People of Sage

George Sanders

George Sanders passed away on May 6, 1940 and was buried in Sage Chapel Cemetery. He was living with his daughter Mary, who lovingly cared for him in her home in St. Louis. He had suffered a stroke in 1934, and was paralyzed and had several other health issues. His wife Mary Ellen Thomas (March 1874-December 1, 1915), and three of his children, son Carl Rodgers Sanders (February 2, 1900-April 13, 1937), and daughters Agnes Sanders (December 24, 1912-January 29, 1915).and Ardell Sanders (August 1, 1909-February 1, 1911) had preceded him, and were also buried at Sage Chapel Cemetery as well.  He had been born a slave in about 1860, the son of Tuck and Mary (Hunter) Sanders in Lincoln County, the property of Mary Sanders in Hurricane. George and his wife Mary Ellen Thomas had moved near O’Fallon in the 1880s to raise a family and be close to her family in St. Paul . He had worked his whole life as a laborer, raising ten children alone after his sweet wife had passed three weeks after their youngest daughter Agnes was born in 1915. He leaves behind 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). George Sanders was buried in 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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