(1848-1887) Grave 51, Sector A
Albert Richard Parsons, a printer by trade, came to Chicago in 1873 from Waco, Texas with his wife Lucy. In Texas they had both been active in the anti-slavery Republican Party. Chicago's Republican Party, on the other hand, was something entirely different; Albert and Lucy joined the Socialist Labor Party (SLP) instead.
Albert was an active member of Chicago Typographical Union No. 16 and Knights of Labor Local 1037. He ran as a candidate for several city offices and otherwise lent his very able hand at building up the SLP and the Workingmen's Party. Disillusioned with electoral politics, he became an anarchist and edited the English language anarchist newspaper, the Alarm. A popular labor writer and leader, he helped lead the historic May 1, 1886, march of 80,000 Chicago workers, and was a militant advocate of the Eight Hour Day. He was hanged on November 11, 1887, leaving behind his wife and 2 children.
(1859-1942) Grave 52, Sector A
A staunch fighter for militant industrial unionism, full equality of women, and an end to racial discrimination, Lucy Parsons is a major figure in Chicago and U.S. Labor history. She was born Lucy Gonzales in Johnson County, Texas and was of African-American, Mexican, and Native American ancestry. She and her husband, Albert Parsons (of the Haymarket Eight), met in Texas and later moved to Chicago in 1873. They became active in many labor and civil rights causes, and joined the Socialist Labor Party in 1877.
Lucy was an active publicist for the cause of socialism, and later anarchism. She was a leading writer for The Alarm and an excellent public speaker. She and Albert were leaders of the "Poor People's March" in 1884 to protest hunger and homelessness, and led the May 1, 1886 march of over the 80,000 workers who were demanding an 8-hour day. When Albert and the other Haymarket activists were arrested, Lucy made a cross-country speaking tour to enlist support for their release.
After Albert's execution, Lucy remained in the thick of the struggle for social justice and equality. She was a founding member of the IWW in 1905. On January 17, 1915 Lucy led an 'Unemployed Parade' up Halsted Street in front of the Hull House, where a new song was sung: "Solidarity Forever." Lucy was a familiar sight at every major workers' march and rally in the 1930's and early 1940's. For the last 15 years of her life she was a member of the CPUSA.
From 1910 to the time of her death, Lucy Parsons lived with activist George Markstall. In 1942, her house caught fire and she perished in the blaze. Markstall's ashes along with those of Albert Parsons, Jr. (son) are interred in the grave of Lucy Parsons. No information regarding Albert Parsons, Jr.'s interment exists in Cemetery records.
Lulu Eda Parsons
Lulu Eda was the daughter of Albert and Lucy Parsons. With their mother Lucy, Lulu and her brother Albert, Jr. visited Albert while he was in prison and before the days judicial proceedings. Albert referred to Lulu as "a rare beauty." Lulu did not survive childhood and died of a disease of the lymph glands.
The texts on Haymarket show Lulu Eda Parsons buried on October 16, 1889, alongside Albert Parsons or near the Haymarket Martyr's Monument. According to our research in cemetery records Lulu was buried in a different section of the cemetery, section D lot 84.
52. Albert R. Parsons, Jr.
(1879-1919) Grave 52, Sector A [ashes interred]
Albert Richard, Jr. was the first child of Albert and Lucy Parsons. Both Albert, Jr. and Lulu Eda would visit their father when he was in prison and before the days judicial proceedings. Sunday June 25, 1893, 8,000 people gathered to dedicate the new monument in Forest Home Cemetery. Thirteen-year-old Albert, Jr. drew aside the red curtain that covered the glorious monument.
Lucy had hoped that as an adult, Albert, Jr. would redress the wrongs done to his father, instead he turned away from his parents' beliefs, even enlisting in the Spanish-American War. In 1899, Albert, Jr. was incarcerated in the Illinois Northern Hospital for the Insane until his death from tuberculosis in 1919. "The Pioneer Aid and Support Association arranged for the funeral of Lucy Parsons in accordance with her request. We found in her home after the fire an urn containing the ashes of her son Albert, and we decided to bury his ashes, as well as the ashes of George Markstall, in her grave." Haymarket Heritage: The Memoirs of Irving S. Abrams, Charles H. Kerr Publishing Company
Sondra Gordon Patrinos
(1941-2000) [ashes scattered]
Sondra (Sandy) was born in Philadelphia, the daughter of working-class Russian Jewish immigrants. She headed the Philadelphia Youth Committee for the second Youth March for Integrated Schools in 1958, pre-cursor of the massive 1963 March on Washington.
