Crestwood, Missouri

A 1991 photograph of Father Dickson Cemetery, located at 845 Sappington Rd, Crestwood, Mo. 63126 (just North of the historic Sappington House).





Famous Burials at Father Dickson Cemetery:

*Father Moses Dickson: Abolitionist who traveled the South, organizing a secret anti-slavery organization known as the "Knights of Liberty"; Minister of the African Methodist Church; founded the International Order of Twelve; Educator and activist for black suffrage.

* John Vashon: Renowned attorney, linguist and teacher for whom Vashon High School in St. Louis is named. [Note: Vashon's headstone has been illegally removed and the theft has been reported to Crestwood Police.]

* James Milton Turner: Educator, founder of Lincoln University and first U.S. Ambassador to Liberia;

* Henry Lewis; Popularly known as "Steamboat", an entrepreneur and personal barber to Augustus Busch, Sr. (pictured below)

Besides their notable achievements, these Missourians have something else in common: All were former slaves or descendants of slaves. They also are buried in a cemetery in southwest St. Louis County named for Father Moses Dickson.


Born free in Ohio in 1824, Moses Dickson traveled throughout the pre-war South as an itinerant barber. Despite the unspeakable hardships of slavery, he saw within the Black community a wealth of talent, courage and strength. He later became a minister and dedicated his life to social activism on behalf of freed slaves. In recognition of his many contributions (including the relocation of 16,000 freed slaves, and co-founding what is now Lincoln University), the cemetery was dedicated and named for Father Dickson. It stands as a tribute to his belief that as individuals and as a people, we can make a difference.



Rev. Moses Dickson tombstone. In 1872 he founded the organization, The International Order of Twelve,
of Knights and Daughters of Tabor.  The above stone was erected by the order in August of  1915.

Photographic Walk Through Father Dickson Cemetery


As one of the first public cemeteries available to Black people in the St. Louis area, Father Dickson Cemetery was the site of 12,000 burials before it closed in the 1970's. Without a perpetual care endowment, the cemetery fell victim to abuse and neglect. Friends of Father Dickson Cemetery organized in 1988 to repair, restore and preserve the historic site. Their vision was to reclaim the natural beauty of this local landmark, and prevent the loss of its historic value to commercial development.

The vision of the organization has expanded to include ownership of the cemetery, and community awareness and education. Besides its efforts to raise funds for maintenance of the 13-acre tract, the group works to involve other volunteer organizations and youth groups dedicated to community service. As with any volunteer effort, the challenge is to do more with less. We believe we can make a difference; we know we have made a difference...

The question to ask yourself is, "Will I make a difference?"


If you'd like more information on how YOU can make a difference, contact

Ernest Jordan, President  (314) 822-8221 email: friendsoffather@aol.com
Karen Mozee, Vice-President (314)822-8221

Write to us at:

Friends of Father Dickson Cemetery
P.O. Box 220612
Kirkwood, MO 63122

We welcome your interest and participation, and encourage you to become a  Friend of Father Dickson Cemetery. We are a 501(c)(13) organization, with no required fees or dues.


Friends of Father Dickson Cemetery has donated microfilm of its burial records dating from 1904 to 1983 to the St Louis County Library's Julius K Hunter and Friends , African-American Research Collection.

"This microfilm contains burial records of more than 6000 African-Americans who were former slaves or descendants of slaves. The records will now be available to the public for family research at the County Library HQ at 1640 S Lindbergh Blvd."



Map and Driving Instructions :


[ Yahoo! Maps ]
Directions to 845 S Sappington Rd
St Louis, MO 63126-1032


Please take a moment to Photo Walk Through Father Dickson Cemetery



Friends Of Father Dickson Cemetery desire to acknowledge the contributions of funds, labor and or services donated by individuals and groups including:

Related Resources On the Web:

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You are the 52030th Visitor to this Site. This page was last updated Saturday, 25-Aug-2012 20:45:23 CDT by Scott K. Williams, Florissant, Mo.