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

Hope Cemetery



Hope Cemetery
Osage Mission was founded by Jesuits, a religious order of Catholic priests and brothers. As settlers flowed into the area, many were of Protestant faiths. While harsh, by current standards, non-Catholic settlers were not allowed to be buried in the St. Francis Cemetery. For several years, settlers were buried in small cemeteries scattered throughout the area or at family homes. In 1874, Hope Cemetery was established one mile north of the Mission. Over time, many graves were relocated from smaller graveyards or home plots. However, it is believed that as many as 30 unmarked graves may still exist within the city limits of St. Paul.
Cemeteries provide a connection to the past and a timeline which allows us to piece together the story of early settlers. Some stones within Hope Cemetery reflect the tumultuous nature of the Civil War era and the frontier.



McMillin grave

Dr. McMillin's gravestone is
located about 50 feet northwest of
the cemetery's central flagpole.
Dr. G.W. McMillin
By the time Dr. McMillin arrived at Osage Mission in 1869 he had distinguished himself as a physician, a U.S. Cavalry surgeon and contract surgeon-in-charge of the United States General Hospital in Ashland, Kentucky. Upon his arrival at the Mission Dr. McMillin served the community and settlers with a passion similar to his previous duties. As a leading figure in the Settler's League he spent heavily from his private fortune to gain a favorable resolution to an attempt by the railroad to gain possession of settler's property.

An event on the evening of April 14, 1865 secured a spot in history for Dr. McMillin. He was among a group of military officers and surgeons in the audience the evening of President Lincoln's assassination. According to Dr. McMillin's obituary "...the doctor sprang to a column, up which by the help of some of the officers, he clambered into the box where the president lay, being the first surgeon there, and at once saw and pronounced the wound to be mortal: and then assisted in removing the sufferer from the scene of his martyrdom." There is dispute as to whether it was Dr. McMillin or Army Surgeon Dr. Charles Leale who initially pronounced the wound as fatal. However, museum research has confirmed that McMillin did arrive at Fort Stoneman (Washington D.C.) approximately four weeks prior to the assassination. His stature as an officer and surgeon makes it likely that he could have been among the doctors present at Ford Theater on that evening.
The Scott Stone

There are several very old and beautiful tombstones in Hope Cemetery that provide links to pioneers born 200 or more years ago. Many of these stones reflect events of the era. A large number of Civil War tombstones give evidence to this link.

One tombstone, that of Frank H. Scott, reminds us that problems were occasionally solved with violence, even in our own town. Mr. Scott was shot to death at the intersection of Main and County streets on September 26, 1883. Will H. Mouser was arrested, charged with the crime, and later cleared in a district court trial. Newspaper accounts report that Mr. Mouser was subsequently called before the city government and asked to leave town -- Now!

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


Scott Grave

Frank Scott's gravestone
proclaims that he was assassinated
September 26, 1883



Back Home