Friday, April 2, 2010

Buck Weaver Found!

When I went looking for Buck Weaver's grave last October, I came within a few yards of his grave site. I just didn't know it at the time.

I got onto a kick looking for Buck's final resting place by looking for my own relatives in the area cemeteries. No one knew the exact locations of any relative, but they knew the cemeteries. That was a start.

My mother's side was fairly easy. It took one trip and about an hour of searching before I found both my two year old cousin and my mom's mother. Once I found my cousin, I knew that my grandmother would be fairly close from the information I was given.

My dad's side of the family would be different. I was looking for a great aunt, my grandfather and my grandmother. No locations were given, just the cemeteries.

After a few fruitless searches, I broke down and called. There was no record of my relatives. I was starting to think that I had uncovered another Burr Oak fiasco. Fortunately, whoever wrote the names down switched the cemeteries. After twenty minutes of getting nowhere inquiring about my grandfather and great aunt, I took a stab in the dark and asked about my grandmother. There she was! It was easy enough to figure out the the other two were at another cemetery nearby.

I found everyone and I discovered that my uncle who passed away last November was right next to my grandmother. In a weird morbid sense, I won the bonus prize. I found something I wasn't expecting, but was very glad to find.

In between those two cemeteries, Tracey and I went to Mt. Hope to try once again to locate the elusive Buck Weaver. This time I was armed with all the information I could possibly find. I knew that Buck was in section 35, under his given name of George D. Weaver. I just didn't know where he was in that section.
Did I mention that cemeteries in Illinois are designed to confuse the hell out of you? No? Well, they are. Each cemetery seems to have their own unique way of keeping records. The cemeteries in the south Chicagoland area have the added benefit of markers that are mostly worn of their numbers. The placement of these numbered lots also seems a bit haphazard. Gravestones face in multiple directions. Some forwards, some backwards, some sideways, some on angles.
In this picture, I am standing directly in front of Buck's grave. It is literally facing the corner. As you can see by the placement of the gravestones, nothing appears to have much order. This is facing the intersection of 115th and Rockwell, where there is a stoplight, with train tracks running across 115th at the light. The train tracks run along the east side fence. 115th street runs along the north side fence.

How to locate Buck's grave.

When entering Mt. Hope's entrance on 115th, turn left. Go all the way back. When the road starts to bend along the east fence (where the tracks are) stop the car. Get out and start heading towards the corner of the fence. You will run into the grave. Right behind Buck's stone is a black granite flat stone with a child's face etched onto the marker. This is very obvious, as there is not another headstone like it. Buck's stone is right before that, on an angle.

If you're still lost, look at the trees. There is a white sign with the number 35 in black on the side of a tree with the sign facing the road, a little bit past the bend. Start heading to the left of that. If you go to the right, you'll run into a sign that reads 35N. This is not where you want to be. That was confusing the first time I went. I want to make sure that no one else gets tripped up by that.

The information of section 35, lot 258, was a good start. You could still end up searching for awhile because of the poor condition of the cement markers and the odd layout. Use this post as a guide to easily find Buck.

My long search, interrupted by winter, is finally over. I'm happy I was able to find Buck's grave. I just wish his name was cleared. That is another problem for another day.


thehamiltonian said...

That's bizarre about cemetaries being haphazard like that.

Around here (Saskatchewan), they are all very orderly, and everyone faces east - a residue of either being near a church or originally associated with a church. I kind of just assumed they were set up like that everywhere.

Blackhawks Cards said...

Very cool! Thanks for that info. I'll be in the area next week and I'll check it out. Maybe simeday justice will be served and his name will be cleared.

Steve Gierman said...

Most of the cemeteries in Illinois are very organized. The older ones (mostly around that same area) seem to have no plan at all. Those also seem to be the ones that have been around the longest. I think it's a trade off.

Just follow the directions in the post and you should find it much easier than I did. :)

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