St. Francis Cemetery

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St. Francis Cemetery, located half a mile east of St. Paul, is by succession the oldest cemetery in Neosho county known to have been used by white people. When the Jesuits first came to the Osage country in 1847, this cemetery was established in the east edge of what is now St. Paul. Whether it had been used as a burying ground before that time is not now known, but most of the Catholic Indians who died after the arrival of the Jesuits were buried there. Rev. Fr. John Bax, S. J. was the first white person to have been buried in this old cemetery.

After the town of Osage mission was established, this old cemetery was within the city limits, so Father Schoenmakers set aside a site near Flatrock creek, which has since been used, and is known as St. Francis cemetery. In the spring of 1871, all the remains in the old cemetery were removed to the new one. By this time many white persons had been interred in the old cemetery.

The new graveyard is owned by St. Francis church and is well cared for. It is maintained under the perpetual up-keep plan. About 75 veterans are buried there, as are also Father Schoemakers and the other Jesuits who died while located here. Mother Bridget’s grave has an honored position there, surrounded by other Sisters of Loretto who were pioneers in this Osage country.

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