Mapping the Cemeteries: City Cemetery

Courtesy of the Chicago Title and Trust Company.

Courtesy of the Chicago History Museum. See the entire map, here.
Presented above, is the page in an Ante-Fire tract book containing the exchange and subdivision of land on the grounds now occupied by Lincoln Park, from Menomonee Street, south to North Avenue. The first line, dated, July 27, 1840, records four acres that were acquired by an individual, David Moore, who leased the land to different people until the City bought it from him in 1851. That parcel became part of the City Cemetery potter's field. The third line records the State of Illinois granting the patent for the land to the City of Chicago in December, 1846.

The 1849 Rees and Rucker map detail, left, shows the four-acre parcel labeled with David Moore's name. He acquired that acreage before the city paid for the land they were granted in 1837. At that time, the town of Chicago was using two burial grounds, one located at approximately 23rd Street and Wabash, the other at the lakeshore between Chicago Avenue and Oak Street. See the earlier northside cemetery, here.

In 1848, intending to extend the burial grounds northward, the city acquired Block 50, and three additional Blocks not visible in this map, extending the grounds to today's Webster Avenue. Unfortunately, Jacob Milliman acquired Blocks 45, 46, 48, and 49 earlier that year. Milliman died less than a year after he acquired his land, and the city bought Block 49 in 1850. Thirteen years later it was found that the city had acquired the land illegally, and the saga of the Milliman Tract began, causing the first surge of exhumations from the City Cemetery.

Courtesy of the Illinois Regional Archives Depository.
     This scrap of paper from the Common Council files, is the order to buy the 4-acre parcel that was then owned by Samuel McKay.      The October 13, 1851 document shows that a windmill stood on those grounds until the city acquired the land.


Old Survey, last deed No. 806
First record 1843, last 1/1859

Vault Surveys, lettered and numbered, 11/1851 – 11/1857 
last lot, Letter R, No. 84        

New Survey until Milliman tract, 3/1851 - 8/1852
Last lot No. 803

Milliman Tract, part of New Survey, 8/1852 – 5/1858
Nos. 804 - 1455

Block 1, 3/1854 – 9/1856  
all lot sizes now 9x12', all previous lots, 9x24'                       
last recorded No. 163         

Block 2, 12/1854 - 5/1859                                 
last recorded No. 480                 

Green’s Survey, 12/1857 – 5/1859
(last recorded No. 182, but record of burial 1/1863, in lot No.574)


Totals Lots: (minimum)
Old Survey, 806
Lettered Vault, 18
Numbered Vault, 89
New Survey, with Milliman Tract, 1455
New Survey-Block 1, 163
New Survey-Block 2, 480
Green’s Survey, 182                    

TOTAL: 3,200

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