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The St. Louis Genealogical Society has tried to identify all open, closed, historical, family, and relocated cemeteries in the area. Click here for a St. Louis Area Cemeteries List
The location of each cemetery (or former cemetery) is listed based on the best knowledge and research of the St. Louis Genealogical Society volunteers.
St. Louis experienced several cholera epidemics, which are documented in reports from the Committee of Public Health. The reports provide good documentation of the difficulties at that time, plus a list of available cemeteries. A report dated 19 July 1849 states, “in a little over one hundred days six thousand persons have been committed to the grave, and this out of a population of less than sixty thousand.” The same report lists the cemeteries in 1849: “City, Holy Ghost, Lutheran, St. Vincent, German Protestant, Catholic (old), Catholic (new), Wesleyan, Methodist, Christ Church, Presbyterian, Baptist, and United Hebrew.”
A similar report dated 24 August 1866 during another cholera epidemic provides another list of cemeteries: “Arsenal Island, Holy Ghost, Rock Spring, Calvary, Wesleyan, Lutheran, Bellefontaine, Salem, St. Mark, St. Peter, Sts. Peter and Paul, Beni[sic] el Hebrew, United Hebrew, St. John, Holy Trinity, Concordia, Frieden.”
As the city expanded, it was necessary to establish regulations for the cemeteries. On 12 February 1879, the city fathers passed ordinance number 10990, apparently still in effect today, to “regulate cemeteries and the interment of the dead within the limits of the city of St. Louis.”
The ordinance lists thirteen cemeteries: Bellefontaine, Old Picker’s or Holy Ghost, Rock Spring, Wesleyan, The Western, alias Western Evangelical Lutheran, Bremen-Saxon, Calvary, Holy Trinity, St. Paul’s Evangelical, St. Peter’s and Paul’s[sic], Episcopal, Public Cemetery at City Poorhouse, and St. Matthew’s and all other cemeteries established and now in use within the present city limits of not less than two acres in extant.
The ordinance does not allow any new cemeteries or the expansion of existing facilities without city permission. It is not lawful to bury a deceased body anywhere except in a designated cemetery or face a fine of $100. The cemeteries cannot accept a body nor bury the body without a burial permit from the Health Commissioner or face a fine of $250 to $500, plus a fine for each day the body is interred without the permit.
If a person dies outside the city of St. Louis, the Health Commissioner requires a certificate from a physician or the St. Louis Coroner prior to burial. Missouri Archives Coroner Database
Several cemeteries in St. Louis City and County have changed their names or moved. Bellefontaine was established in 1849 by the city leaders and is the final resting place of many famous people. Bellefontaine Cemetery was originally called Rural Cemetery.
Many, but not all, of the graves from Old St. Marcus were moved to New St. Marcus Cemetery, which is further west on Gravois Road. Bellerive, formerly called Hiram Cemetery, was the final destination for graves relocated from Salem Methodist on Natural Bridge Road and Mt. Zion Methodist in Creve Coeur.
Mount Hope Cemetery is on the National Register of Historic Places. Jefferson Barracks Cemetery is part of the National Cemetery system established by Abraham Lincoln.
Further information on St. Louis cemeteries may be found in an article in the 2001 St. Louis Genealogical Society Quarterly, volume 34, number 4, pages 85–95.
Milirary burials may be in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.
Amsler, Kevin. Final Resting Place: The Lives & Deaths of Famous St. Louisans. St. Louis: Virginia Publisher, 1997.
Boehning, Ross William. Burial Book, St. John’s Evangelical Church Cemetery, 1293 St. Cyr., St. Louis, Mo 63137: 7 Feb 1859–17 Jan 1998. Maryland Heights, Missouri: R. W. Boehning, 1998.
Boehmke, Karl, and LaVerne. Western Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery 1877–1910. St. Louis: privately printed, 1994.
Fusco, Tony. The Story of the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. St. Louis: T. Fusco, 1967.
Giulvezan, Isabel Stebbins. Sappington Cemetery, 1811–1970: Crestwood, St. Louis County, Missouri. Affton, Missouri: John Sappington Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, 1982.
Hamilton, Esley. The cemeteries of University City ; U. City, MO : The Historical Society of University City, c1998.
Landmarks Association of St. Louis. Tombstone Talks: Landmarks Tour of Bellefontaine Cemetery, October 25, 1970. St. Louis: Landmarks Association of St. Louis, 1970.
Lutton, Cecilia, and Maurita Lutton. Mt. Olive Cemetery (Catholic), Mt. Olive Road, St. Louis County (Lemay). St. Louis: Lutton & Lutton, 1984.
Morris, Ann. Sacred Green Space: A Survey of Cemeteries in St. Louis County. St. Louis: A. Morris, 2000.
Rawlings, Keith. Gone But Not Forgotten: Quinette Cemetery, a Slave Burial Ground, est. 1866. Kirkwood, Missouri: Youth in Action, Inc., 2003.
Social Statistics of the Cities, 2 volumes. U.S. Census 1880.
St. Louis Genealogical Society. Old Cemeteries: St. Louis County, Missouri. 6 volumes. St. Louis Genealogical Society, 1982–2003.
St. Louis Genealogical Society. Catholic Cemeteries, CD-ROM, 2002.
St. Louis Genealogical Society. St. Louis Burials, CD-ROM, 2003.
Washington Park Cemetery, St. Louis, Missouri, Reinterments. St. Louis: privately printed, 2001. Wotaway, Shirley. History of St. Peter’s Cemetery. St. Louis: S. Wotaway, 2004.
St. Louis Genealogical Society · #4 Sunnen Drive, Suite 140 · St. Louis, MO 63143 · 314-647-8547