Chicago, Illinois
Cook County Cemetery at Dunning

In the Dunning neighborhood on Chicago's northwest side, there was once a county poor house and mental hospital. Once they had entered, many of the inmates never left, and were eventually buried there.

This was a "Potter's Field", a place for the poor, indigent, and unknown. As with similar graveyards elsewhere, there were rarely any permanent individual markers - and no expectation of visitors.

Little remains of the hospital's graveyard now. There are only a handful of fragments of headstones, now affixed to concrete frames.

The cemetery was forgotten for many years until home construction in the 1990s unearthed hundreds of bones. A retired Presbyterian minister, Rev. William Brauer, led efforts to memorialize the site and in 2001 Read-Dunning Memorial Park was dedicated. The site has been preserved as a wide open area, with concrete disks set into the ground to commemorate the various groups of people buried here.



References and Links
copyright 1996-2005 Matt Hucke. All right reserved.