African Methodist Church Cemetery

African Methodist Episcopal Church Cemetery 10-28-2014When I did a post about the huge quarry just south and west of Old Appleton in July, Dennis Mize and Tom Mueller mentioned that there was a small African American cemetery located near the quarry.

On the way south from dropping Wife Lila at the airport in St. Louis, I decided to check it out.

They were right

African Methodist Episcopal Church Cemetery 10-28-2014Dennis and Tom were right. Just west of Hwy 61 on KK was the African American Church Cemetery marked by a sign that listed some of the names and family histories of those interred there.

Alexander Hull died in 1898

African Methodist Episcopal Church Cemetery 10-28-2014Alexander Hull was born in 1892, and died in 1898, before his 5th birthday. His stone was one of the easiest to read. It looked like it had been reattached to its base recently

Graves at quarry edge

African Methodist Episcopal Church Cemetery 10-28-2014When I strolled down the hill into a wooded area, the quarry popped into view. This grave was almost at the edge of a dead (pun not intended) drop-off. I could only wonder how many bones had been crushed along with the limestone over the years.

A huge hole

African Methodist Episcopal Church Cemetery 10-28-2014I’m going to guess the stone walls rising above the water are at least 75 to 100 feet tall. Apple Creek runs between the quarry and the farmland in the background. It must have been a challenge to keep ahead of the water when it was an active quarry.

Didn’t feel like exploring

African Methodist Episcopal Church Cemetery 10-28-2014I didn’t spend much time walking around that area of the graveyard. The ground sloped down toward the quarry and some of the overburden didn’t look stable. I had no desire to end up as a splash or worse.

Nature’s color palette

African Methodist Episcopal Church Cemetery 10-28-2014The late-afternoon sun and fall leaves made it a place of quiet beauty. A quick Google search didn’t turn up much information about the cemetery or the church it served.

Blasting area

Old Appleton Quarry 10-28-2014I’m sure the cemetery is a lot more peaceful since it’s neighbor, the old Appleton Quarry, has ceased blasting.

Quarry from the air

Aerial Old Appleton Quarry 04-17-2011This aerial photo taken in 2011 clearly shows how the quarry left a little plug of land where the cemetery is located. It’s much like how the cement plant quarry has mined around the Natatorium.

Click on the photos to make them larger.




8 Replies to “African Methodist Church Cemetery”

  1. Ken,

    Good morning,

    You always unearthed facts out of the
    blue about very interesting bits of history.

    Another item on my bucket list to view while in the area one of these days…..

    Thanks for the interesting read….

    Mary Seabaugh Francis

  2. Love walking grave yards but from the look of that incline – either dog Olivia or I – or both would end up dog paddling in that quarry.
    How many stones are still standing? Could u read enough to get a date range of burials?

  3. Well another thing to add to my adventures in Cape…you are almost writing a historical tour of Southeast Missouri/Cape for the world. You are uncovering very interesting stuff for the rest of us!

  4. Ken, you may live in Florida but you know more about SE Missouri than we do who live here. Sure hope you keep coming back to travel the back roads and let us know what is here.

  5. Hi Ken,
    Thank you so much for the picture of the African Methodist Church Cemetery sign. It brought tears to my eyes. I am the great granddaughter of Alfred Gilwater(Gillenwater). His son (my grandfather)Christopher and his wife Idella were buried there also according to their death certificate.
    Thanks again.

  6. Hi Ken, I last saw the cemetery about 10 years ago when I was there for a family reunion. It was emotional to stand there before the grave sites. My grandparents, great grandpa, and uncles are buried there.
    I noticed the note from Audrey Gillenwater, and was so glad to see that she is related to Alfred GILWATERS. He is my grandfather! We are cousins! Audrey if you see my note, and can contact me please do so. Paulette Hall. Email is

    1. Hello,
      I’m Todd. I just wanted to let you know a good guy has tried to take care of said cemetery. I talked to him on one of my many visits there.
      Thank you

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