Saint Joseph cemetery was established by Reverend Henry Plaster, Pastor of St. Joseph
Parish in Hammond. The date is thought to be about August 11, 1881. St Joseph Cemetery was
located at the corner of 165th street and Hohman ave. Mr. John Verhoven donated one acre of
land to be used as a cemetery. In 1886 an additional three acres was added to the cemetery.
Often time’s mourners would frequent the tavern that was located near the cemetery after
the conclusion of the burial services, it is told that Father Plaster objected to this behavior. To
correct this problem a new site for the cemetery needed to be located. In 1890 five acres of land
was purchased for a cemetery at the current St. Joseph location. The land was adjacent to fifteen
acres of land owned by Greenwood cemetery.
About 1895 an additional five acres were purchased from Greenwood Cemetery and in
1924 just east of the cemetery Father John Berg purchased another ten acres of land. These ten
acres of land was developed and opened for sale in 1997. In 1928 on the North side of 167th
street one acre of land was purchased. This is the area were now stands the office/chapel and
garage. On November 2, 1977 the Chapel was dedicated by Bishop Andrew G. Grutka and still
remains in use today.
St John Cemetery was started November 1, 1904. During the 1920’s another ten acres of
property was purchased, just to the north side of 167th street. This property was developed and
opened in 1952. In 1975 two mausoleum buildings were constructed and two additional
buildings were added in 1985. Under the control of the diocese, in 1985 St. John and St. Joseph
were combined into one cemetery.
Cremation rates had increased, there was a need for niches, on June 22, 1998 the first
Columbarium was completed. On March 18, 2004 the second Columbarium was completed. The
third Columbarium was completed on July 31, 2007 and the fourth Columbarium was completed
on February 2, 2010. The Cross was set on top June 30, 2010 to complete the project.
In March of 2002, work was started on the “Christ the Redeemer” Mausoleum. The
sculpture was set in August 2002 and the Mausoleum was completed in September 2002.
On July 31, 2004 “The Providence” section was created at St. John/St Joseph Cemetery
for the still births and the unborn. St. Margaret’s hospital was instrumental in helping us with this
project where the remains of our little loved ones are interred and where family members can
come and pray for those who have passed away to soon.
In May of 2017 a new 112 niche granite columbarium building was installed and a Holy Family granite statue was placed on top of this building. Bishop Donald J. Hying blessed this building after the Memorial Day Mass. The building was purchased from DOH Granite Company in South Holland IL. Flower holders / benches were also added with granite polished bollards around perimeter.