Monument Company Records: Another Primary Source for Cemetery Research

One often overlooked resource in cemetery research are records of the various monument companies who made the gravestones. The information in these records varies but may include details about the deceased and the person ordering the gravestone. These records usually include the date the order was placed, size and type of stone used, cost, and where and when it was to be delivered. Some entries include drawings of how the stone would look, and other orders were cancelled or never made. Since some of the orders were placed months or years after a death occurred, the records may not always be accurate, or a correction may have been made in a later entry. These records can take the mystery out of unreadable gravestones and give the researcher a starting point for the death and burial location.

Clark Monument Co. Account/Order Ledger from 1886

Clark Monument Company ledger from 1886.

The Archives has information from two local monument companies: The S.P. Atkinson Monument Co. and the C.N. Clark Monument Company

Clark Monument Co. Account/Order Ledger from 1933

C.N. Clark Monument Company ledger from 1933.

Although the S.P. Atkinson Monument Co. was in business for many years, the sales book records in the Archives collection cover only a short period of time, 1887-1905, and 1917-1918. Some of these records were microfilmed. The sales book entries have been indexed into Local History Online and can be searched by name. Xerox copies were also made of some of these records and are include with additional information that was donated to the Archives. A short history of this company can be found in the collection finding aid.

Clark Monument Co. Books

Clark Monument Company ledgers.

The Clark Monument Company records are on 19 rolls of microfilm and consist of the account/order ledgers for the years 1886-1962 with supplemental information through May 12, 1963. In addition to the microfilm, we have the original bound account/order ledgers for 1886-1937. Some of these have been indexed into Local History Online but many have not. There is an index in the front of each book.  More than one book may need to be checked as the stone may have been ordered years after the person died.

 

Clark Monument Co. Microfilm Reels

Clark Monument Company microfilm reels.

The microfilm of the account/order books for 1908-1963 have been digitized by Familysearch.org. Due to restrictions, the digital images can only be viewed in the Archives, a LDS Family History Center, or other LDS Affiliate Library. They are listed as Clark Monument Co. (Urbana) instead of Champaign in the LDS catalog entries. The Archives staff will be happy to guide you in your search.

- Karla G.

Archives Assistant