Old Fairview Methodist Church; also known as Oak Hill; possibly also Little Meramec Missionary Baptist Church.
Oak Hill Cemetery (aka Old Fairview) at Lonedell, Franklin County, Missouri
This old, abandoned cemetery is located on a densely wooded hilltop on the present day Heideman property off Hendricks Rd., south of Hwy.30. The adjacent Oak Hill Methodist Church burned, and was abandoned around 1880. The congregation relocated to the new Fairview Methodist Church around 1880, hence this cemetery being commonly known as "Old Fairview" today. The cemetery itself was deserted soon after 1900.
The present day cemetery is highly overgrown and only five legible tombstones remain. It appears that there were perhaps three rows of gravestones at one time, possibly containing thirty or more burials. No other stones have
survived. Interestingly, the cemetery was apparantly in virtually the same condition when described in a St. Clair Chronicle article some fifty years ago.
The existing burials are:
BOYD, George Washington 15 Apr 1815 - 24 Apr 1894
BOYD, Mahala (THORNHILL) 3 Aug 1812 - 2 Mar 1900
BOYD, James Andrew 5 Jul 1874 - 29 Apr 1882
STRATTON, James (no dates) military veteran's stone:
Co. H 39th Ohio Militia
HAWKINS, Eola J. d. 29 Jan 1875 age 1y 28d
HAWKINS, George C. d. 23 Aug 1873 age 1y 7m
HAWKINS, James J. d. 27 Aug 1873 age 8y 7m
George and Mahala BOYD were my gggrandparents. James Andrew BOYD was the older brother of my grandfather, Elmer BOYD. He reportedly drowned in the nearby Little Meramec river when left alone fishing during another family funeral. James STRATTON was the husband of George and Mahala's daughter, Eliza Ann BOYD.
Anyone related to the persons listed above or having information regarding other burials in this location is strongly urged to reply. Mike Boyd St. Louis, MO
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This file was contributed for use in the USGenWeb Archives by: Mike Boyd
I (Bev Golden) visited the cemetery in 2004.
The cemetery is located on the top of a hill with the Little Meramec creek flowing along the bottom. It is on the south side of the creek and seems to have been of a fairly good size, too big to have been a family cemetery. Worn and broken stones are scattered over a wide area. The owner of the land and neighbors all say they have always heard and believed that the cemetery used to be associated with a church, but they didn't know which church. The owner of the land has looked through the woods on occasion and hasn't found any foundation. He said that someone came in previously and took rubbings of the stones. This may have been Mike Boyd who wrote the USGenWeb posting above. In 2004, I found only four tombstones with still legible inscriptions remaining in the cemetery which indicate burials as early as 1872 and as late as 1894. The cemetery is now overgrown with brush and has been heavily vandalized in the past. The owner of the land says they once found a tombstone down the hill in the creek, perhaps abandoned there by someone who was trying to steal it.
The site is up the hill from what used to be the old Highway 30 ford across the Little Meramec. The highway was rerouted and a bridge built in the 1930s after a woman drowned trying to drive across the ford while the creek was in flood.
This location was the site of the only church indicated (by the drawing of a church icon) in the Lonedell area on the 1878 Atlas of Franklin County, Missouri. It was located in Sec 10, Township 21, Range 2 East, right on the boundary of Sections 10 and 15 in the southwestern corner of the section. The atlas did not give the church's name.
However, there was another known church in Lonedell at the time whose location has never been precisely determined - Little Meramec Missionary Baptist.
Excerpt from the 1888 Goodspeed's History of Franklin Co., MO, pg 351:
"Little Meramec Missionary Baptist Church was organized in the fall of 1849 by the Rev. Simeon B. Lewis, with seven members: Simeon B. Lewis, Barbara Lewis, Mrs. Sabert Hoff, Abraham Lemons, and Joseph Riley and wife. The first church building was a log one erected about 1855; it was 20x30 feet in size and cost about $100. The same building is still used, but a twenty foot addition has been made to it. Its location is in Section 10, Township 21, Range 2 east. Rev. Simeon Lewis dedicated the first building soon after its completion. The various pastors have been Rev. Simeon Lewis, Rev. James Williams, Rev. William McKay, Rev. Marion Pierce, Rev. "Hut" Hensley, and the Rev. Mr. Frazier. The Rev. William McKay is the present pastor, and the membership of the church is about seventy-five."
[end Goodspeed excerpt]
Little Meramec Missionary Baptist disappeared about the same time as did old Fairview Methodist. In 1885, the congregation of Little Meramec built a new church a few miles away and named it Oak Grove Missionary Baptist:
Excerpt from the 1888 Goodspeed's History of Franklin Co., MO:
"Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church was organized in 1885, by the Rev. Marion Pierce. The original membership was twenty-one, who withdrew from Little Meramec Church (including) John Dickenson and wife."
Later members of the Boyd family buried at Old Fairview cemetery were buried at Oak Grove Missionary Baptist.
I think it's possible, given the usual practice of rural churches at the time sharing a building (each holding services either every other week or once a month), that Oak Hill (Old Fairview) Methodist and Little Meramec Missionary Baptist were located at the same place and shared a cemetery. This could be true only if the church burned a little later than 1880, as Little Meramec was still in use in 1888.
All traces of the church building was completely gone by 2004; however, the site indicated in the 1878 atlas seems to be the same place as the location of the current owner's house. He told me that when he moved into the house there were what looked to be worked building stones lying around in the yard. Perhaps these were stones left over from a stone foundation for the old church? It's possible that most of the stones had been salvaged over the years and only the rejects were left.
- Added: 15 Jul 2011
- Find A Grave Cemetery: #2410360
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