In what will likely involve some lengthy court battles, a cemetery in Bensenville, Illinois has been condemned to make room for the expansion of O’Hare International Airport. St. Johannes Cemetery, owned by the United Church of Christ, which was founded in 1849 will be removed to make way for several new runways and a western terminal to ease congestion at the Chicago Airport. There are some lawsuits pending that will probably hold the process up for some time, but they are not likely to succeed, as other similar suits in Illinois have not held up in court.
This is an interesting example of how sometimes our ancestors might fall off the map. I can imagine a researcher looking through death certificates and finding that their great-great grandfather was buried at this cemetery in the 1850’s. How would they know that his remains were moved elsewhere? Is there a public record of where these persons are being moved? The city is going to pay the expense for relatives to move their deceased loved ones. What happens if living relatives cannot be found for some of these people? How is that handled?
Here is the satellite view of the cemetery. As you can see, it is quite close to the existing airport…
Visit St. Johannes Cemetery’s page on FindaGrave.com
Update: as the first comment below states, there has been a court order put in place to prevent the removal of any more graves from this cemetery.