Threatened Cemeteries: Mount Hope Cemetery, Illinois

Sadly, the Mount Hope Cemetery in Belleville, Illinois is another local cemetery¬† burdened with funding issues that have resulted in neglect. Read more…

Cemetery’s Sunken Graves Anger Belleville Mayor by Chris Regnier,, April 8, 2011. (article & video)

Metro-east prepaid burial customers finally getting money back by BY Laura Girresch, Belleville News-Democrat, May 4, 2012 (article)

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18 Responses to Threatened Cemeteries: Mount Hope Cemetery, Illinois

  1. Sadly I keep stumbling across these cemeteries so in need of love as I continue doing genealogy research. (It is strange how I did not notice them before.) Sometimes local historical / preservation societies will adopt a cemetery.
    Theresa (tangled trees)

  2. Jennifer Andrews says:

    We were and are still interested in buying the cemetery. My husband was foreman there for 17 years. Do you have any current information about it’s status?

  3. Several members of my family are buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery in Belleville, IL. When attempting to get any records about them, such as the location of their graves, I have encountered information which sends me to yet another person to seek this information.

    Mt. Carmel Cemetery, Belleville Public Library Archivist, Deena Dougherty (calls unreturned) and Jim Carlson’s home (talked with Jim’s wife) and his work number for information, (my call not returned) but the answer to getting information about records seems to be unknown.

    I will try the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency as suggested by LaDonna Garner.

    Thanks for this opportunity to express my views.

    I went through the cemetery two days ago and it is now well kept, grass cut and trimming done around monuments. Lawn worker there, who said he works for the City of Belleville, told me that a couple from Florida had come in the day before, he sent them to Mt. Carmel and they came back to the cemetery, Mt. Hope, with a map. So I followed up on that clue. The map of Mt. Hope displays the sections of the cemetery, but no gravestone info. So, IF one knew the section of Mt. Hope a loved one is buried in, one could walk the hilly area looking for the stones.


    Peggy Fitzpatrick

    • It does not appear that the cemetery has been transcribed and donated to the Find-A-Grave website either. I also suggest try the local funeral homes that handled your family members’ burials. They often have information in their files regarding the locations. Good luck with the search!

    • Eldon says:

      You might try the headstone place across the street. I have family members in Mount Hope with fallen headstone and missing dates. Very disturbing.

  4. Dawn says:

    I found one site that has partial listing. Tried to call it to see if great aunt’s buried next to great uncle & it’s disc. Then I saw a couple of stories about it – including this one. Your links are no longer any good. And it has been added to find a grave: Mount Hope. I added my great uncle to it because acc’d to DC that’s where he’s buried. I don’t see how owners can just get up & walk off. And I really don’t see how city can think it’s not their problem. I’m so disgusted. This is just one of many.

    • Thank you Dawn for the updated link. The internet is ever changing and I have lots to jump back onto the blog to update.
      The more I look into the reasons a cemetery is neglected, I’m finding the owners either passed away without plans for the cemetery’s upkeep or the cemetery was just too much to manage. One day, I hope we have a better way of honoring our dead. It is just something that many cities and citizens push out of sight & out of mind. So sad.

  5. Jera Sloat says:

    In doing research about my grandmothers death and life in general, it seems, the only information that I am able to find is where she is buried. My father was adopted right after birth in which stories passed down are contradictory. The stories that he knows to be true stem around a horrible tragedy, which he has to live with daily, and in all aspects, we, as a family, have to deal with. I’m personally commited to finding out some kind of truth. So this brings me here.

    I’m looking for information regarding who paid for and placed her headstone here at Mount Hope cemetery. Any phone number that I have tried has been disconnected…another brick wall. I am looking at replacing her headstone as well, and I’m not sure how to go about doing this as well. I am on and and yet have found little to nothing about her 20 year old life. I feel like if I could contact somebody, somewhere that may still have records of her burial in 1962 (we had always believed that she dies in 1961), that I may be able to find just another piece to this haunting puzzle that surrounds my family. Please, if anybody has any information that may help, I would be forever grateful. Her name is Bernice Cornstubble.

