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Oak Woods Cemetery





Chartered in 1853, Oak Woods is the oldest private cemetery in Chicago. Created to serve the south side affluent, it is the final resting place to Chicago notables such as: Olympic super star, Jesse Owens; the late Mayors Harold Washington and William Hale "Big Bill" Thompson; activist and journalist, Ida B. Wells; nuclear physicist Enrico Fermi; Jesse Binga (nation's first Black banker); Illinois State Senator Charles Chew; Johnson Publishing's editor, Robert Johnson, baseball's Cap Anson and many more.

There are those who view a cemetery only as a burial ground, a place filled with memories. Oak Woods is a cemetery designed on the theme of parks. This marble and granite studded landscape is home to the Tower of Memories, a six-story mausoleum with massive stain glass windows, marble floors and crypts. The Memorial to Confederate Prisoners of War is two acres purchased by the federal government in 1867.







 



 


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