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Below you will find links to pdfs of a variety of information that will be useful in preparing to bring your students to your scheduled tour of the Evergreen Cemetery Walk. These PDFs include:

  1. Teacher Information
  2. Chaperone Information
  3. Student Information
  4. Viewing Instructions for Virtual Walk
  5. Vocabulary
  6. Information about the history of Evergreen Memorial Cemetery/Monument materials and styles/Cemetery symbolism
  7. Biographies of this year's featured characters
  8. Common Themes
  9. Illinois Learning Standards your participation in the Cemetery Walk will help you meet
  10. Suggested general activities
  11. Additional Resources

Viewing Instructions

This section includes information on how to view the Virtual Evergreen Cemetery Walk on a variety of electronic devices, and enable closed captions.

Vocabulary

This section includes words that may be unfamiliar to students who participate in the Evergreen Cemetery Walk. Words included in this document can be found in the character biographies (found in the teacher packet) and those that will be heard during the performances at the Cemetery Walk. Words are divided by character, including a separate list of cemetery/monument related terms. Words are defined according to Merriam-Webster dictionary unless otherwise noted.

Common Themes

This document includes common themes that connect several of the Cemetery Walk feature characters this year. Students can learn about how themes such as prejudice, war, and American identity affected and connect these individuals. 

Cemetery History, Symbolism, and Monument Information

This document includes a brief history on the evolution of cemeteries and a history of Evergreen Memorial Cemetery. Also included is information on monument materials, cemetery art and symbolism, monument types, and cemetery structures, of which many can be found in Evergreen Memorial Cemetery. This information will be very useful in helping to prepare students for participation in the Evergreen Cemetery Walk.

Standards and Educational Goals

The Evergreen Cemetery Walk is a great educational program for students to participate in. It is our intention that students will develop an understanding and appreciation for cemeteries as a source for history, that students will begin to understand our local history and its importance, and that students will understand the natural connection between history and the arts. In addition, the Cemetery Walk will help teachers meet a variety of History and English related ISBE Learning Goals and Common Core Standards.

Suggested General Activities

Aside from general discussion, these are activities which teachers who have attended Walks in years past have done with their students that may prove beneficial for you and your students as well.

Additional Resources

This section contain articles from the Museum's weekly Pantagraph column "Pieces from Our Past." The articles featured here have a connection to each of this year's featured characters and offer additional insight into events, activities, or themes related to each of our characters.

Additional resources and lesson plans on the history of the Tulsa Race Massacre can be found here https://www.tulsaschools.org/tulsaracemassacre/lessonplans.

Featured Characters 2022

  • Paul F. Beich (1864-1937)
  • Paul F. Beich (1864-1937)
  • Paul F. Beich was a German immigrant who worked in the candy-making business, first as a salesman and later launching his own company in St. Louis. After purchasing a company in Bloomington, Beich convinced Milton Hershey to move his caramel-making division there from Chicago. Just as Hershey’s is known for its chocolate, Beich’s is known for its Whiz Bars, Katydids, and Laffy Taffy. A visitor to Evergreen Cemetery, where two of his children are buried, Beich is buried at Park Hill Cemetery.

  • Read Full Biography

  • James P. Butler (1838-1918)
  • James P. Butler (1838-1918)
  • James Preston Butler was a tinsmith, butcher, grocer, policeman, tax collector, alderman, constable, deputy sheriff, and hotel owner, perhaps best known for his work as a detective in high-profile murder cases. He tracked down Patsey Devine, who was later hung for the crime of murder in Clinton, Illinois, and helped convict the murderer of Zura Burns in Lincoln, Illinois. A small but powerful man, Butler could defend himself against attackers—both physically and verbally—and did.

  • Read Full Biography

  • David Davis (1815-1886)
  • David Davis (1815-1886)
  • Featured with Sarah Davis

  • David and Sarah Davis were married in October of 1838 and lived at Clover Lawn, then a farm at the edge of town, now an elegant mansion and grounds celebrating its 150th anniversary. As David often worked away from home as a lawyer, judge, and statesman, the couple spent much of their marriage apart, maintaining their loving relationship through letters, while Sarah managed the affairs of their estate and construction of their new home in Bloomington.

  • Read Full Biography

  • Sarah Davis (1814-1879)
  • Sarah Davis (1814-1879)
  • Featured with David Davis

  • Sarah and David were married in October of 1838 and lived at Clover Lawn, then a farm at the edge of town, now an elegant mansion and grounds celebrating its 150th anniversary. As David often worked away from home as a lawyer, judge, and statesman, the couple spent much of their marriage apart, maintaining their loving relationship through letters, while Sarah managed the affairs of their estate and construction of their new home in Bloomington.

  • Read Full Biography

  • Alexander G. Erickson (1863-1950)
  • Alexander G. Erickson (1863-1950)
  • Alexander G. Erickson, of Swedish heritage, worked in coal mines on Bloomington’s west side as a child and grew up to be an alderman, mayor, and commissioner of public health and safety for the City. A Republican precinct committeeman for forty years, he was on the Bloomington Board of Education for twelve. As the public health commissioner, he guided the city through such difficult events as a 1916 polio outbreak, the Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919, and a garbage strike.

  • Read Full Biography

  • Helen Clark McCurdy (1866-1962)
  • Helen Clark McCurdy (1866-1962)
  • Helen Clark McCurdy was the first woman to run for elected office in Bloomington municipal government, one of ten candidates to make it onto the ballot for commissioner in 1915. She campaigned heavily to literally clean up the city, as garbage collection had been a huge issue! The daughter of a merchant, McCurdy worked as a store clerk, but later married a prominent businessman, rising in social class. Intensely civic-minded, she worked with the Women’s Club, the Red Cross, and the Salvation Army.

  • Read Full Biography

  • Ella Lee Stokes (1912-1996)
  • Ella Lee Stokes (1912-1996)
  • Ella Lee Stokes was born in Mississippi and moved to Tennessee with her mother when she was four. First educated in one-room schoolhouses in the South, she attended several local grade schools and half a semester at Bloomington High School. A Black woman employed largely in the service industry, she aspired to achieve more. She worked for Williams-Oil-O-Matic, cleaning parts for ships and airplanes during World War II; and as a housekeeper in Bloomington’s “Red Light District.”

  • Read Full Biography

Past Character Biographies

To read biographies of individuals featured on past Cemetery Walks, visit the biographies page of our online resources.

Questions? Please contact the Museum's Education department 309-827-0428 or via email education@mchistory.org.