Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sbarbaro's Funeral Parlor

John Sbarbaro's funeral parlor, at 708 N. Wells, was the parlor of choice for gangland royalty. After his death, Dion O'Banion "lay in state" here in November, 1924, in a casket said to be worth over $10,000, before his famously lavish funeral, which included a mile-long procession, three bands, a police escort from Stickney (Chicago police were strictly ordered not to attend), and over 10,000 well-wishers.

Sbarbaro himself was a double agent, serving both as funeral director to gangland and assistant district attorney in Chicago. In fact, he was the lead prosecutor investigating the shooting of Johnny Torrio. Later, Sbarbaro served as a cook county judge. At the same time he was pronouncing the law from the bench, he was also a racketeer, and his home served as a storage unit for illegal liquor -- until it was bombed by rival gangsters.


Unknown said...

If anyone has noticed I believe when. They renovated the building they left the old oil light urns on the outside of the old sbarbaro funeral home there's one on each side.

TJ said...

My Mother remembered the bombing, which shattered the windows on all the buildings on the block including the front windows of the tavern her Father, Julius Sitzberger had at 721 N. Wells.