People of Sage

Hilda Claiborne

Hilda Abington Claiborne who died September 23, 1903 in Saint Charles County was born Hilda Abington on October 14, 1869. On August 1, 1889 she was united in marriage to Sandy Claiborne. She left behind her loving husband and three sons, Ollie born May 1890, Pitman born December 1892, and Sidney born February 1896. The family lived on “The hill” in O’Fallon, Missouri. Hilda Claiborne’s headstone reads Here I lay my burden down turn the cross into a crown.

On August 20th, in 1881, Mahala (Keithly) and her husband Jasper Costlio had transferred to the Trustees of an African Methodist Episcopal Church for the use by the  Conference, one acre of land, which became known as Sage Chapel Cemetery. This was done so that the former slaves of  Samuel Keithly could continue to be buried in this cemetery. That same deed conveyed a one-half acre parcel on Sonderen Street to be used for a church known as Sage’s Chapel. The members of Cravens Methodist, and Wishwell Baptist, also located on Sonderen Street, also used this cemetery to bury their families. None of these churches or their records exist anymore. Sage Chapel Cemetery is a former African American community cemetery that is  maintained by the City of O’Fallon, Missouri, located at 8500 Veterans Memorial Parkway.  It has 117 documented burials of which only 37 have headstones, of these we know that 17 were born enslaved. (2018) May they rest in peace “As long as a name can be spoken, that person shall not be forgotten.

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