People of Sage

E.W. Abington

Eldora Abington, wife of Liberty Abington, passed away on March 28, 1921, in her home, next door to Sage Chapel, in O’Fallon. She was born June 15, 1868, the daughter of Alex Welch. She leaves behind Jessica born 1887, Bessie born 1889, Allie born 1892, Todie born 1896, and a son Eddy born 1903. E.A. Keithly of O’Fallon served as the undertaker for the Abington family. She is 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.

People of Sage

Mary E. Sallee

Mary Elizabeth Sallee, aged 11 months and 22 days, died of colic on May 26, 1919. She was born June 4, 1918, near O’Fallon, the daughter of Charles and Ardelia (nee Abington) Sallee. She leaves behind two sisters, Georgia Mae “Schylar” and Leola Sallee, both still at home. E.A. Keithly of O’Fallon was the undertaker. She is 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.

News Release

National Register of Historic Places

Historic Sage Chapel Cemetery lies west of the V.F.W. Post 5077 on Veterans Memorial Parkway in O’Fallon, Missouri and was nominated to the National Register of Historic Places by Dorris Keeven-Franke, Justin Watkins, and Amber Cox. This early cemetery, comprised of 117 documented burials many of whom were former slaves was officially established by Trustees of an African-Methodist Episcopal Church in 1881. At that time Jefferson Franklin Sage was a Minister of the Gospel with the St. Charles A.M.E Conference. Today, only 37 burials still have headstones to document this cemetery and there are at least 80 additional burials, documented by research found in Death Certificates, newspapers and genealogical research. Other documentation found by local historians Mary Hogan Smith and Karolyn Terpstra has assisted the writers as well. On August 10, 2018, the nomination was heard at the Missouri Advisory Council on Historic Preservation meeting and given unanimous approval.

Amber and Justin
Amber Cox (SHPO) (left) and Justin Watkins

Watkins serves on the Board of the St. Charles County Historical Society and is head of the society’s Cemetery Committee. He received the Heritage Award for his “Baptists on a Mission” article in the St. Charles County Heritage.  Watkins is also secretary of the board of the Ambassadors of Harmony, a barbershop harmony chorus, and wrote the chorus’ history for the chorus’ website in 2013.

IMG-3334Keeven-Franke is Executive Director of the Missouri Germans Consortium, serves as a member of O’Fallon’s Historic Preservation Commission (CLG). Curator for the St. Charles County Veterans Museum, and is an author, preservationist, and public historian.

Amber Cox is a National Register and Architectural Survey Missouri’s State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).

The process of nominating the cemetery began in 2017, when an Eligibility Assessment was presented to the SHPO.  The next step for Sage Chapel Cemetery began in December of 2017 with preparation of the actual nomination. According to the SHPO website “The National Register of Historic Places includes districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects that are significant in American history, architecture, archaeology, engineering and culture. These resources contribute to an understanding of the historical and cultural foundations of the nation. Missouri, where the program is administered by the Department of Natural Resources’ State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), boasts more than 2,000 listings (= more than 35,000 individual resources) in the National Register, all  nominations are reviewed at the state level by the SHPO staff and the Missouri Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. The Missouri Advisory Council is a body of preservation professionals and laypersons appointed by the Governor to review National Register nominations and provide input on preservation issues.”

The nomination was heard and approved by the Missouri Advisory Council on August 10, 2018 and went forward to the National Park Service (NPS). It was placed on the Register on November 13, 2018.

To read the listing click here national register listing sage chapel cemetery

 

 

 

 

People of Sage

Florence Vardeman

Nine-year-old Florence Beatrice Vardeman, died of pneumonia on February 28, 1911. The daughter of John and and “Lovie” (Mary Truelove nee Luckett) Vardeman, she was born August 8, 1902 in St. Paul. E.A. Keithly of O’Fallon was the undertaker. She is 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.

People of Sage

Martha Burrell

Martha Burrell passed away on January 5, 1908. She was born enslaved in 1849, in North Carolina, as were her parents, and brought to Missouri by the Williams family. She was united in marriage at the end of the Civil War, as many emancipated slaves were by a lawful marriage, to be paid for by her former master, to another former slave, Walter Enoch Burrell. He had been born in Virginia, as had his parents, and brought to Missouri by the Keithly family of O’Fallon.

