People of Sage

Alvin Edwards

Alvin Edwards, who everyone called “Trevy”, died tragically at age 19, on June 19, 1907 when his injuries proved fatal after being run over by a train on the M.K.&T. Railroad above St. Charles. According to the June 19th, 1907 issue of the St. Charles Cosmos-Monitor (see below) there were no eye witnesses to the accident. He worked for the sand plant in Klondyke, in southern St. Charles County, and perhaps he had hitched a ride on a boxcar to get home. On the north side of St. Charles, he had jumped, perhaps he fell or slipped, and both legs were severed in the accident. Trevy had been born November of 1889, the son of James and Mary J. (nee Stone) Edwards, and grew up on “the hill” in O’Fallon. He was preceded in death by his brother Marshall and nephew Roman who are also buried at Sage Chapel Cemetery. He left behind his grieving parents and several brothers and sisters, Sedell, Mamie, Lena and Slater. He is buried in Sage Chapel Cemetery.

The broken pieces of Alvin Edwards stone (shown above) were recovered during a canvas and probing of the cemetery done through the efforts of a large team of local volunteers on October 29, 2017. The newspaper (below) was supplied by historian Justin Watkins.

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.

Sage Chapel St. Charles Cosmos-Monitor 19 Jun 1907
St. Charles Cosmos Monitor June 19, 1907

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