    As well as longing for more information, and through reading through these posts, I am curious as to what exactly will happen to this cemetery should worse case come true. I guess I just do not have an understanding of the situation.

    Any help or information would be greatly appreciated. Have a blessed day!

    • Thanks for visiting Jera!
      You may wish to order a copy of her death certificate. That will give you more information such as the informant who gave the information on her death certificate. This may be the same person who took care of her burial arrangements.
      If the cemetery’s number has changed, then you should call the local city hall and get the updated information. I believe the mayor was quite interested in the cemetery’s management a few years ago.

    • Curtis Swift says:

      Bernice Cornstubble is related to my wife Brenda Cornstubble, i beleive she was her aunt. I know at the time of her death they lived in washington park, il.
      My wifes mother Shirley is still alive and living in collinsville, il. Shirley would probably have the best information surrounding Bernice’s death. I hope this helps you.


  6. Karlyn Clarida says:

    I, too, have a number of family members at Mt. Hope in Belleville, IL – my grandparents, great-grandparents, uncles, aunts, great-uncles, great-cousins, and the list goes on-and-on. My family is greatly concerned as to the current, and more importantly, future status of Mt. Hope and the perpetual care our loved-ones will be receiving. I have been asked by my family to seek information as to the need (or desire) for us to establish a 501-C3 foundation that would help raise tax-deductible funds solely for the on-going care of Mt. Hope – without the foundation itself becoming legally bound for the cemetery’s day-to-day management or on-going operations. My calls to the Belleville mayor’s office only instructed me to call a special number at the Illinois state office that oversees cemeteries. However, phone calls to the state went unreturned. Whom do you recommend I contact to help determine the need for such a foundation? I’m willing to work to establish the foundation, with a board to oversee the raising of funds and management of distributions to help assure true perpetual care is maintained. Any direction you or anyone else can provide will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    • Hello Karlyn and thank you for commenting. Do forgive me for the delayed reply to your question. I have had to take an extended hiatus from the blog. I do agree there is a reasonable amount of concern one should have when investigating to assist a neglected cemetery. Let me suggest you and your family consider forming a “friends of” organization to assist the cemetery. This would not obligate you to take on the care of the cemetery but will assist in the stabilization the site requires. Feel free to email me directly and I can help you wade through the idea. Thanks for being passionate about our burial landscapes!

    • Sara says:

      Karlyn: Could you contact me about setting up that non-for-profit friends of Mt. Hope organization? 217.558.3721


  7. mary timson says:

    yes i am looking for a number to call to find out where my in-laws are buried in mount hope in belleville. we took a trip up there in may and that cemetary looked like something out of a horror movie. stones was knocked over and tree branches was every where. my husband use to be able to go right to his mom and dads site and we looked for over two hours and still could not find it. there was no rim or reason to what was what. it looked like graves was on top of graves. if anyone could help me i would be very greatfull.

  8. I have two family plots paid for years ago. I need to find out who can help me transfer/sell said plots and determine what the current status is.

  9. Kathleen Ann (Wells) Chase says:

    Has anyone contacted the local Boy Scout Council & ask for help. They do Service Projects & Eagle Projects that have included work for, or in a Cemetery. If there are any Veterans, the local American Legion Post or V.F.W. Post may be able to do something for those graves. You never know until you ask.
    My 2nd Great Grandparents, two first Counsins 2 Times removed to me are all are buried there in Mt. Hope, in Section A, Lot #91 N/2. This is the last urial I’m aware of Vada Witt (Oct 1909- Jul 1923), 13y 9m 6d, buried-29 Jul 1923, in Section A, Lot 91 N/2, Grave #4. Like you I don’t realy know who to contact anymore or even write to for information concerning burials in Mt. Hope, or give them what I have. It’s sad that the owner didn’t make some kind of arrangements. I posted my family members info here so it can be shared or forwarded to someone who is trying to organize the cemetery records. Thank you for letting me comment & I hope it’s the kind of info you wanted.
    Have a great year. Take care & God bless anyone’s efforts to help this cemetery.

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