GENERAL INFORMATION ON ILLINOIS MAUSOLEUMS

Century Old Mausoleum

THE BEECHER MAUSOLEUM – A WILL COUNTY HISTORIC PRESERVATION SITE

CIRCA 1913  

The notion of building a mausoleum in Beecher was first broached around 1911-1912. By March of 1912, the project was roundly supported by Beecher and the surrounding area.

Henry F. Thielman, a businessman, and Arthur Struve, a banker, took up the project and set it into motion, according to an article in the October 25, 1912 Beecher Herald.

“On an ideal site to be selected by the patrons, it is planned to erect a building which for beauty, elegance, durability, strength and sacredness of purpose will be unsurpassed anywhere,” according to that early report.

Thielman hired renowned architect Cecil E Bryan to build the mausoleum. Crypts were pre-sold to raise the required capital for the project. Once enough money was raised and the land acquired, construction started in June, 1913 by the International Mausoleum Company.

Beecher Cemetery & Mausoleum Assoc. Formed to Build an Illinois MausoleumTHE BEECHER MAUSOLEUM BECOMES A REGISTERED ILLINOIS MAUSOLEUM

On March 21, 1914, the mausoleum was registered in the State of Illinois under the Cemetery Care Act, dated March 14, 1903. It was managed under the auspices of the Beecher Cemetery and Mausoleum Association.

Beecher Cemetery & Mausoleum Assoc. Formed (2)On April 3, 1914, the original association elected the following officers and trustees to manage the building: Henry B. Ruge, Charles Beseke, Chris. B Eskilson, Charles Hack, Frank Hunte, Arthur Struve and Tom Fick. Four of the men were to serve three years and three were to serve six years. C.B. Eskilson was elected president. Charles Hack was vice president, and Frank Hunte would serve as secretary-treasurer.

The mausoleum was built to accommodate 210 crypts total, including 170 aisle crypts and four family compartments containing ten crypts each. Aisle crypts sold for $200-$300; family compartments sold for $1,500.

As of today, 29 aisle crypts are vacant with 26 of them saleable.

Three crypts have been previously purchased but may be donated back to the restoration association. Seventeen family compartment crypts remain unoccupied.

At present, there are 171 people entombed in the Beecher Mausoleum, representing 65 family surnames.

The Beecher Mausoleum is located east of Illinois Route 1 (Dixie Highway) and south of Indiana Avenue, just outside the Village of Beecher’s corporate boundaries. The address is 301 W. Horner Lane, Beecher, IL 60401.

Powerpoint - SLT (3)

 

The Beecher Mausoleum Power Point.pdf

Click the link above to see the full Power Point Presentation

 

Powerpoint - NR (3)

 

 

National Register Application Powerpoint.pdf

 

Click the link above to see our National Register Power Point Presentation

 

 

2 thoughts on “GENERAL INFORMATION ON ILLINOIS MAUSOLEUMS

  1. I’ve never given much thought to the design and construction of mausoleums, but I’ll have to learn more about the process. Cecil Bryan sounds like an interesting person and a talented designer and builder. Thanks for posting these articles.

  2. As a mortician, cemetery manager and devoted individual to the preservation of sites and locations, I am impressed with the dedication and the cause taken by the few. For the community to come together in the preservation of what might not be considered valuable to some is impressive. I do not believe that in this area of California I would be able to generate the amount of interest your small area has done. I commend you all for your work, and look forward to one day visiting this historic sight.

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