One box
Dates: 1913-1967
Reproduction: Permission to reproduce or publish material in this collection must be obtained in writing from the McLean County Museum of History.
Location: Archives

See Also: Ashton, Fred T. vertical file 
See Also: Kadel, Charles S. vertical file

Other Finding Aids: Record in National Union Catalog Manuscripts Collection Online

Historical Sketch

Bloomington has several successful municipal bands in the latter half of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth. The Kadel brothers (Charles and Phillip) created the Bloomington Brass Band in the 1870s. The Brass Band was all horns and played at the county fairgrounds and other venues. Seibel's Band was organized sometime in the 1880s. The band's most famous member was Don Von Elsner (brother of opera sensation Marie Litta) who was known for triple tonguing on the cornet. In 1880, this band was taken over by the Masonic fraternity and renamed the DeMolay Band. This band made several trips for concerts, including one to Washington DC. The DeMolay Band produced another famous cornet player, John Skelton.

The Bloomington Band and Orchestra Association was incorporated in 1913. The Association needed to raise $10,000 to finance the band and to give free public concerts. Bloomington had no municipal tax. The association sold shares to friends, businesses and supporters in order to gain financial backing. Shareholders included: The Pantagraph, C.U. Williams, Carl Vrooman, Kirkpatrick House Furnishing Co. and George P. Davis, among others. The Bloomington Band was in existence until the late 1960s.

Fred T. Ashton was the director of the Bloomington Band Association for twenty years before moving to Michigan to start a fruit farm. Ashton was also a teacher of violin, mandolin, and piano, as well as a piano designer.

  • The Bloomington Band Association in front of the McLean County Courthouse, 1920s.

  • Bloomington Band Association at Miller Park, 1950.

Scope and Contents Note

This collection contains correspondence, meeting minutes, membership lists, and legal documents and leases.

Box and Folder Inventory
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Folder 1: Minutes
Folder 1
1.1 Subscription for Stock, signed by share purchasers, with amount of shares purchased and amount paid, no date, 10 pgs
1.2 Minutes, loose pages, 1913-1915 (handwritten), 1928-1966 (typed)
Folder 2: Financial Records
Folder 2
Financial Records
2.1 Document about levy, approved June 26, 1925
2.2 Lease, rent for the second floor of 313 North Main Street, Bloomington, 1933(3 copies)
2.3 Lease, rent for the second floor of 313 North Main Street, Bloomington, 1935
2.4 Annual Report, Bloomington Band Association (a non-profit), 1938
2.5 Response to law suit, Frank Klopp and Earl Klopp vs. Irma M. Klopp, 1939
2.6 Report on Case of Withholding Tax, 1943
2.7 Legal correspondence 1943(3 items)
2.8 Statement of Income and Disbursements, 1946-1947, 1947-1948, and 1948-1949, 1949-1950 (4 items)
2.9 Lease, for second floor of 313 North Main Street, Bloomington, 1948 (landlord deceased)
2.10 State Farm Insurance policy, for 313 North Main Street, Band Headquarters for $1,500, 1948
2.11 Removal Permit, from State Farm Insurance, move items from 313 N. Main St. to 118 1/2 E. Front St., 1948
2.12 "Bloomington Band Association, April 30, 1950," balance sheet
2.13 Increase Certificate, Aetna Casualty and Surety Company, 1950 (2 items) and correspondence from William Mette to Kaywin Kennedy, 1952
2.14 Aetna Casualty and Surety Company, Fidelity Individual Bond, 1945
2.15 Payroll Statement, Bloomington Band Association, 1964
Folder 3: Concert Proposals
Folder 3
Concert Proposals
3.1 Proposal for Band Concerts, 1934-1965, include partial schedule of shows and cost of performances (13 items)
Folder 4: Annual Reports
Folder 4
Annual Reports
4.1 Annual Report 1953, list of names of officers and their addresses
4.2 Resolution, 1955, retirement of Julius Griesham from position of Director of the Bloomington Band Association
4.3 Annual Report 1955, list of names of officers and their addresses
Folder 5: Bylaws
Folder 5
5.1 "Bylaws of the Bloomington Band Association," 1963
Folder 6: Fiftieth Anniversary
Folder 6
Fiftieth Anniversary
6.1 "The Bands and Orchestras of Bloomington," by Clark E. Stewart, photocopy, 3 pgs
6.2 "Fiftieth Anniversary; A History of the Bloomington Band Association," typed, 4 pgs; includes lists of subscribers, directors
Folder 7: Programs and Schedules
Folder 7
Programs and Schedules
7.1 Bloomington Band 1936 Schedule of Concerts
7.2 Bloomington Band 1932 Schedule of Concerts
7.3 Bloomington Band Program, Fred Ashton, conductor, no date
Folder 8: Newspaper Articles
Folder 8
Newspaper Articles
8.1 "Bloomington Band to Play Wednesday at State Fair," Pantagraph, August 20, 1933, photograph
8.2 "Fred T. Ashton, City Band Director for 25 Years , Dies," Pantagraph, November 3, 1940, p. 12
Folder 9: Correspondence
Folder 9
9.1 Letter from W.R. Mette, October 25, 1948, regarding Removal Permit
9.2 Letter from Keith Jump (secretary of Bloomington Band Association) to William Peterson (president of Local 102 of American Federation of Musicians), May 16, 1949, thank you letter for help in promoting band
9.3 Letter from Lottie Ayers to Mr. Kennedy, May 5, 1952, regarding sheet music
9.4 Letter from Kaywin Kennedy to Stanley Ballard (American Federation of Musicians), January 28, 1966, regarding questions on contracts between the City of Bloomington and the Band in order to use union members
Folder 10: Incorporation Certificate
Folder 10
Incorporation Certificate
10.1 Incorporation Certificate for Bloomington Band Association, 1913
Loose Items
Loose Items
Unbound book, "Property of Bloomington Band Bill Peterson, 1967," contains list of band members for each concert, alphabetical list of all sheet music owned by Bloomington Band, and personnel list with names, addresses (social security numbers removed, January 2010)