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Famous Graves in the Chicago Southland
Travel Inspiration

Supporters of icons, whether music, religious, sports or military remain dedicated after their passing. The Chicago Southland is home to an eclectic mix, from famous blues musicians to Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, civil rights icons, Chicago mayors and the founder of the Nation of Islam.

Sports

  • Melvin Eugene “Tony” Bettenhausen Sr.
    Race Car Driver, Nicknamed the “Tinley Park Express” in honor of his hometown
    Tinley Park Memorial Cemetery, Tinley Park

  • Andrew Foster
    Baseball Hall of Famer, Manager and executive who founded the Negro National League in 1920
    Lincoln Cemetery, Blue Island

  • Brian Piccolo
    Professional Football Player
    Saint Mary Catholic Cemetery and Mausoleum, Evergreen Park

  • Frederick Wayman “Duke” Slater
    Football great, Civil Rights pioneer
    Mount Glenwood Memory Gardens (South), Glenwood

  • Marshall Walter “Major” Taylor
    Between 1897 and 1900, he was considered "the fastest bicycle rider in the world"
    Mount Glenwood Memory Gardens (South), Glenwood

Music

  • John Curulewski
    Founding member of the band Styx
    Saint Benedict Catholic Cemetery, Crestwood

  • Willie James Dixon
    Legendary blues musician and songwriter
    Restvale Cemetery, Alsip

  • Walter “Shakey” Horton
    Blues harmonica player also known as “Big Walter”
    Restvale Cemetery, Alsip

  • Gene Krupa (Eugene Bertram)
    Legendary drummer, Band leader
    Holy Cross Cemetery, Calumet City

  • McKinley “Muddy Waters” Morganfield
    Blues icon
    Restvale Cemetery, Alsip

  • Samuel “Magic Sam” Maghett
    Blues guitarist
    Restvale Cemetery, Alsip

  • Koko Taylor
    Grammy winning blues singer, “Queen of the Blues”
    Washington Memory Gardens Cemetery, Homewood

  • Theodore Roosevelt “Hound Dog” Taylor
    Chicago blues guitarist and singer
    Restvale Cemetery, Alsip

Military

  • Private George Stokes, U.S. Army
    Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient
    Oakland Memory Lanes, Dolton

  • Corporal John Peter Fardy, U.S. Marine Corps
    World War II Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient
    Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Alsip

  • Private First Class Anton Krotiak, U.S. Army
    World War II Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient
    Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Alsip

  • Specialist Fourth Class Carmel Bernon Harvey Jr.
    Vietnam Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient
    Cedar Park Cemetery, Calumet Park

Etcetera

  • Robert Sengstacke Abbott
    Editor and founder of the popular African-American newspaper the “Chicago Defender”
    Lincoln Cemetery, Blue Island

  • Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks
    Pulitzer Prize winning poet
    Lincoln Cemetery, Blue Island

  • Bessie “Brave Bessie” Coleman
    First female African American aviator
    Lincoln Cemetery, Blue Island

  • Noble Drew Ali
    Founder of Moorish Science Temple of America
    Burr Oak Cemetery, Alsip

  • Richard J. Daley
    Chicago Mayor from 1955 to 1976, known as “The Boss”
    Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Alsip

  • Bernie Mac (Bernard Jeffrey McCullough)
    Comedian, Actor
    Washington Memory Gardens Cemetery, Homewood

  • Elijah Muhammad (Poole)
    Founder of the Nation of Islam
    Mount Glenwood Memory Gardens (South), Glenwood

  • Emmett Till
    Civil rights icon
    Burr Oak Cemetery, Alsip

Graveyard Blues Bicycle Tour

Coinciding with the Chicago Blues Festival, a Graveyard Blues Bicycle Tour is offered by the Friends of the Cal-Sag Trail. Riders make their way to several historic cemeteries in the Chicago Southland to hear Harmonica Neil Florek tell the stories and sing the songs of Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Hound Dog Taylor, Big Bill Broonzy, Magic Sam and other legends buried there. Visit CalSagTrail.org for more information.

Click here to see highlights from the past Graveyard Tours.





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