Graceland Cemetery

Graceland Cemetery is a large historic rural cemetery located in the north side community area of Uptown, in the city of Chicago, Illinois, USA. Established in 1860, its main entrance is at the intersection of Clark Street and Irving Park Road. The Sheridan stop on the Red Line is the nearest CTA "L" station. Among the cemetery's 121 acres are the burial sites of several well-known Chicagoans.[3]

Graceland Cemetery
Location4001 N. Clark Street,[1] Chicago, Illinois
Coordinates41°57′16.2″N 87°39′44.2″W
Area119 acres (48 ha)
NRHP reference #00001628[2]
Added to NRHPJanuary 18, 2001

History and geography

Graceland Cemetery is an example of a rural cemetery, which is a style of cemetery characterized by landscaped natural areas. The concept of the rural cemetery emerged in the early 19th century as a response to overcrowding and poor maintenance in existing cemeteries in Europe.[4] The landscape architecture for Graceland was designed by Ossian Cole Simonds.[5]

In the 19th century, a train to the north suburbs occupied the eastern edge of the cemetery, where the Chicago "L" train now runs. The line was also used to carry mourners to funerals, in specially rented funeral cars. As a result, there was an entry through the east wall, which has since been closed. When founded, the cemetery was well outside the city limits of Chicago. After the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, Lincoln Park, which had been the city's cemetery, was deconsecrated and some of the bodies were reinterred to Graceland Cemetery.

The edge of the pond around Daniel Burnham's burial island was once lined with broken headstones and coping transported from Lincoln Park. Lincoln Park was redeveloped as a recreational area. A single mausoleum remains, the "Couch tomb", containing the remains of Ira Couch.[6] The Couch Tomb is probably the oldest extant structure in the City, everything else having been destroyed by the Great Chicago Fire.[7]

The cemetery's walls are topped off with wrought iron spear point fencing.

Notable tombs and monuments

Many of the cemetery's tombs are of great architectural or artistic interest, including the Getty Tomb, the Martin Ryerson Mausoleum (both designed by architect Louis Sullivan, who is also buried in the cemetery), and the Schoenhofen Pyramid Mausoleum. The industrialist George Pullman was buried at night, in a lead-lined coffin within an elaborately reinforced steel-and-concrete vault, to prevent his body from being exhumed and desecrated by labor activists.

Along with its other famous burials the cemetery is notable for two statues by sculptor Lorado Taft, Eternal Silence for the Graves family plot and The Crusader that marks Victor Lawson's final resting place. The cemetery is also the final resting place of several victims of the tragic Iroquois Theater fire in which more than 600 people died.

Notable Burials

Other cemeteries in the city of Chicago

Graceland is one of three large 19th-century cemeteries which were previously well outside the city limits; the other two being Rosehill (further north), and Oak Woods (South of Hyde Park) which includes a major monument to Confederate civil war dead.

In addition, directly south of Graceland across Irving Park Road is the smaller German Protestant Wunder's Cemetery and Jewish Graceland Cemetery (divided by a fence), established in 1851. Also, the Roman Catholic, Saint Boniface Cemetery (1863), is four blocks north of Graceland at the corner of Clark and Lawrence.

