People of Sage

Jane Clarence

Mrs. Jane Clarence, wife of William Clarence who was a former Baptist Minister, passed away shortly before Christmas, on December 23, 1946. She had been ill with liver cancer and was hospitalized at St. Mary’s hospital in St. Louis at the time of her death. She was born on September 9, 1876 the daughter of Baptiste and Caroline (nee Mudd) Hayden near St. Paul, Missouri.

She leaves behind a brother Tom Hayden (father of William Hayden) and a sister Lula Hayden of St. Louis.  Her father Baptiste had been born a slave on the Dyer Farm and was the son of James Hayden who had been brought as a slave from Virginia. Slave owner George Dyer had freed his slaves (who were the dower and property of Margaret Hayden 1801 KY-1849 MO and who is buried in the Molitor Cemetery) in 1861, when Baptiste was only six years old.  George had given his former slave James Hayden, Jane’s grandfather, 43 acres of land west of St. Paul and north of Josephville, on Survey 3035, for the loving care of his mother Mamie Adaway Dyer, George Dyer’s former house servant. When James Hayden died in 1897, his son Baptiste Hayden  (Jane’s father)  would inherit a portion of this same land. (This is established through records of the St. Charles County Circuit Court records in Probate files.)After a funeral in St. Louis at the Hoppe Funeral Home, Jane was brought home to O’Fallon and buried at Sage Chapel Cemetery on December 27, 1946.

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.

(Special thanks to Cheryl Hibbler and Joe Meier for the help with this research)

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