Buried in a Scrapyard

Posted on in Monuments, Odd

Andreas Von Zirngibl was a German fisherman, and veteran of the Battle of Waterloo. He purchased a 44-acre plot of land, beside the mouth of the Calumet River for $160. It was here that he lived the final years of his life
Fishing for sturgeon, herring, perch and Northern pike, he was reported to have caught some fish weighing in at over 100-pounds. Although it was a great pleasure for this fisherman, it was no easy task, for the Battle of Waterloo had left him with only one arm.
In 1855 he caught a fever, and died shortly thereafter. One of his final requests to his four sons, was to be buried upon this land. Years later, it is now a functioning scrapyard. In the past there was a legal battle between Von Zirngibl’s family and the scrapyard, over the grave site’s need to remain. After a protracted 41-year legal battle, the family finally won, and the grave remains to this day. It was restored in recent years, and it now looks quite nice. But I think it would be nicer if there were some flowers.

Still a scrapyard, and still the final resting place of Von Zirngibl:
Veteran of the Battle of Waterloo:
now behind a high steel fence, in middle a metal scrapyard:
where CTA buses and Jay’s Potato Chip trucks go to die:

Images 2, 3 and 4:
Courtesy of Southeast Chicago Historical Society
do not use without permission
Images 1,5 and 6:
by Jay Hagstrom

Special thanks to Rod Sellers!

One response to “Buried in a Scrapyard”

  1. Connie (Lambert)Andrews says:

    I grew up on the East Side – Ave. B) and was also told by my parents that an “Indian” had lived there and was buried there but that nothing was known about him. It’s wonderful that after over 150 yrs. it is still there! It would be a great idea if the City of Chicago would ‘adopt’ it as an historical site because it IS.The City spends money on less historical and interesting things and this fact is a valuable part of the southeast side of Chicago’s history. Thank God for Rod Sellers and all he’s done putting “us” and our history on the map!!