Cemetery in Bloomington sees vandalism - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Cemetery in Bloomington sees vandalism

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BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WEEK) -- -

Cemeteries are supposed to be a peaceful place for loved ones after they're laid to rest.

It's why cemetery workers were upset to find that two headstones had been vandalized Tuesday. 

Evergreen Memorial Cemetery is the final resting place for hundreds of McLean County's population. 

Groundskeepers said they were shocked when they found graffiti scrawled on two headstones from the early 1900's.

"Loved, forgotten, famous, infamous. Everybody is buried here. From the who's who of McLean County to just the average workers or house-keepers and they each have a story to tell," said Candace Summers with the McLean County Museum of History.

She's right.

One of these headstones belonged to Edward Marton, a German immigrant, who came to the United States as a child. 

He worked on the railroads.

Seven years after he married, his wife died, leaving him to take care of their two daughters alone. 

Since the vandalized headstones were from the late 1800's and early 1900's there was question if they could even be saved. 

"The ground supervisor went out and found some graffiti solvent that dissolves the paint," said Tina Crow, the cemetery manager.

Cemetery workers were able to wipe off most of the graffiti except a few spots left on this grave.

But a board member with the McLean County Museum of History said disrespect can't be wiped off.

"Vandalism in cemeteries is totally inappropriate. It's against the law. These are real people out here. These aren't just stones and markers," said Summers.

Staff of the cemetery as well as the museum of history hope future historical walks and re-enactments will curb people's urge to vandalize any more grave markers. 

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