Tag Archives: slavery

Preacher Jefferson Franklin Sage

This is the story of a minister of the African Methodist Episcopal Church who was born a slave in Missouri in 1854. His father had been born in Virginia, and his mother in Kentucky, and they were brought to Pike County before the Civil War. After the end of the Civil War,  he made a life in Jonesburg and the AME church. He appears on the Missouri State Census in Montgomery County for 1876, with his wife Eliza and their two small sons Dick and John.  From the records of the AME Conference reports made by Brother Samuel Jenkins on November 28, 1878, we see in his handwriting that  “Local Preachers, where as

Mary Sage
Mary Sage, wife of Rev. J.F. Sage

Jefferson Sage of Jonesburg” it clearly indicates Sage is a Minister of the St. Charles Conference being held at St. John’s AME Church on Washington St.  in St. Charles. In 1880, Preacher Sage has come to St. Charles and is supporting his family by working as a clerk at the largest St. Charles manufacturer, the American Car Foundry which makes railroad cars. Something occurred in Jefferson’s life, when he lost his young wife Eliza and their son Dick between 1876 and 1879.  He remarries in 1879 to a beautiful young woman named Mary and they have young son John, and a brand new son named  James Arthur who born in March. Jefferson’s youngest sister Sallie who is only 18 years old, lives with them as well.

Preacher Sage is noted in the records of Grant Chapel, an AME Church in Wentzville, as a traveling Pastor just a few years later in 1886 and in 1888. Apparently he set out along the Circuit from St. Charles, and would preach among the towns between St. Charles and his former home of Jonesburg. Other Ministers of the Gospel with the A.M.E. did this as well, such as M.E. Smith who preached at what is Smith Chapel in today’s Foristell. Each minister was apparently given certain town’s to minister to. That’s all recorded in a small little record book at the St. Charles County Historical Society, at 101 Main Street, in Saint Charles, Missouri.

Jefferson Franklin Sage was well loved, and called to minister as far away as Kansas, and as close as St. Louis. He leaves St. Charles County by 1894 we know, because his daughter Ruth is born in Kansas in May of 1894. In 1900, the couple is living in Ottawa City, Kansas and two of their nine children have died. They are later is at Independence, and then Lexington apparently. His wife Mary dies in 1905. Jefferson Franklin Sage is living on Market Street in St. Louis in 1914. Later in 1920, he is still preaching and  living in Lexington where he passes away on May 22, 1922 in Lexington, Missouri.

 

Jefferson Sage (2)On the 20th of August 1881, Jasper N. and Mahala (nee Keithley) Costlio sold land in what is now O’Fallon, in St. Charles County, Missouri to three Trustees named Walter Burrel, Joel Patterson and Taylor Harris. On this land they were to build a house of worship for the “African Methodist Church”. Mahala had inherited the property from her father Samuel Keithley, Jr., a former slave owner in O’Fallon when he died in 1871. These were two separate parcels:  1/2 acre of land on “St. Peter’s Road” or Sonderen Street which perhaps had a building already, and another one acre of land to be used as a graveyard, that being the exact same parcel of land we call Sage Chapel Cemetery in 2018.

 

Signature

Sources:

African-Methodist Church Book, Donated by Wardell Reed to the St. Charles County Historical Society, St. Charles County, MO. in 2010. These are Conference Records of the St. Charles African-Methodist Episcopal Churches in St. Charles County.

1880 U.S. Federal Census, St. Charles County, Saint Charles, Enumeration District 201, Roll 714, Page 72A

1900 U.S. Federal Census, Ottawa Kansas, Enumeration District 0086 Ward 2, Franklin Roll 480, Page 10A

1920 U.S. Federal Census, Lexington, Ward 3, Lafayette County, Missouri Page 4A Enumeration District 117

1910 Missouri State Census, Montgomery County, Roll MOSC_4716

U.S. Social Security Applications & Claims Index, Ancestry.com

U.S. City Directories 1822-1995, Ancestry.com

Descendants of family members of Rev. Jefferson Franklin Sage

 

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Missouri’s Slaves Emancipated

On January 11, 1865, Arnold Krekel signed the Missouri Constitutional Conventions Proclamation ending slavery here in Missouri.  Krekel, was born in Germany in 1815, served as President of Missouri’s Constitutional Convention when slavery was abolished in Missouri on January 11, 1865. He emigrated with his family to Dutzow, Missouri in November of 1832. The young man moved to searchSt. Charles and attended the  St. Charles College where he studied law. He worked as a surveyor and became a Justice of the Peace as well. In 1844 he graduated the bar and opened his law office. Krekel became the St. Charles County and city attorney from 1846 to 1850. He was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 1852. In 1855, he purchased 320 acres of land, and platted the town of O’Fallon. There his brother Nicholas Krekel, built the first house, and established the town’s Post Office. They established O’Fallon as a town on the Wabash Railroad, with Nicholas the agent.

Krekel Addition

 

Arnold Krekel was editor of the St. Charles German newspaper, Der Demokrat from 1850 until 1864, and when the Civil War began, Krekel served in the Union Army, as Lt. Colonel of a regiment of Missouri volunteers. When the Civil War began, Missouri’s plans for gradual emancipation infuriated the Radical Republicans, who wanted slavery abolished immediately. They took their grievances to Lincoln, who refused to take sides in Missouri’s politics, which infuriated them even more. Provisional Governor Gamble offered to resign, but the First Constitutional Convention would not accept it. Gamble died in office on 31 January 1864. Missouri’s radicals arranged for elections and for a new Constitutional Convention in November 1864, where they elected Thomas C. Fletcher Missouri governor.

Constitutional Convention of 1865

Arnold Krekel, a Democrat, was elected President of the new Constitutional Convention that met in the Mercantile Library in St. Louis on January 6, 1865. On January 11, 1865 the convention, by a 60 to 4 vote, abolished slavery in the state with no compensation for slave owners. A month later the convention also adopted the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution to abolish slavery throughout the U.S..

On March 6, 1865, Krekel was nominated by President Lincoln to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, and confirmed on March 9, 1865. Krekel later taught law at the University of Missouri Law School in Columbia from 1872 to 1875, and continued to as a Judge for the Court until his retirement on June 9, 1888.

 

EmancipationProc

The Abbington Slaves

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About 1837, Henry Abington of Henry County, Virginia (1767-1844) moved west to Missouri. The U.S. financial downturn had caused many of the old plantation owners to look west, to the new territory, the young state and its plentiful lands. The young State had come into the Union with the Missouri Compromise of 1821. Slavery was allowed. He and his wife, the former Elizabeth Johnson brought their huge clan, including their sons Henry (1793-1851) and William (1794-1840) and a large amount of family slaves.

The family would become one of St. Charles County’s largest slave owning families, and would fight, steal and bicker over them in the St. Charles County courts for years. To this day this provides a large amount of legal documents and records that share a story with the Union Army’s 56th Colored Troops and a monument that stands tall today in Jefferson Barracks two hundred years after Granville Abington’s death.

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