Sandy followed her parents into the CPUSA, becoming District Organizer of the Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware district. She moved to Chicago in the mid-70's, where she served as National Secretary of Women for Racial and Economic Equality (WREE) and member of the National Committee of the CPUSA. She left the Communist Party in 1991, becoming a leader of the Committees of Correspondence for Democratic Socialism. As an administrator at Cook County Hospital, Sandy was known as a vigorous advocate of women's health issues. She considered Elizabeth Gurley Flynn as her greatest influence.
53. Louise Thompson Patterson
(1901-1999) Grave 53, Sector B
Louise Patterson was a political and cultural activist and a member of the CPUSA. She was born in Chicago.
Louise graduated with a degree in economics from the University of California and taught at the Hampton Institute in Virginia. She resigned in support of a student strike. Patterson led numerous organizations and movements. She was assistant national secretary of the National Committee for the Defense of Political Prisoners. Louise organized a march on Washington in support of the Scottsboro Nine and helped lead their defense. She organized Black women to lobby Washington on behalf of "our persecuted Negro men." She worked to free Angela Davis and helped found the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression.
Her international solidarity work included serving as a 1930 delegate to the World Conference Against Racism and Anti-Semitism; and a leader of the International Labor Defense and the International Workers Order. Louise organized a trip to the Soviet Union for African-American writers, journalists, artists and intellectuals; helped found the Harlem Branch of the Friends of the Soviet Union; and went to Spain to support the International Brigades.
Patterson served as secretary to Langston Hughes and co-founded the Harlem Suitcase Theatre with him. When Paul Robeson was blacklisted, she arranged for him to appear in Black churches and in union halls.
(1890-1980) Grave 53, Sector B
Heralded as 'Mr. Civil Rights' and, in the words of his autobiography, The Man Who Cried Genocide, Williams L. Patterson was an African-American leader of the CPUSA. Patterson joined the CPUSA as a young lawyer after helping to lead the unsuccessful campaign to stop the execution of the Italian immigrant anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti. He subsequently defended many other victims of political and racist oppression, including Willie McGee, the Martinsville Seven, the Trenton Six, and the Scottsboro Nine.
Patterson led the International Labor Defense (1931) and the Civil Rights Congress (1949). In 1951, he and 100 other prominent U.S. representatives presented a petition to the United Nations General Assembly meeting in Paris entitled, "We Charge Genocide—the historic Petition to the U.N. for Relief from a Crime of the U.S. Government Against the Negro People." Paul Robeson, the great African-America singer and actor, simultaneously presented the petition to the U.N. in the New York City. The effort brought considerable world pressure on the U.S. government to dismantle Jim Crow. A gifted journalist and speaker, Patterson also served as editor of the Midwest Daily Record and the Sunday Worker. He also had a direct role in the integration of the major league baseball. William Patterson served as head of the CPUSA's National African-American Equality Commission.
54. Bessie Meyerhoff Pellegrino
(1900-1997) Grave 54, Sector G
Bessie Meyeroff was born in Starodub Russia. In 1913, she and her six sisters, one brother and mother joined her father in Chicago. The family was devoutly Jewish and her father earned a living as a Kosher poultry butcher.
Bessie started working at age 13 in an unorganized tailor shop for 75 cents per day. In the 1920's she helped organize a local of the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union at Hart Schaffner & Marx. Bessie met her future husband, Frank Pellegrino, while working at Hart Schaffner & Marx in the largely unorganized men's clothing industry. Bessie described Frank as her husband, comrade and teacher. In the 1920's Bessie was a founding member of the YCL.
In her later years, Bessie was a member of the Friendship Club, consisting of former Jewish International Workers Order (IWO) activists. Bessie helped circulate the Communist press - the Daily Worker, later the Worker, and then the Daily World, and Jewish Daily Freiheit and Freiheit. Bessie was an active member of the Third Unitarian Church in the Austin community of Chicago.
