Forest Home Cenetery, the union of Forest Home and German Waldheim Cemeteries, is located on 863 Des Plaines Avenue in Forest Park, a suburb of Chicago, Illinois. In this historical graveyard, one can find tombstones commemorating the resting place for some of Chicago’s more colorful historical figures.
While most cemeteries refused to bury certain people based on ethnic and religious grounds, Forest Home and Waldheim welcomed all who wished to make Forest Home their final resting place. Hence, one can find a preponderance of people buried here who weren’t deemed part of “proper society. For example, the entrance is dotted with a plethora of gypsy graves, as they were seen as outcasts.
In 1993, the Pioneer Aid and Support Association erected The Haymarket Martyrs’ Monument as a tribute to the five men who were hung November 11th, 1887 for participating in demonstrations to demand an eight-hour workday. A plague commemorates these men, who are now seen as martyrs for their advocacy efforts to create equitable employment conditions for the working poor.
Near this monument, one can find the Socialist Corner. Emma Goldman’s grave stands in the center of this section. She is surrounded by graves of her comrades who were very prominent in the anarchist movement at the turn of the 20th century. Among those buried next to Emma include Lucy Parsons, Art and Esther Shields, Otto Wangerin, and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn (founder of the ACLU).
Also, present in this cemetery is a monument to The United Ancient Order of Druids, a fraternal organization established in London in 1771 by Henry Hurle. Circles of stone carved to look like wood encircle the base of an octagon granite pedestal. On top of this monument one can find a pensive looking druid statue.
One can also find Billy Sunday buried here. This grandson of German immigrants was born into a life of poverty until he was discovered by the Chicago White Stockings in 1883. He later became a traveling “fire and brimstone preacher” before his popularity waned and he died of a heart attack in 1935.
Maps of the cemetery are available in the front office and serve as a much needed resource for locating the specific location of these groups. While the cemetery sign states the cemetery pen until 4:30pm, the front office isn’t always open.
Fact sheets describing the sections of the cemetery that are outlined in this article, as well as a map of the graveyard can be found in the cemetery’s office, which is located right at the entrance gate. Also, some information about Forest Home cemetery including directions and their telephone number can be found on their website: http://www.foresthomecemetary.net, as well as http://graveyards.com/IL/Cook/foresthome.