St. Louis City
Postal Code: 63118
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
All stones were moved from the original "Pickers" cemetery to this location by 1916.
Holy Ghost Cemetery was bound by Compton Ave, Louisiana Ave, Wyoming and Arsenal Street., St. Louis, MO 63118
Roosevelt High school is presently sitting on Holy Ghost's parcel of land.
I suggest that the section below be read so that researchers can understand that Holy Ghost was not moved to Gatewood, and that it is much more than a name change. The remains have been moved to a number of cemeteries.
Among the many cemeteries opened and closed in this city, three of the more interesting were opened by Pastor Frederick Picker and the members of his two congregations.
The first cemetery, whose proper name was The Evangelical Protestant Cemetery Association of the Church of the Holy Ghost, or Holy Ghost Cemetery, was located on twenty acres bound by Compton Ave, Louisiana Ave, Wyoming and Arsenal Street in South St. Louis. The first burial took place in 1846. By 1884, there had been over 24,000 burials. As Pastor Picker founded the Holy Ghost cemetery and conducted many burials during the 1849 & 1854 cholera epidemics, the grounds were commonly refered to as Picker's Cemetery. Again, more confusion was caused because some death records called the grounds Picker's Cemetery and some Holy Ghost Cemetery. It's difficult to date the closing of Holy Ghost cemetery as some records indicate that the City had forbidden further burials in 1893, and in 1902 there was a petition by the Tenth Ward Alderman to order the discontinuial of burials. However, burial record shows large numbers of burials in 1889 and more in 1905. Some of the bodies were removed from Holy Ghost while the cemetery was deteriorating; others were moved in mass, in 1916 and possibly earlier. What is in evidence is that the property was still owned by the Holy Ghost congregation in 1916 by a building permit dated October 19, 1916. As far as possible, all lot owners were notified and given a deadline. Many bodies were moved to Zion, New St. Marcus, Bellefontaine, St. Peter's Evangelical, and Independent German Evangelical Protestant (now Gatewood Gardens) cemeteries. When the Holy Ghost Cemetery property was sold to developer Richard C. Spackler in Jan. 1917, all remaining bodies were moved to Zion cemetery, 7401 St. Charles Rock Rd. Another permit dated April 10, 1922 permits a 3 story school to be constructed on the site. Though large numbers of remains were removed, it is unlikely that all were, and there are probably some remains left under the grounds of the high school and residences now located on the property. There have been no records of these removals known to exisit.
Pastor Picker left the Holy Ghost Church in 1856 with about seventy families and established the Independent Evangelical Protestant Congregation. Shortly after Pastor Picker founded his new congregation, it was decided that they needed their own cemetery. This second cemetery was on the south side of Gravois near River Des Peres. The cemetery, which opened on April 25, 1856, was New Picker Cemetery. After Pastor Picker's death, the third cemetery was opened by the congregation in 1881, across the street on the north side of Gravois. The cemetery on the South side of Gravois was then well established, the cemetery on the North side of Gravois was called "New" Picker Cemetery, the first one having been the "Old".
This has caused a great deal of confusion over the years. Thus there are two "Olds" and two "News" but only three cemeteries. The two cemeteries on Gravois located across from each other were sold by the Independent Congregation and went through several owners. The cemetery suffered from neglect. In 1986 the State Attorney General's office filed suit against three prior owners, accusing them of depleting the perpetual card fund. The case was settled in 1988, but the cemetery was still uncared for. In 1996, it became necessary for the City of St. Louis to assume ownership because of unpaid taxes, and the City's forestry division now keeps the grounds maintained.