The Disinterments

Since the Catholic cemetery was privately owned by the Church, the disinterment activity was not duly recorded in the Chicago press. The jarring juxtaposition in the 1873 report of the Catholic cemetery grounds being laid out as residential land, immediately followed by the diligence of the City in attempting to contact lot owners and recording the work of disinterments, amplifies the notion that the Catholic graves were not thoroughly accounted for. The newspaper editorial at the right, is the only glimpse from this newspaper into the activity of exhumations from this graveyard. The writer seems to suggest that the graves are being removed only from the grounds being prepared for residential lots.

Eighteen years later, the same newspaper publishes its first account of finding skeletal remains. In that October 14, 1894 article, the author reports: "When Calvary Cemetery was thrown open it was intended to remove all the bodies, but many must have been overlooked, for they have been found in considerable numbers during recent times." See the rest of that newspaper article, and others reporting similar confusion and explanations in Unexpected Findings in the Catholic Cemetery section.


Chicago Daily Tribune, December 8, 1872

Chicago Daily Tribune, August 3, 1873

Chicago Daily Tribune, August 15, 1876


Pamela Bannos © 2021