Horatio May born in Canada in 1839. By 1850, he was living in Belvidere, Illinois. He came to Chicago in 1856. He joined the volunteer fire department. In 1860, he was elected as a lieutenant. In the early days of his business career, he worked with John Neeley. In 1864, he was made a partner at McKinley and Ingraham grocers. In his political career, he was named a Lincoln Park Commissioner in 1886; he was elected a city of Chicago controller in 1891 He passed away in 1898 while in Germany.
His wife Anna wished to memorialize her husband by having a chapel built at Rosehill Cemetery. She bequeathed $75,000 for its construction. The architect for this project was Joseph Lyman Silsbee. He designed the May home on Astor Street in Chicago. He was also the chief architect for J.L. Cochran’s Edgewater Development Company. He held this position from 1886 to the 1890’s.
Construction on the chapel began in 1899. It was a blend of Gothic and Romanesque Styles. The exterior was made of granite. In the front, there was a carriage porch with an elaborate tile ceiling. The dimensions of the chapel are 35 X 70 feet. The floor is mosaic tile. The roof is oak with hammer beam trusses. In the rear, there is a door leading to a storage mausoleum. In the past, this was used to store bodies during the winter months when the ground was frozen and burials were not possible. It has not been used for this purpose for years.
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