Mission Story Our Museum W.W. Graves Research About Us Links From the Past News

St. Francis Catholic Cemetery

St. Francis Cemetery
The first Osage Mission cemetery was located near the center of the current town of St. Paul, at the edge of the Mission. As settlers moved into the area, the Osage Mission town grew. The decision was made to move the cemetery to a location east of the Catholic Church, on the banks of Flat Rock Creek. St. Francis Cemetery was founded in 1868 and remains were moved from the old Mission Cemetery to this new location.
A visit to the cemetery suggests old and new sections. The oldest graves are in the east section of the field near the creek. However, both sections of the cemetery contain old and new gravestones. Areas of specific interest include the missionary graves, the receiving vault, Osage Indian graves and the grave of W.W. Graves.

Jesuit Graves

Jesuit Missionary Priests

A single area within the eastern section of the cemetery contains the graves of a number of Jesuit clergy who served the Mission. All of the original priests and lay-brothers who arrived at Osage Mission in 1847 are buried here as well as others.

Sisters of Loretto Graves

The Sisters of Loretto who served the Mission were initially buried in a small cemetery south of St. Ann's Academy (south of the present museum building). After the academy was closed, the Loretto Order retained ownership of the land and cemetery for many years. Concerns mounted that the small, private cemetery was not receiving appropriate care. The decision was made to move the graves of the Sisters to St. Francis Cemetery.

In 1930, permission was granted to exhume the graves. When disinterred little remained but a few bones which were carefully placed in new baby coffins. However, one body, that of Mother Bridget Hayden, was placed in an adult coffin because the skeletal remains were in extraordinary condition and her habit was completely preserved.

The graves of the Lorettos are located near the center of the cemetery, near a large round cedar. The body of Mother Bridget is located at the base of that tree.

Note: Visitors are reminded that the cemetery is to be treated with respect.

Sister of Loretto Graves

Back Home