Chicago City Cemetery was located in at the south end of what is now Lincoln Park. The first burials were in 1843, and at its peak, had 20,000 burials. City residents did not like the cemetery location, which was on low land, close to the lake, thinking it contaminated water supply and aided the spread of diseases such as cholera.
In 1859, the city stopped selling lots at the cemetery and reinterments began in the newly-opened Rosehill Cemetery. The last burials at City were in 1866. Other cemeteries that have reinterred remains are Graceland, Wunders, and Calvary. Jewish Cemetery landowners handled reinterments, for which there are no public records. The remains of about 6,000 confederate prisoners from the federal prison, Camp Douglas, were moved from a potters field to Oak Woods Cemetery. The conditions at Camp Douglas were notoriously awful, and most of the rebels died of of hunger and disease, between 1862 and 1865.
Disinterments were completed by 1870, and the City Cemetery was officially empty of all graves except the Ira Couch tomb, which still stands in the park (it was deemed too expensive to move--and may be empty--records indicate he is in Rosehill's Couch family tomb) and 116-year-old Boston Tea Party's David Kennison. However, various digs in the park over the years, one as recently as 1998, have yielded human remains.
GPS Coordinates: 41.91306, -87.62948
- Added: 5 Jul 2002
- Find A Grave Cemetery: #1406098
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