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 the Arnold 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.

The earliest Arnold settlers are buried there. There are about 239 graves in this cemetery. A deed of land recorded March 1, 1867, lists the owners of Skelton and Mary Richardson.  For many years, one person did the grass-mowing, but trees and brush were overgrown, making it difficult to see the gravestones and history inside the cemetery. The large enclosed wall contains the Richardson family and all who married into the family.

In 2010, the Arnold Historical Society began to clean up the cemetery.  One of the first civic endeavors was to replace the rusted entrance sign.  A new sign which matches the original sign was made in 2010 by Warren Sign Company. The old sign was fastened on the back so visitors could still see the old sign.

Today, various students come to work in the cemetery to rake leaves, remove brush, pick up trash, wash gravestones, remove yucca plants, and reset broken gravestones.  Students come away with a new respect for their ancestors and all cemeteries. The Society hires a person to mow the lawn.


Ridgewood Students

Over the years, Bernie Wilde has 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.”


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)

More Info

More info on John Richardson can be found here 

32 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
    Will mcdonnell

  4. Denise says:

    I will be on vacation in Dorrington next week. I often visit cemeteries and take pictures for
    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:


    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

    • R.L. Feikert says:

      Dear Heather K, is it possible to read the name on the headstone as one of my ancestors stone had been at the cemetery but is now gone. I believe it is either Phillip or Charles Feikert. Barely legible, but at least further research is, may be necessary for that headstone. Thanks

  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!

    • ken reader says:

      Elizabeth Richardson daughter to John and Caroline Richardson, my 4th great my lineage
      Ken Reader,

  9. Karen Bippen Atkinson says:

    I’m so excited that there are posted pictures of this grave! My family has been looking for this (and other family members) that were buried in our family cemetery in South St. Louis County when Hwy 55 took part of our property which was at 55/Meramec Bottom Road and Kerth Rd. Her parents are Jacob and Delilah Wickerham, and her husband is Jean Baptiste Valdejo. I’m hoping they were moved and buried here too.

    A couple of corrections on the Find a Grave Site- last name should be Valdejo, not Valejo, and as you can see on her tombstone, the death date is 7 May, 1886, not as you list 16 June 1871 .

  10. Vicki L. Dillon says:

    Hi Bernie Wilde –

    I am a contributor to find a grave. All that needs to be done is to:
    Go into find a grave.
    Find the memorial.
    There is the contact info on who cares for that particular memorial.
    Email or message them and they will get back to whoever is writing them to correct information.

  11. Dewight Rutherford says:

    Booker Richardson is my great great great grandfather on my father’s mother’s side.
    My father, Dewayne Rutherford was born to the parents of Andy Rutherford and Glenna Marilyn Richardson.
    My grandmother’s father which makes him my great grandfather, is Roscoe Richardson.
    Roscoe’s father, is Ballard Preston Richardson. This makes him my great great grandfather.
    Ballard Richardson’s father is Booker Richardson. My great, great, great grandfather. I found all this from Even with birth and death certificates and pictures.
    I’m stuck though. Where can I look further? Does anyone have pictures of Booker or his children?

  12. David Allen says:

    Hi! We recently read an article in a newspaper that stated that there are 10 graves with out headstones for some of our veterans. My friend David Allen had spoken with business man in Crystal City Mo who was willing to do headstones for half the cost- $100. Dave is wanting to get more information about the graves and stones needed as the article was misplaced, ie (he believes I threw it away hence me looking to find information for him.) If you can help provide the names and location of graves without markers for our veterans in the Richardson Cemetery, please call Dave at 636-293-2676. We wants to see if others around us are willing to go together and make this happen. Our neighborhood said they would buy a stone and if others will, we can make it right for these brave soldiers.

  13. Laura Kunkel says:

    I am doing rubbings of all the Frederitzi stones since those are related to me through my Grandmother Verna Gangloff. It is a beautiful little cemetery and I visit often

  14. R. L. Feikert Jr. says:

    Hello Bernie, Thank You very much for your sincere dedication to a very old perhaps abandoned cemetery. My name is Robert Lee Feikert Jr. On my visit back perhaps 15 to 20 years the grounds looked very good. My Grandfather is John Allen Feikert, Died 1943, buried at the edge of the Cemetery facing Richardson Rd. Back through the 1990’s, early 2000’s having information about my early ancestors, I went to the cemetery and found the grave stone, Charles Feikert Born 1790 Died 1826 at the stone wall, under the large evergreens. The headstone was very old and barely legible. I told my sister that the headstones were there with perhaps others and she said that they had been removed, not long after my visit.
    The headstone has been removed and I searched the lot to see if it had been removed and discarded. If so I would like to see if perhaps I can retrieve it and have another made like the original and placed at the burial site.
    Also you should not have to carry the burden alone. Need Help?
    My Father Robert L. Feikert Sr. Wants to be buried there, if possible? We had a old family farm in Maxville, Mo. A little log winded but if you can please help with my inquest I would sure appreciate it. Also if I could help maintain or help with some of the chores, Please email me. Thanks Again

  15. Robert L. Feikert Jr. says:

    I would like to Thank the Arnold Historical Society, the City of Arnold for their continued effort to not forget the Meaning of Perpetual Care.

    I also would like to Thank Bernie Wilde, for the self Sacrifice the woman has put forth, and continues to organize the effort to maintain the Cemetery for the Community to have Respect for the deceased.

    I am Sure that Their are Many Other Citizens, and the Arnold Police, Arnold City Hall, and Maintenance Personnel that also Help.


  16. Patricia Ramsey says:

    My Great, Great Grandfather Charles Feikert, my Grandfather John Feikert and a Great Uncle are all buried in Richardson Cemetery. My father is 83 and he recently asked me to find out if he could also be buried in Richardson Cemetery. Thank you for your assistance.

  17. Janice R Muse says:

    I see that my husbands relative Josiah Muse is buried here…

  18. ken reader says:

    Hello, my name is Ken Reader, son of Arlene J Richardson. I believe Caroline Cadie Smith Richardson and John Richardson are my 4th great, son James William Richardson married Mary Ann Taylor who had a son James William as well, his son John Stanley Richardson is my Great Grandfather, his son Drury Grant is my Grandfather. I would like to be included in Richardson news and family history. John Stanley and all the children relocated to Sac, CA starting in 1920, Pearl Richardson I believe was aunt to Drury and sister to John Stanley Richardson.

    • ahs says:

      I will pass all of this lineage on to the person who does the genealogy. Thanks for all the info. Do you know David Frederici in CA? He and I are on Facebook.

  19. Tara Smith says:

    My name is Tara Smith (maiden) Jenkins, family name, Richardson out of steelville Missouri, we have a family cemetery in Viburnum “Upper Indian creek cemetery” there’s a church, and the old school house as well, and it’s all been made a historical landmark all because of the outhouses being the original ones, anyway, if any are interested in looking into it more we gather every year on the 2nd Sunday of June at the cemetery and have done so for many many years, our family name Richardson is pretty well Known and we would love to meet and welcome others, my number is 405-482-4377 I currently live in Oklahoma, but never miss the family reunion

  20. Kyle Richardson says:

    Does anyone know if Booker Richardson the second has a son named Ballard?

  21. Kyle Richardson says:

    I am Ballard Preston Richardson’s great great grandson, Kyle Lee Richardson. 509-637-3556 kylelr1981 on Instagram or you can find me on Facebook I live in White Salmon Washington. I would love to hear from you. I know nothing about our family besides a origin story of our last name.

  22. James E says:

    Hello I would like to know if night visits to the cemetery are possible?

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