Forest Home Cemetery (Forest Park)

  (Redirected from German Waldheim Cemetery)

Forest Home Cemetery is at 863 S. DesPlaines Ave, Forest Park, Illinois, adjacent to the Eisenhower Expressway, straddling the Des Plaines River in Cook County, just west of Chicago.[1] The cemetery traces its history to two adjacent cemeteries, German Waldheim (1873) and Forest Home (1876), which merged in 1969.

Ceremony at the Haymarket Martyrs' Monument in Forest Home Cemetery, Forest Park, Illinois, in May 1986, in which singer Utah Philips and others commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Haymarket Affair
Emma Goldman's grave. Jo Davidson was the sculptor of the bas relief. The dates of birth and death on the stone are incorrect.


Forest Home Cemetery was the site of a Potawatomi village and burial ground until 1835.[2][3] Ferdinand Haase, founder of Forest Park, and other members of the Haase family are buried on what at one time also was a Haase family homestead.[2] The cemetery was formally established and incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois in 1876.[2]

The German Waldheim Cemetery was organized by a group of German Masonic Lodges in 1873 with the first interment on May 9, 1873. The Waldheim Cemetery was established as a non-religion-specific cemetery, where Freemasons, Romani, and German-speaking immigrants to Chicago could be buried without regard for religious affiliation.

The two adjacent cemeteries merged on February 28, 1969, with the combined cemetery being called Forest Home (Waldheim means "forest home" in German).[2]

Jewish Waldheim Cemetery, located across the street, is a separate cemetery and is not affiliated with Forest Home.

Haymarket MemorialEdit

The "Haymarket martyrs", as the five defendants sentenced to death in the Haymarket affair came to be called among their sympathizers, were buried at Waldheim because since its establishment, it had a policy of not discriminating on the basis of race, ethnicity, or politics. In addition, it was the only Chicago-area cemetery that would accept their remains.[4]: 4  After their burial, the cemetery became a place of pilgrimage for anarchists, leftists, and union members. In 1893, the Haymarket Martyrs' Monument, designed by sculptor Albert Weinert, was erected.

In homage to the Haymarket martyrs, other anarchists and socialists later chose to be buried at Waldheim, well into the 20th century, including:[5]

Other notable intermentsEdit

The cemetery also includes the graves of:

Dr. Joseph Carter Corbin (Educator). Founder of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. His wife, Mary Jane Corbin and sons, John Ward Corbin and William H. Corbin.

The cemetery is also the final resting place for 43 victims of the 1903 Iroquois Theater fire that killed over 600.[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Graveyards of Chicago
  2. ^ a b c d Forest Home Cemetery. n.d. "Points of Interest". Forest Park, IL.
  3. ^ The Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest (17 October 2003). "Nature's Choicest Spot: A Guide to Forest Home and Germany Waldheim Cemeteries". Franzosenbusch Heritage Society. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  4. ^ Robin Bachin, National Historic Landmark Nomination, Haymarket Martyrs' Monument. Submitted September 1, 1995. Designated a National Historic Landmark February 18, 1997. Retrieved June 19, 2016.
  5. ^ "Biographies". Illinois Labor History Society. Retrieved June 19, 2016.
  6. ^ Sawyers, June Skinner (31 March 2012). Chicago Portraits: New Edition. Northwestern University Press. pp. 53–54. ISBN 978-0810126497. Retrieved April 2, 2015.
  7. ^ Find A Grave. "Victims of the Iroquois Theatre Fire". Retrieved 14 March 2020.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 41°52′11″N 87°49′11″W / 41.8698°N 87.8198°W / 41.8698; -87.8198