Richardson Cemetery

Richardson Cemetery, a two-acre plot designated as a “burying ground” on March 1, 1867, and neglected for many years, has found a resurgence of interest after Bernie Wilde of theArnold Historical Society, took on the task of reclaiming it in 2008.

Where is it? It t is located on Richardson Road, one-half mile West of I-55 and Vogel Road intersection.

ridgewood-students

Ridgewood Students

She’s had the assistance of many in the community, including Boy Scout Troop #744, members of the Arnold Historical Society, Ridgewood Junior High students, and other interested descendants.  Tracy Rode who earned a Bachelor of Science at the University of Missouri, Columbia, and a Master of Science in Chemistry at Southeast MO State University initiated her work in 2002 for a research project to generate a map with details of all the stones included.  Tracy said “This cemetery had always intrigued me. There is 150+ years of history here.  With vandalism and general wear-and-tear, the residents of Arnold/Jefferson County needed to be aware of the potential loss of an important historic landmark. In order to preserve this treasure, it needs to be brought to the public eye.”

new-sign-for-our-richardson-cemetery

A New Sign for the Cemetery

And then the Arnold Historical Society stepped in to help bring the overgrown cemetery into compliance, addressing safety issues with the overgrowth of trees and weeds.  The grass had been trimmed by a nephew of Helen Siedler who is buried in the cemetery.  Tracy originally had a map of the gravestones but due to a fire, the map was destroyed. Dave Hallemann, Jefferson County cemetery sleuth, has assisted with several documents relative to Richardson Cemetery.

Now Dr. Robin Hanson, cultural historian and anthropologist, has joined Bernie Wilde by documenting the history of the people buried here. Dr. Hanson is working on creating a new map of the cemetery, repairing gravestones, and rebuilding the historical and cultural background of the people who are buried in the cemetery.

New Discoveries at Historic Richardson Cemetery

A number of discoveries have come quickly.  While walking through the cemetery to point out the boundary lines, Bernie and Dr. Hanson came upon an unexpected item—the head of a broken right femur lying out in the open.

Head of Femur Bone

Head of Femur Bone

With the recent heavy rains, apparently the bone had washed out of a container that housed human remains that had been relocated decades ago from a family plot near Meramec Bottom Road and I-55.

A few days later, Dr. Hanson identified the graves of Booker Preston Richardson and Nancy Cheatham, original owners of the land where the cemetery is located. Booker Richardson died November 30, 1841. His large estate was tied up in probate for years. Skelton Richardson was appointed Administrator of Booker’s Estate.  Skelton and Mary Richardson then became the owners on March 1, 1867.  Skelton died in Jefferson County in November 1906, and is presumably buried in Richardson Cemetery, although the gravestone has not been found.

Dr Hanson

Dr Hanson

Dr. Hanson is currently working on identifying all the individuals buried in the cemetery. The people buried here represent the rugged pioneer spirit that created this country.  A number of the people buried in the cemetery took part in some of the most important events in American history.  There are men who took part in every major war from 1812 through WWII (except for the Spanish-American War).  It is also no surprise, given that this is Missouri, that both the Confederacy and the Union veterans are buried here, including at least one man who went overland to California for the gold rush, and returned home in time to fight in the Civil War.  Also interred are a nephew of George Waters (original land owner of what would become Kimmswick), a great-nephew of Wilson P. Hunt, of Lucas-Hunt fame in St. Louis,  and a direct descendant of French settlers who lived in St. Louis decades before the Louisiana Purchase.

Some of the families represented in the cemetery include Richardson, White, Hunt, Waters, Siedler, Hampel, Herrell, Roesch, Parke, Marx, Hock, Frederitzi, Brust and Diard.

A new Safety Mirror when exiting!

Richardson Cem Safety Mirror

From l to r: Arnold Historical Society representatives: Robin Hanson, Bernie Wilde, Public Works Director Ed Blattner holding mirror, Councilwoman Ward 2: Michelle Hohmeier, Darrel Kuenzle, Jake Skaggs.

