Saint Adalbert Catholic Cemetery
Niles, IL U.S.A.

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Among the 300,000 Interrments...

Saint Adalbert Catholic Cemetery was founded in 1872 when a group composed of individuals from several Slavic parishes in Chicago selected the site and purchased the land. Poles, Czechs, Moravians, and Slovaks welcomed the prospect of having their own dignified place for Christian burial. Today, with over 300,000 interrments across more than 255 acres, Saint Adalbert has grown to be the largest of the forty-three Catholic cemeteries in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Alas, all was not perfect in paradise. When a Catholic priest (reportedly the pastor of Saint James Parish on DeKoven Street) refused to allow the burial of Maria Silhanek in consecrated soil in 1876, some members of the Czech community became upset. Led by Frank Zdrubek who was editor of Chicago's Czech-language newspaper and a member of the Bohemian Freethinkers' Society, a group purchased 122 acres of land for Bohemian National Cemetery in 1877. Bohemian National Cemetery still remains a secular, non-denominational cemetery today.

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