See also


  1. "Graceland Cemetery and Arboretum". Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  2. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  3. "Graceland Cemetery".
  4. Vernon, Christopher (2012). Graceland Cemetery: A Design History. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press. pp. 23–25. ISBN 1558499261.
  5. Lanctot, Barbara (1988). A Walk Through Graceland Cemetery. Chicago, Illinois: Chicago Architectural Foundation. p. 2.
  6. Dabs. "Chicago Cemeteries". Retrieved 20 April 2010.
  7. Bannos, Pamela (2012). "The Couch Tomb — Hidden truths: Visualizing the City Cemetery". The Chicago Cemetery & Lincoln Park. Northwestern University. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
  8. "David Adler". David Adler Center for Music and Arts.
  9. Thorpe, Burton Lee (1910). Koch, Charles R. E. (ed.). History of Dental Surgery. III. Fort Wayne, IN: National Art Publishing Company.
  10. Rosenow, Michael (2015). Death and Dying in the Working Class, 1865-1920. University of Illinois Press. p. 49. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
  11. Spencer, Thomas E. (1998). Where They're Buried: A Directory Containing More Than Twenty Thousand Names of Notable Persons Buried in American Cemeteries, with Listings of Many Prominent People who Were Cremated. Genealogical Publishing Com. p. 4. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  12. FOX. "'Mr. Cub' Ernie Banks laid to rest at Graceland Cemetery". Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  13. "Who in the Dickens is that?". Graceland Cemetery and Arboretum.
  14. "Brentano, Lorenzo,(1813-1891)".
  15. "Chicago Says Goodbye To Beloved Bear Doug Buffone". CBS Chicago. CBS Broadcasting Inc. April 24, 2015. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  16. "The Cemetery of Architects". Graceland Cemetery and Arboretum.
  17. "Mayor Fred A. Busse Biography". Chicago Public Library. Chicago Public Library. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
  18. Bannos, Pamela (2012). "Cemetery Lot Owners — Hidden truths: Visualizing the City Cemetery". The Chicago Cemetery & Lincoln Park. Northwestern University. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  19. "Mrs. Lydia A. Coonley Ward, Author, Dies". Democrat and Chronicle. 1924-02-27. p. 1. Retrieved 2017-11-30 via
  20. "DE PRIEST, Oscar Stanton - Biographical Information". Retrieved 2018-10-31.
  21. "William Deering, born in Maine, 1826, died in Florida 1913". eBook from the library of the University of Illinois. 1914. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  22. "J.J. Esher, Long a Bishop, Dead". Chicago Tribune. April 16, 1901. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
  23. "Monuments and their Makers". Graceland Cemetery and Arboretum.
  24. Wilson, Scott (2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed. McFarland. p. 245. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
  25. Zangs, Mary (2014). The Chicago 77: A Community Area Handbook. Arcadia Publishing. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
  26. Rodkin, Dennis (March 2006). "Why Everybody Loves Naperville". Chicago. Retrieved December 23, 2010.
  27. D C McJonathan-Swarm (16 Jul 2007). "Richard Theodore Greener, Find A Grave Memorial 20477831". Graceland Cemetery.
  28. "Mayor Carter Henry Harrison III Biography". Chicago Public Library. Chicago Public Library. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  29. "Mayor Carter Henry Harrison IV Biography". Chicago Public Library. Chicago Public Library. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  30. "Hitchcock, Herbert Emery, (1867-1958)". Biographical Directory of the United States of Congress.
  31. AIA Guide to Chicago. University of Illinois Press. May 15, 2014. p. 234. ISBN 0252096134.
  32. Kelder, Robert (January 25, 2005). "Visitors drawn to Jack Johnson's Grave". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
  33. "Obituary". Chicago Daily Tribune. Chicago. May 16, 1916.
  34. Matt Hucke and Ursula Bielski. Graveyards of Chicago. Lake Claremont Press, 1999. 21.
  35. "Lowden, Frank Orren(1861-1943)". Biographical Directory of the United States of Congress.
  36. "Maryland Mathison Hooper McCormick (1897–1985)". Cantigny. Retrieved on June 23, 2012.
  37. "Mayor Joseph Medill Biography". Chicago Public Library. Chicago Public Library. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
  38. Hartz, Taylor (October 31, 2017). "Lots of graves – but no ghosts – on Halloween Graceland Cemetery Tour". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  39. "Palmer, Francis Wayland, (1827-1907)". Biographical Directory of the United States of Congress.
  40. Shannon Maughan (May 24, 2018). "Obituary: Richard Peck". Publishers Weekly. PWxyz, LLC. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  41. "Allan Pinkerton". National Park Service.
  42. Lanctot, Barbara (1988). A Walk Through Graceland Cemetery. Chicago: Chicago Architectural Foundation. pp. 14–15.
  43. Guyer, Isaac D. (1862). History of Chicago – Its Commercial and Manufacturing Interests and Industry. Chicago: Church, Goodman & Cushing, Book and Job Printers. pp. 96–7.
  44. "$1,000,000 Is Left for Old Folks' Home". Chicago Daily Tribune: 17. March 8, 1923.
  45. Lanctot. Barbara, ‘’A Walk Through Graceland Cemetery: A Chicago Architecture Foundation Walking Tour, A Chicago Architecture Foundation Walking Tour, Chicago, IL, 1992 p. 30
  46. "Public Figures and Private Eyes". Graceland Cemetery and Arboretum.
  47. "Daniel Hale Williams [1856-1931]". Northwestern University Library University Archives. Northwestern University. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  48. "American Lumbermen, Chicago, IL 1906 p. 145".
  49. "Chicago's Mansions, Chicago, IL 2004".

Further reading

  • Hucke, Matt and Bielski, Ursula (1999) Graveyards of Chicago: the people, history, art, and lore of Cook County Cemeteries, Lake Claremont Press, Chicago
  • Kiefer, Charles D., Achilles, Rolf, and Vogel, Neil A. "Graceland Cemetery" (pdf), National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, HAARGIS Database, Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, June 18, 2000, accessed October 8, 2011.
  • Lanctot, Barbara (1988) A Walk Through Graceland Cemetery, Chicago Architectural Foundation, Chicago, Illinois
  • Vernon, Christopher (2012) Graceland Cemetery: A Design History, University of Massachusetts Press
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