Out of a job – February 5 1923

97 years ago today,  fire alarm box Number 848 was pulled at 12:40 PM at State and Chicago Avenues in Chicago. The loud fire bell then rang in Engine 11’s firehouse at 10 East Grand Avenue, about a third mile south and just off State street. teddy and danTeddy, Dan, Buck, and Beauty then unknowingly made their last fire run. The alarm was purposely false, pulled to bring about the last run of a horse drawn fire engine in Chicago.

So, you may ask “what do fire horses have to do with my Chicago website featuring cemeteries?”

Well I invite you to read on and I promise to tell you about a horse grave at the end of my story.

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Terri – When the Dead Gained Power

She came into thousands of Northwest side Chicago homes every week and was simply known as “Terri”. You need to know her.

lomnbgghjTheresa “Terri” Ann Kruszczak  (1956-1998)  was the most capable staff writer and managing editor of the Times’ six weekly editions, the largest group of the Lerner Community Newspapers, later known as Pulitzer–Lerner newspapers. Terri tirelessly attended community meetings, neighborhood events and school board proceedings in search of her next story.. She wrote thousands of articles that appeared weekly in the Harlem Irving Times, Jefferson Mayfair times, Harlem Foster Times, northwest times, Uptown News Star and other editions. After dinner, she would often return to her office alone late at night to write that one more story before deadline.

Her professional life changed forever in March of 1989 when bones and dead bodies were uncovered on the site of the Cook County Poorhouse and Insane Asylum, later renamed the Chicago State hospital.

Weekly headlines revealed a gruesome story every week:

1990 bones on curb at se corner of Belle Plaine and Neenah“Remains Found at Dunning Work Site”, “ Bone sites multiply”, “Discovery of remains halts project”, “Civil War vet burial could jinx developers”

 “Bones litter the site. Long leg bones and pieces of skulls protrude from piles of dirt. Outlines of bodies can be seen in trenches.” Bones of Human skeletons have remained laying on the ground for over two months after they were uncovered during excavation work”

 Please read on to meet the very special and talented Theresa “Terri” Ann Kruszczak, who as part of her work as a reporter and newspaper editor helped preserve a lost cemetery.

Continue reading “Terri – When the Dead Gained Power”