Walter and Martha had at least two children we know, a son also named Walter Burrell ( who lies buried in the Father Dickson Cemetery in St. Louis) and Alena Burrell ,  who was born October 1868 and who died and was buried in Sage Chapel Cemetery on July 27, 1925. Walter and Martha’s daughter Alena had married John Rafferty  born  on August 12, 1860, and who died on April 7, 1954, the son of John and Ann Rafferty who is also buried at Sage Chapel Cemetery.

The Raffertys, John and his sisters, Frances, Ludy, Elsie, and Lizzie had all been slaves of the Samuel Keithly who had come to Missouri in the early 1800s. When John Rafferty (Senior) passed away about 1881, his former master Samuel Keithly (Senior) had already passed away as well. Burials had already been taking place on the former Keithly plantation, on land that had been inherited, and was then owned in 1881 by his daughter  Mahala Keithly Castlio and her husband Jasper N. Castlio.

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.

People of Sage

Alvin Edwards

Alvin Edwards, who everyone called “Trevy”, died tragically at age 19, on June 19, 1907 when his injuries proved fatal after being run over by a train on the M.K.&T. Railroad above St. Charles. According to the June 19th, 1907 issue of the St. Charles Cosmos-Monitor (see below) there were no eye witnesses to the accident. He worked for the sand plant in Klondyke, in southern St. Charles County, and perhaps he had hitched a ride on a boxcar to get home. On the north side of St. Charles, he had jumped, perhaps he fell or slipped, and both legs were severed in the accident. Trevy had been born November of 1889, the son of James and Mary J. (nee Stone) Edwards, and grew up on “the hill” in O’Fallon. He was preceded in death by his brother Marshall and nephew Roman who are also buried at Sage Chapel Cemetery. He left behind his grieving parents and several brothers and sisters, Sedell, Mamie, Lena and Slater. He is buried in Sage Chapel Cemetery.

The broken pieces of Alvin Edwards stone (shown above) were recovered during a canvas and probing of the cemetery done through the efforts of a large team of local volunteers on October 29, 2017. The newspaper (below) was supplied by historian Justin Watkins.

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 St. Charles Cosmos-Monitor 19 Jun 1907
St. Charles Cosmos Monitor June 19, 1907
People of Sage

Winston Davis

Winston Davis died in 1907. He had been born enslaved in Missouri in 1830. His parents though were property that had been brought from North Carolina. He and his wife Adelaide had ten children, of which only four were still living in 1900. Their youngest  son Walter, who was born in 1871 was still living with them when Winston died. Walter had a sister named Laura, and a brother named John. Winston was buried in Sage Chapel Cemetery.

The broken pieces of Winston Davis’ stone were recovered during a canvas and probing of the cemetery done through the efforts of a large team of local volunteers on October 29, 2017. Photo by Dorris Keeven-Franke with Mary Hogan Smith and Rick Dotson. Mary came that day and shared several stones that she knew the location of. The preservation efforts  of Sage Chapel Cemetery is a community wide effort.

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.

People of Sage

Hilda Claiborne

Hilda Abington Claiborne who died September 23, 1903 in Saint Charles County was born Hilda Abington on October 14, 1869. On August 1, 1889 she was united in marriage to Sandy Claiborne. She left behind her loving husband and three sons, Ollie born May 1890, Pitman born December 1892, and Sidney born February 1896. The family lived on “The hill” in O’Fallon, Missouri. Hilda Claiborne’s headstone reads Here I lay my burden down turn the cross into a crown.

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.

People of Sage

Marshall Edwards

Marshall Edwards died June 26, 1902. He was born the son of James and Mary J. (Stone) Edwards on February 3, 1874 in O’Fallon, Missouri, and grew up on the hill. He was the oldest son and left behind several brothers and sisters,Diane,John, Sophia, Louis, Trevy, George, Lena,Mamie and Slater. He leaves behind his wife Mabel, formerly Mabel Tucker. His daughter Martha will be born eight months after he died. Marshall is buried with his  five year old son Roman, who preceded him in death, 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.

People of Sage

Pricella Ball

Priscella Admire Ball,  formerly of Monroe, in Lincoln County Missouri died on 25th of May 1900. She was born enslaved in Kentucky in 1811. On February 6, 1866, she wed David Ball, born 1810 in Virginia.  She left behind a grandson, David Clement, also born in Kentucky in 1865.

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.