south Cook and
County did have a potter's field cemetery. It was Cook County
Cemetery on the grounds of Oak Forest Hospital in Oak Forest,
Illinois. Cook County Cemetery was the burial place for
indigent people who died in Cook County and also for people
who died at Oak Forest Hospital when it was a TB Sanitarium
for Cook County.
The South Suburban Genealogical & Historical Society was able to obtain seven books of burial records for Cook County Cemetery from Oak Forest Hospital. The seven books of burial records were microfilmed by SSGHS and are available for viewing at the SSGHS Library, 3000 West 170th Place Hazel Crest, Illinois 60429-1174 (708) 335-3340. There are three rolls of microfilm covering the period of 4 March 1911 to 17 November 1971.
The contents of
the rolls of microfilm are:
Some of the basic information contained in these burial books is: Name, Date of Death, Date Interred, Age, Color, Lot, Grave and Place of Death. I did a quick check of one of the above rolls and found that the Place of Death included street addresses and the names of hospitals if the deceased died in a hospital.
From December 1970 through December 1979, Archer Woods Cemetery (now known as Mt. Glenwood West) on Kean Avenue in Willow Springs served as the County Potter's Field. Starting in January of 1980 and continuing to date, Homewood Memorial Gardens on Ridge Road in Homewood has served that function.
St. Gabriel Cemetery is south of Oak Forest Hospital on the east side of Cicero Avenue in Oak Forest, Illinois. St. Gabriel Cemetery was the burial place of indigent Catholic patients who died at Oak Forest Hospital. There are no markers on the graves at this cemetery. There is a sign facing Cicero Avenue that reads ST. GABRIEL CEMETERY. The dirt road that leads off of Cicero Avenue goes past a statue of St. Francis of Assisi. That statue is the only thing visible in the cemetery along with some trees. St. Gabriel Cemetery is under the supervision of St. Casimir Cemetery, 4401 West 111th Street, Chicago, Illinois 60655-4398, (773) 239-4422.
In addition to St. Gabriel's, there are two other cemeteries located just south of the Oak Forest Hospital Grounds, at approximately 162nd Street and Cicero Avenue.
The first is:
St. John the Baptist Episcopal Cemetery which lies south of the hospital and east of the Lutheran Cemetery was consecrated in 1941.
Names were extracted from the burials recorded in the City Missions Register books by Janice Helge. The City Missions Register books are located in the archives of the Diocese of Chicago, Episcopal Archive and Historical Collections, St. James Cathedral, 65 E. Huron Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611.
Names that were extracted have been included in the South Suburban Genealogical and Historical Society Cemetery Census Series. The register begins in 1929 with burials at Ebenezer Lutheran and Oak Forest cemeteries. The first burial at the new St. John the Baptist Episcopal Cemetery was John Wilson in March 1941. The last burial was Paul Walker in April 1959. The information for all burials at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Cemetery is available in the SSGHS Library. A plot map of the cemetery is also available.
The second is:
Ebenezer Lutheran Cemetery, purchased in 1915. This burial ground was provided for inmates and patients of Oak Forest Hospital and Sanitarium who were members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod. It was managed by the Lutheran chaplain at Oak Forest Hospital. Records (1921-1964) are available at SSGHS.
There are no tombstones at any of these Oak Forest cemeteries.
Ebenezer Lutheran and St. John The Baptist Episcopal cemetery names are included in the Bremen Township Cemeteries index as part of the South Suburban Genealogical & Historical Society's Cemetery Master Index.
September 2009 per Paula Malak