|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
Brush Creek Cemetery, also known as Saint Peters Cemetery, is located halfway north to south on the eastern edge of Township 56N, Range 6W, Section 30. It is far out in the Missouri countryside on the grounds of St. Peters Catholic Church. It is well-maintained, even though St. Peters Church is no longer used for regular services. The church was founded in the 1860's by Fr. Peter Paul Lefevere, designed by Fr. Francis M. Kielty. It is a twin to St. Pauls Catholic Church near Center, MO, founded & designed by the same individuals. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. On the far eastern edge of the cemetery, under the trees, is an area full of white crosses that mark the final resting places of slaves.
The founder of St. Peters Church, Fr. Lefevere, was born on May 30, 1804 in Belgium. He came to the US in 1828, was ordained on November 20, 1831, and died on November 21, 1841 in Detroit, Michigan. While serving at St. Peters, he baptized a Negro, Mr. Tolton, who then took the name "Peter Paul".
Peter Paul Tolton and wife Martha Jane (Chisley) Tolton, would become the parents of Fr. Augustine Tolton, the first full-blooded Negro priest in the United States. Fr. Augustine Tolton was born a slave in the Brush Creek area on April 1, 1854, baptized at Brush Creek on May 29, 1854 by Fr. John O'Sullivan. He was ordained on April 4, 1886 at St. John Lateran in Rome. He established St. Monica's Parish in Chicago, IL and died on July 9, 1897. He is buried in St. Peter's Cemetery in Quincy, IL.