The Association Of American Cemetery Superintendents
It has been suggested that the Secretary prepare for this meeting a short history of our Association, together with a statement as to it's aim and purpose and results accomplished, which might be published with the constitution and by-laws and list of members, so that in the future committees arranging for a meeting will have something in the line of literature to send out to interest cemeteries which are not represented.
It was in 1886 when the first movement was made to organize an association in the interest of cemetery superintendents in this country.
After considerable correspondence by a few well known superintendent's and led on by the late Charles Nichols this agitation resulted in a meeting of about twenty-five men representing some of the leading cemeteries, which was held in Cincinnati, OH in October, 1887.
At this meeting the organization was accomplished and substantially the present Constitution and By-Laws framed and adopted.
It was not the object to form a protective association by any means, but purely one for mutual education.
Briefly stated the object of this association is the advancement of the interests and the elevation of the character of cemeteries in this Country and this object has been faithfully adhered to during the past twenty-one years.
It was organized on such broad lines as to admit all officers of cemeteries as members with equal rights and privileges in its meetings.
With the view and purpose of encouraging further efforts in gaining members for the association, as well as to maintain its distinction of being one of three societies (the oldest) conserving the landscape gardening and rural art of the country it may not be taken amiss to repeat some statements made at various times by prominent members of the association.
For the purpose of benefiting cemeteries the association aims to bring together in friendly intercourse from all parts of the country persons who are most interested and skilled in the various practices of cemetery work.
These annual gatherings afford an opportunity for seeing the best examples of cemetery development under the most favorable circumstances and for becoming acquainted with the leading cemeteries and their methods.
Papers are presented and discussions follow on all subjects pertaining to cemetery work; questions are presented for discussion and information may be absorbed which can be obtained in no other way.
Much educational value of the association is to be found in its printed reports of each convention, which are recognized as authoritative and are sought by libraries and institutions of learning.
On cemetery questions the results of the discussions and deliberations are authority upon which to base further progress.
The success of the association in attaining the purpose sought after and the value of its annual meetings cannot be considered doubtful or experimental; it has at all times received and continues to receive the support and the commendations of the foremost men in cemetery work, not only among active superintendents and other officers, but also from men of wide repute in commercial and professional lines, who find time to devote to cemetery problems.
Since the organization of this association and as a direct result of its efforts and influence a most noticeable improvement has been made in the appearance of cemeteries throughout the country. The examples of good planning and good management furnished by the members and developed through their efforts have been followed by many who unfortunately have failed to lend aid in its support by becoming members.
But it is safe to say that its influence has been recognized and its good work has continued until the standard of landscape work in American cemeteries now ranks with that in the best parks.
Remarkable and satisfactory as has been the progress brought about through the influence of this association, much remains yet that can be done, and it is the very purpose of these annual meetings to exchange ideas and plans, to stimulate efforts in the direction of improvements in cemeteries by exerting all efforts toward greater simplicity, greater economy and greater beauty.
Every cemetery in the country might well be represented at the conventions and arrange for membership, thereby adding further to the usefulness and influence of the association, It is a proposition well worthy of consideration and one that will result in good returns.
From the publication:
AACS - Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Convention
Held at Kansas City, MO
August 11, 12 and 13, 1908