A Project by
the Museology Class
East Side Landmarks
East Side Introduction
 East Side Landmarks Introduction
 Andreas Von Zirngibl Gravesite
 State Line Boundary Mark
 Colehour House
Andreas Von Zirngibl Gravesite

      Von Zirngibl led a fairly normal  life and is buried in a very unusual place.  At age 18 he joined General Bluchers army.  In the famous battle of Waterloo his right arm was shot and later amputated.  After participating on the winning side in the battle against Napoleon he made his life fishing the Danube River in Bavaria,Germany.  The loss of an arm made this a bit challenging. 
      Since there were political problems in his homeland and better opportunities in America, he and his wife decided to move there with their family of five.  He was one of the first Europeans to move to this area.  He first arrived on the North Side of Chicago in 1853.  He lived and fished there for 6 months until he moved to Whiting, Indiana and built a log house for his family in December 1854.  Then he moved to the land near the mouth of the Calumet River {9331 Ewing Ave}.  He purchased 44 acres for $160 in gold. The land was an Indian burial ground before settlement.  It was easier to anchor his fishing boat there. 
      Now, one can only imagine his delight of catching 3 feet long white fish or sturgeon as tall as a man and as heavy as a large punching bag {100pounds}, foot-long herring, fat yellow perch and an occasional northern pike, after a days of "work".  Happiness was not to last  for this German veteran.  He died in the August of 1855 after catching a deadly fever.  His last request to his four sons was to be buried on his land.  His sons complied with his request.  Little did Von Zirngibl know that years later his land would become the middle of a scrap processing company and that his family would have to endure a 41 year long legal battle to keep his grave site there. 

In the middle of an operating scrap yard

Side view of the condition of the gravesite 1940

The site was restored in 1987 and rededicated on July 27, 1987.   Although his grave site does not look like your typical grave site surrounded by flowers and shady trees.  It remains there, a reminder of all immigrants who came to America looking for a better life, honoring them all and all the contributions they made to our community.  The grave site will remain there as a reminder for centuries to come. 

Restoration of gravesite

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