People of Sage

William Clarence

William Harrison Clarence was a former Pastor at Wishwell Baptist Church in O’Fallon, Missouri. He passed away on September 29, 1965 in the Lincoln County Hospital in Troy. He was born in Somerset, Kentucky on December 23, 1888, the son of Bowan and Jane (Gilmore) Clarence. Bill and his wife, the former Jane Hayden, lived on the Salt River Road, near the Chain of Rocks Road, next to her brother Tom Hayden. They had no children.  He had been preceded in death by his wife Jane, and his brother Thomas, both buried at Sage Chapel Cemetery. Mr. Charles Callahan served the family on October 2, 1965.

Bill Clarence Services Held

William Harrison “Bill” Clarence, 76, died Wednesday, September 29, at the Lincoln County Memorial Hospital. Funeral services were conducted at 8 pm Friday from O’Fallon Mortuary, Inc. with the Rev. John McCaleb officiated. Burial was at 9 am Saturday in the Sage Chapel Cemetery. Mr. Clarence was a resident of the O’Fallon community for more than 50 years. He lied north of Josephville on the Cuivre River. At one time Mr. Clarence was in the trucking business and hauled cattle, feed and other materials for local farmers. He is a former pastor of the Wishwell Baptist Church on Sonderen Street. Mr. Clarence was preceded in death by his wife, Jane (nee Hayden) in 1946. Arrangements were by O’Fallon Mortuary, Inc.  [O’Fallon Community News, October 6, 1965.]

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.

Sage Chapel O'Fallon Community News 6 Oct 1965
O’Fallon Community News, October 6, 1965, provided by Justin Watkins


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