“The Chicago City Cemetery opened at the southern end of what is now Lincoln Park
in 1843. As the result of a lawsuit filed against the city, the cemetery was
closed to further burials in 1866. Bodies and monuments were being removed as
late as 1899.
Across the street, the Roman Catholic Church opened the Catholic Cemetery, south
of North Avenue at Dearborn, in 1843. The burials there were affected by the same
lawsuit in 1866. Removals from the Catholic Cemetery ceased ca. 1881.
The land for the first Jewish burial ground in the state of Illinois, was purchased
in the city cemetery in 1846.
Many of the removals from the City Cemetery went to Graceland, Oakwoods, and Rosehill
cemeteries in Chicago.
Bodies from the Catholic Cemetery were moved to Calvary Cemetery in Evanston, and
St. Boniface Cemetery in Chicago.
Bodies from the Jewish burial ground are now located in Mt. Mayriv Cemetery in Chicago.
A question often posed is, ‘Were all of the bodies removed?’ — Not likely…”
The lawsuit that forced the closing of these cemeteries was filed because people
felt that these cemeteries were too close to Lake Michigan and would spoil the
drinking water for the city.
Contributed by Helen Sclair