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 in our Library. 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:

  • Roll 1 – Book 1: 4 March 1911 to 24 September 1926; Book 2: 15 October 1926 to 4 September 1935; Book 3: 18 September 1935 to 18 November 1943
  • Roll 2 – Book 4: 23 December 1943 to 15 June 1951; Book 5: 20 July 1951 to 31 October 1957; Book 6: 31 October 1957 to 4 December 1963
  • Roll 3 – Book 7: 4 December 1963 to 10 July 1970; Notebook of Alpha and Lot # lists 21060 and 17 November 1971. The last burial at Cook County Cemetery was 17 November 1971.

Some of the basic information contained in these burial books is:

Name | Date of Death | Date Interred | Age | Color | Lot | Grave | Place of Death

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.

Director South Suburban Genealogical & Historical Society

Revised 28 September 2009 per Paula Malak
Revised 26 October 2009 per Janice Helge