People of Sage

Arthur Edwards

Arthur Edwards, also known as Arthur Vardeman, passed away June 25, 1951. Services were at the Albert Hoppe Funeral Home on Washington Avenue in St. Louis, and he was buried at Sage Chapel Cemetery on June 28th.  Mr. Edwards was a member of Wishwell Baptist Church on Sonderen Street in O’Fallon. At the time of his death he was in St. Louis County Hospital because he had suffered a stroke. He was born on August 28, 1881, in O’Fallon, and had worked as a farm laborer his whole life. He married Artie “Mishey” Letcher in about 1903.  Arthur helped raise one stepson, Gilbert Hubbard, born July 7, 1898 who died April 10, 1919 and who is buried in Sage Chapel Cemetery. He and Mishey lost one other son, Rolf Chester born the 5th of May and died the 12th of June, 1912, who is also buried at Sage Chapel Cemetery. Besides his wife Mishey, Arthur leaves behind a daughter Dorothy, and a son Donald Van Edwards of Kansas City, Mo.

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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