54. Frank A. Pellegrino
(1890-1969) Grave 54, Sector G
Pellegrino came to Chicago from Italy as a teenager, and soon began working at a garment factory on the city's west side. He quickly recruited many Italian workers, some of them former strikebreakers, to the Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union. Frank met his future wife Bessie Meyeroff while working at Hart, Schaffner & Marx.
Pellegrino was also a member of the left wing of the Socialist Party. His refusal to buy Liberty Bonds during the World War I led to his being fired from one job after another. When the CPUSA was founded in 1919, Pellegrino joined as a charter member. His gravestone plaque—the hammer and sickle—symbolizes his militant life-long commitment to socialism.
55. Pettis Perry
(1897-1965) Grave 55, Sector B
Perry, an African-American worker, never obtained more than a third grade education. He taught himself to read and write, however, and soon emerged as a working-class leader in the Los Angeles area in the early 1930s. He joined the CPUSA about that time, and was an active fighter for the freedom of the Scottsboro Nine in Alabama. Long before the civil rights movement, Perry wrote a pioneering pamphlet called Negro Representation. He later moved to New York City where he served as head of the CPUSA's Black Liberation Commission. During the McCarthy period, he was one of a few of the CP leaders that did not go underground. He served on the 3 person "Administrative Committee" that ran the day-to-day activities of the CPUSA. Perry served three years in prison under the Smith Act.
56. Lillian G. Peterson
(1902-1982) Grave 56, Sector D
56. Olaf E. Peterson
(1896-1985) Grave 56, Sector D
57. Irving Potash
(1902-1972) Grave 57, Sector G [unmarked grave]
Potash was born in Russia and came to the U.S. at age 10. He started work in the garment industry, and in 1916 he joined the Socialist Party. Three years later he helped found the CPUSA. In the mid-20's he was hired by Ben Gold as complaint clerk in the Furriers' Union, and by 1926 he helped lead a general strike in the fur industry. Potash showed great courage in fighting gangster elements in the union like Louis Lepke, and is credited with driving them from the union. An active builder of the CIO, he was jailed in 1939 and threatened with deportation in 1948. Potash was deported several times but snuck back through Canada. For many years he served on the CPUSA's Political Bureau. Irving Potash was also a Smith Act victim.
58. Joseph E. Powers
(1925-2001) Grave 58, Sector F
Joseph Powers was born in Akron, Ohio and the family moved to East Orange, New Jersey when he was very young. Joe was drafted and served in the Army Air Corps, studying to be a navigator but WWII ended so he never saw combat. Joe attended John Carroll University on the GI Bill and graduated with a bachelors degree in history. He worked briefly for BF Goodrich in marketing. Joe moved to Chicago in 1951 and lived at the Peter Maurin House, an extension of the Catholic Worker movement. Joe lived there volunteering with the poor. He married Louise Rooney in 1959. From 1960-1985, Joe worked for the IRS.
Joe Powers was an avid long distance runner, running 30+ marathons. Joe co-authored two booklets; The Day Will Come: Stories of the Haymarket Martyrs and the Men and Women Buried Alongside the Monument (1st edition) and Paul Robeson Rediscovered: An Annotated Listing of Robeson's History in the City of Chicago.
59. Morton Prinz
(1912-1988) Grave 59, Sector B
Architect, activist, and humanist, Mort Prinz worked most of his life as a landscape designer for the city of Chicago. He was most widely known, however for his leadership in the struggle for the rights of tenants and for the cause of world peace. He helped found the Rogers Park Tenant Committee, and was a leader in Rogers Park in the victorious election campaigns of Mayor Harold Washington and other progressive political leaders. He was an active member of the International Federation of Technical Engineers (IFTE) AFL-CIO. He also helped found the peace group, Committee for Sane Nuclear Policy.
59. Tobey Silbert Schein Prinz
(1911-1984) Grave 59, Sector B
Best known as a militant teachers' unionist and community activist, Tobey Prinz shook up everything she came near. In 1968, Tobey helped organize "Education vs. Racism", the second conference in the U.S. to promote the teaching of African-American studies in the schools. She helped found the Chicago Teachers Union, American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Local 1.
After retiring from teaching, Tobey Prinz became the spark plug, inspiration and driving force behind the Rogers Park Tenants Committee. During the 1983 campaign to elect Mayor Harold Washington, Tobey helped lead the Rogers Park movement that carried that area for the city's first African-American mayor. Mayor Washington spoke at her funeral.