The road out of Richardson Cemetery has been a safety hazard for drivers….until now.  Five years ago, Bernie asked the City of Arnold to provide a roadside mirror to provide safety for everyone; from Boy Scouts who mow the lawn twice a month, to classes Robin Hanson conducts, to Ridgewood Middle School students who come out to help each year, and many visitors to take care of their ancestors gravestones.  This year, Ed Blattner came to the cemetery and saw first-hand how dangerous it is to exit the cemetery.  Now, with a mirror

Richardson Cem Safety Mirror Install

that shows traffic coming from the West on Richardson Road, the visitors can look straight ahead at the mirror. No more guessing whether it is safe to come out of the cemetery driveway.   Thanks to the City for installing a mirror to promote safety in this area.   (July, 2013)

12 Responses to Richardson Cemetery

  1. Pingback: New History Page about Richardson Cemetery | Arnold Historical Society & Museum

  2. John bauer says:

    I am an Arnold Resident and 67 years young. I also metal detect as a hobby for over 10 years now. I am interested in assisting the Arnold Historical Society in researching any sites. I respect all properties and am very careful to assure all holes dug are properly covered. Any finds on historic sites would of course be the property of the Society. Thank you.

  3. Will mcdonnell says:

    My great great grand ma and pa are buried in this cemetery
    There names are charles and rhoda McDonnell
    Rhoda l richarson daughter of james and mary richardson.
    Rhoda was buried in 1929 and charles in 1931
    The death certificates both indicate richarson cemetery
    As their final resting place. I read that someone hoped to identify
    All people buried. Hope this helps i have more info if needed
    Thanks
    Will mcdonnell
    314-239-9704

  4. Denise says:

    I will be on vacation in Dorrington next week. I often visit cemeteries and take pictures for findagrave.com
    How will I find your cemetery and museum? I have to use a mobility scooter so I should ask about accessibility and bathrooms! Most of my cemetery work was done with The Veterans Cemetery in Yountville and I just completed a book on George C. Yount Pioneer Cemetery in Yountville. Thank you! Great work you all are doing!!

  5. Ali Micke says:

    Hello,

    Some of the names above are similar to headstones I looked at tonight located in a very small cemetery in our subdivision. Wanted to know if you knew anything about it? referenced above is Skelton Richardson. I found a headstone with that name and a date of March 1849-Oct 1923. Also Theres a headstone for a Hampel as well. Wanted to know if you knew any information?

    • Ali Micke says:

      Also the above information isn’t located in Richardson Cemetery. we live on the other side of Arnold.

    • Bernie Wilde says:

      Is your subdivision Theodore Ridge which is across the street from Historic Richardson Cemetery? All of the Richardson’s are in the large enclosed section. Hampel’s are there also. We have 210 graves in Richardson Cemetery.

  6. Heather K says:

    We live on old Lemay ferry across the street from strawberry ridge. My next door neighbor removed a head stone from his back yard and put it in his back yard garden. I wonder if the headstone belongs to the cemetery

  7. Chris M says:

    Hello I am a paranormal investigator and also a find a grave member and also metal detect as well. One skill that comes from being a paranormal investigator is having the equipment to conduct EVP ( Electronic voice phenomenon). I love taking pictures of cemetery’s and taking in the history that is there and the creatives that go into the stones and such. I am willing to assist the Arnold Historical Society anyway that i can.

  8. Karen DeStefane says:

    My third great grandma, Delphi Tiefenbrun, is buried in Richardson Cemetery, per her death certificate, although there is no headstone. She died on November 18, 1910. Date of burial was Nov. 20, 1910. Her son in Frank Tiefenbrunn, who does have a headstone. I am not sure where her husband Charles Tiefenbrunn is buried.
    Since the records were destroyed, I’m curious if you have her on your list. Death Certificate no. 34608.
    She is the daughter of Elizabeth Richardson and William Ellington. Parents of Elizabeth still have still not been determined.
    Keep up the good restoration work!

    • Robin Hanson says:

      Hi Karen,

      Just found your comment – Yes, we do have Delphi listed as buried in Richardson Cemetery. We do not have Charles listed as being buried in Richardson, but it is a distinct possibility since the wife and son are buried there and based on how old she was at her time of death. I suspect that Charles died before her and since the State didn’t require State Death Certificates until 1910, the only record of his death might be available at the county courthouse.

    • George Ellington says:

      I believe this William Ellington was the brother to my Great(4) Grandfather if this is him he was born in Granville N.C Elizabeth Jane Richardson
      1819– Date of death unknown She was born in Tennessee!

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