Mt. Carmel Catholic Cemetery
Backstory and Context
In the decade following the Great Fire of 1871, Chicago witnessed waves of new immigrants, most of who were Southern and Eastern European Catholics. Between 1885-1903, seven major catholic cemeteries were established within the Archdiocese of Chicago: Mt. Olivet, St. Mary, Holy Cross, Mt. Carmel, St. Casimir, Resurrection, and St. Joseph. Located in the Chicago suburb of Hillside, Mt. Carmel was consecrated in 1901 and quickly became associated with the city’s growing Italian population. Because its Italian connections, Mt. Carmel became the final resting place for many of Chicago’s famous gang members including Al Capone, his two brothers Frank and Ralph, the Genna Brothers, Dean O’Banion, “Machine Gun” Jack McGurn, Charles Nicoletti, and many others. Other famous burials include Jack Powell, Ken Silvestri, Julia Buccola Petta – known as the “Italian Bride,” and several members of the clergy.
Because of the immense Italian influence, the cemetery is a time capsule of early Italian-American religious beliefs and burial practices. Mt. Carmel today possesses over 200,000 burials, spans over 200 acres, and welcomes visitors during its hours of operation.
History. Archdiocese of Chicago, Catholic Cemeteries. . December 4, 2018. http://www.catholiccemeterieschicago.org/About/History.