People of Sage

Charles Sallee

Charles “Charley” Edward Sallee passed away after a lengthy heart illness on February 9, 1929, near Wright City. He had been born in Callaway County, at New Richland near Fulton, on April 3, 1878 (1879), to John Sallee who died when he was a baby, and raised by his uncle James Henry and his wife Edie (nee Clark) Sallee. He moved to O’Fallon as a young man and lived north of town on the Salt River Road. He  worked as a farmer and this was where he met Ardalia Abington, a daughter of John Abington who lived with his sister Cora White on “the Hill”. On March 15, 1918 he and Ardalia were married  in O’Fallon, Missouri at Wishwell Baptist Churh. Charley was preceded in death by his newborn son David Grant Sallee (7/4/1910-7/5/1910), and a little daughter Mary Elizabeth Sallee (6/4/1918-5/26/1919), both of whom are also buried at Sage Chapel Cemetery. He leaves behind his wife Ardalia, daughter Georgia Mae “Schylar” Sallee, Leola Margaret Sallee (Ball) and Lauretta Sallee (Luckett), at their home where they had recently moved. The family was served by the Nieburg Funeral Home of Wright City and Charley was buried in the O’Fallon Colored Church Cemetery, also known as Sage Chapel Cemetery.

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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