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History of Father Dickson Cemetery


The Father Dickson Cemetery Association of St. Louis purchased nineteen acres from William Thane for $5,200 to use as a cemetery according to a front page article of the 18 July 1903 issue of the Carondelet News. The land was “. . . at the junction of the Sappington road and the Carondelet branch of the Missouri Pacific railroad, near the old Gen. U.S. Grant farm . . .”
On September 4, 1903, the St. Louis County Advocate newspaper reported on the cemetery’s dedication ceremony, which took place on August 30. “The cemetery for colored people, located on the Sappington road, south of Oakland, was formally dedicated last Sunday [August 30] to the memory of Father Moses Dickson by the Knights of Tabor and Daughters of the Tabernacle, of which he was the founder.” The article further went on to say that more than 3,000 people attended the ceremony and “. . . the Knights of Tabor had 200 uniformed men in line, headed by the Odd Fellows’ band.”
The following transcribed news article from the St. Louis Daily Globe-Democrat, August 31, 1903, page 12, provides the most extensive description of the dedication.

Father Dickson Cemetery is Formally Dedicated

The Father Dickson cemetery for colored people, situated on the Sappington road, south of Oakland, St. Louis county, was formally dedicated yesterday by the Knights of Tabor and Daughters of the Tabernacle, of which the late Rev. Moses Dickson, for whom the new cemetery is named, was the founder. The ceremonies were attended by nearly 3000 people from the city and county, most of whom were members of the societies founded by Rev. Dickson. A train over the St. Louis and San Francisco railroad, at 2 o’clock p. m., took ten coach loads of people from Union station to Oakland, and several hundred more went from the city and other parts of the county on the electric lines and in private conveyances. The Knights of Tabor, with 200 uniformed men in line, headed by the Odd Fellows’ band, marched from Tabor hall, Eleventh street and Franklin avenue, to Union station and participated in the ceremonies at the cemetery. Joe E. Hereford of Chillicothe, Mo., conducted the ceremonies according to the ritual of the order. Addresses were also delivered by Rev. D. P. Roberts, Rev. E. D. W. Jones, Rev. R. H. Cole, Rev. Fred McKinney, Rev. B. W. Steward, J Milton Turner, Walter M. Farmer and Rev. R. C. Gillum. The remains of Rev. Moses Dickson, which formerly rested in St. Peters cemetery, have been removed to the grounds dedicated to his memory, and are the first to be interred in the new cemetery.