People of Sage

Carl R. Sanders

Carl Rodgers Sanders passed away while in Illinois, on April 13, 1937, leaving behind his wife Bessie.* He and his wife were living at 1421 Blair in St. Louis. He was born in O’Fallon, Missouri, the son of George and Mary Ellen (Thomas) Sanders. His mother passed away when he was just fifteen and he lived with various relatives and friends growing up. When he was nineteen he worked as a hired hand for Joseph Sigmund in St.Paul. He leaves behind several brothers and sisters, William C. Sanders (June 11, 1889-November 24, 1961), Andrew Sanders (March 17, 1892-December 23, 1944), George F. Sanders (April 3, 1895-September 16, 1943 World War I Veteran and buried at Jefferson Barracks), Taylor M. Sanders (April 1, 1898-February 10, 1953 buried at Sage Chapel Cemetery), Lemmie Sanders (May 11, 1909-March 24, 1958),  Mary Jane Sanders (August 3, 1909-November 8, 1948 at Sage Chapel), and Theresa Catherine Sanders (November 20-1915-July 15, 2000). He was preceded in death by his sisters Adell Sanders (August 1, 1909-February 1, 1911 and buried at Sage Chapel Cemetery) and Agnes Sanders (December 24, 1912-January 29, 1915 buried at Sage Chapel Cemetery).Carl Sanders was buried at 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.

In September of 2017, Karolyn Terpstra located pieces of the broken headstone of Carl R. Sanders.  Terpstra is President of the O’Fallon (MO) Historical Society and Chairman of the O’Fallon Historic Preservation Commission (CLG).

*A special thanks goes to Justin Watkins too, for his assistance on this extra hard story.

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