People of Sage

Delia Dyer

Delia Dyer passed away on April 9, 1953 from congestive heart failure, after being ill for over six months.  She was born the daughter of Dan Nash  on January 1, 1884 in the Chain of Rocks community.  She married Alex Dyer on the 21st of November 1900 of Old Monroe, in Lincoln County She leaves behind daughters Lulu,  Delphine (Floyd Blackwell) and Elvira  (Fred Ricket). She was a member of Wishwell Baptist Church on Sonderen. The Funeral was at the colored cemetery in O’Fallon, three days later, and was handled by Keithly Funeral Home. Stories passed down say that “the cemetery was named  for the field of Sage that grew there.”

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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