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St. Louis County
15290 Old Halls Ferry R
Florissant, MO 63033

Historical Significance:

Cold Water Cemetery (CWC) is considered by historians to be the oldest Protestant cemetery west of the Mississippi River still in use.  Located in Florissant Valley in St. Louis County, it was originally the Patterson family burial ground, established on a small portion of the 1500 arpents (an arpent is a French measurement almost equal to an acre), of a land grant acquired from it was given to Patriot John Patterson, an American Revolutionary War soldier who is buried there.  John Patterson Sr., gathered his family and with many of his friends and relatives, journeyed by wagon train from the Carolinas, after the Revolutionary War eventually arriving in the Cold Water Creek area around 1797.  They began to acquire land which was from Spanish land grants, as the area was under Spanish Rule at the time.  This area was called “The Patterson Settlement.”   The Spanish were Catholics and this new breed of settlers being protestant, was difficult for the Spanish to understand.  The Pattersons retained their Protestant faith through the services of a Methodist Minister known as “Father Clark.”  The first protestant church services were held in private homes in the area of Cold Water Cemetery in 1809 by Reverend Clark.  He crossed the Mississippi from Illinois to Missouri at night to be met on the other side by a covert connection, who would ride with him to a secret spot arranged by the Pattersons.  Before dawn Clark would slip back across the river before being captured and prosecuted for his heresy of promoting Protestantism.  The scene was repeated hundreds of times until the attitudes softened and the hierarchy became more sympathetic to Protestants.  Clark was probably the first Protestant minister to preach on this side of the river and, at the turn of the century, was making regular visits to the settlements along Cold Water Creek.  The first church building erected there was in 1808-1809.  Legend is that an eight-cornered Methodist church in the shape of a cross was established and the cemetery, which was to become Cold Water, was established on the circumference of the church grounds.  The church was destroyed by fire and a second church called the Cold Water Church/Union Meeting House was begun in 1832; it took 38 years to complete the Meeting House.  The Church was said to be used by the Methodists, Baptists, and an early Presbyterian congregation.  It, too, is believed to have burned.  The church disappeared but the cemetery endured.

Twenty nine veterans from nine wars that wore the “cloth of our Nation” are interred at Cold Water Cemetery.  They fought for freedom and peace on strange and foreign shores that enable us to enjoy the freedoms of today:
 
REVOLUTIONARY WAR:  John Clark, Eusebius Hubbard, John Patterson, Sr.
 
WAR OF 1812:  Clement Brown, John Evans, George Henderson, Cumberland James, Elisha Patterson, John Patterson, Jr., Sanders Patterson, William Patterson
 
SEMINOLE WAR:  Elijah Hawkins
 
CIVIL WAR:  Edward M. Blackburn, Walter Carrico, Elisha Harris, John W. Harris, James B. Hume, Henry Louis Lillard, James M. Thompson
 
MEXICAN WAR:  Nicholas Blacklock Douglass
 
WORLD WAR I:  James M. Jones, James M. Patterson
 
WORLD WAR II:  John Burton Davis, Gerald Arthur Geiger, James E. Hume, Edward Koeneman
 
KOREAN WAR:  Wayne McDonald, Kenneth Dale Duncan
 
VIETNAM ERA:  William D. Meyer

Eighteen members of NSDAR are at rest in MSSDAR Cold Water Cemetery, our beloved treasure in the woods.  Each Daughter spent countless hours, days, months and years as members of our Society dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America’s future through better education for our children.   Among those Daughters buried in Cold Water Cemetery is Lola Deckard Poikert, O’Fallon Chapter, NSDAR.  Lola, as a member of the Cold Water Cemetery Association approached the State Society about accepting the gift of Cold Water Cemetery from the Association.  This suggestion was brought to the 1963 State Conference.  After inspecting the cemetery on a tour, they voted to accept this gift.  Memorial Day, 1963 was the date set for the dedication, unfortunately Lola Poikert, died just before the dedication and was laid to rest in Cold Water Cemetery.
 
Daughters to date buried in Cold Water Cemetery are:
Beverly Wade Koeneman Aach
Sharon D. Lawbaugh Bail
Lonabess Wilcoxon Barnett
Lucy Franklin Bridges
Louree Peoples Diggs
Elizabeth Dodge Huenergarth
Dorothy Kirkpatrick Hume
Margaret Patterson Hume
Sandy Roach Johnson
Maud C. Lefferdink
Mildred Gentzsch Meyer
Carolyn Rhodes Mitchell
Pauline Sturgeon Pittenger
Dorothy Lefferdink Poikert
Lola Deckard Poikert
Anna Lee Coleman Sutherland
Rosemary Fuqua Wehmer
Elizabeth Cox White

 

Form Submitted By: Missouri State Society, NSDAR 1/23/2015
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