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New Picker’s Cemetery, Gatewood Gardens Cemetery

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Update: Added City plat maps showing boundaries of both New Picker’s/Gatewood Gardens and Sts. Peter and Paul cemeteries to the end of this post in July of 2020.

New Picker’s Cemetery, or Gatewood Gardens Cemetery as it’s now known, possesses some of the oldest history in the City of St. Louis.

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It traces its roots back to Tower Grove East, the current location of Roosevelt High School, but apparently turned into a privately-owned cemetery that went broke.

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German Lutheran institutions are dying out, as seen by the closure of St. Matthew’s United Church of Christ, and this is another example.

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At least it didn’t end up like Old St. Marcus, which was turned into a park and its tombstones removed.

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Here is a detailed report from the St. Louis website on the long, winding history of the cemetery and how it ended up in the city’s hands.

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For those interested in the exact boundaries of New Picker’s/Gatewood Gardens and its neighbor, Sts. Peter and Paul, here are the official plat maps available to all citizens from the City of St. Louis. First up is the north side of Gravois.

The second map is the south side of Gravois. As readers have stated, both cemeteries have parcels on both sides of Gravois, though both have a larger portion on one side: New Picker’s/Gatewood Gardens is primarily on the north side, and Sts. Peter and Paul is primarily on the south side.

22 Comments

  1. Chris, I don’t know if you’ve seen the articles about the burial site of Col. Constantin Blandowski at Gatewood Gardens. He’s buried in the old section at 7212 Gravois. He was supposed to be the 1st Union officer killed in the Civil War- turns out he might have been #2. His grave is unmarked but I don’t think that was always the case- there is the base of a monument at what is reputed to be his grave but the top, which would have had names on it, is long gone. Also adding to the confusion is the fact he is not listed in the cemetery’s on line records. Enjoyed your pictures. Dan Barnidge

  2. Not to be nit picky but the pictures you posted of the three Stamm children’s graves? They’re not in Gatewood Gardens Cemetery. They are in the small portion of Sts. Peter & Paul cemetery on the north side of Gravois next to Gatewood Gardens. Gatewood rarely looks so well maintained.

    • Interesting…yes, it is confusing over that way in the cemetery business.

  3. I was told the first Union soldier was buried near the back of (Old Pickers) Sts. Peter and Paul. I’ll have to do more investigating as Gateway Gardens is just behind the houses across the street from me.

  4. What is the story of the large monument tjere “In Memory of the Old People Who Died in the Home of the Little Sisters of the Poor”?

    • The monument you are referring to is in a portion of Sts. Peter & Paul Cemetery. It too is on both sides of Gravois rd. You can tell if you are in Gatewood Gardens/ Pickers Cemetery or Sts. Peter & Paul by whether or not the grass is cut. The city makes only the minimum effort to care for Gatewood but the Catholic cemetery is always well maintained.

      • Thanks, Dan! I appreciate readers helping out with the boundaries of these two cemeteries.

  5. I do have pictures of the monument but I’m not seeing how I can post them to this site.

      • Thank you. I will. I’m also unclear about a comment above and the physical separation between two cemetery areas. A comment above suggested that the Stamm children monuments are “in the small portion of Sts. Peter & Paul cemetery on the north side of Gravois next to Gatewood Gardens”. When we were in these cemetery areas yesterday we noted a fence separating a seemingly unidentified cemetery area from the identified Gatewood Gardens Cemetery. Are these truly separate cemeteries? The Little Sisters of the Poor monument that I’m wondering about is in the same section as the Stamm children’s monuments. The Little Sisters of the Poor monument has long been surrounded by large expanse of grass without any other tombstones and with the language on the monument I wondered if it was simply a mass burial area for deceased Little Sisters of the Poor home residents.

        • Gary, I suspect that is the case if there is a large expanse of open space. I’m sure the City has the burial plat map. I might try asking around City Hall. As I mentioned before, the City is definitely a reluctant owner of cemeteries nowadays!

  6. Gary, The cemetery office over at Resurrection Cemetery at Watson & Mackenzie rds would have the information you’re looking for. Basically, it comes down to this – if there area you are in is well maintained it belongs to St. Peter & Paul cemetery. If the grounds are pretty rough looking, somewhat overgrown you are in the city owned Gatewood Gardens. Both cemeteries have sections on both sides of Gravois.

    • Interesting…Gatewood Gardens crosses Gravois? I didn’t realize that. SS. Peter and Paul is a very beautiful cemetery. There are not clear fence lines to delineate the two?

      Update: I confirmed this by consulting City property records–how fascinating!

    • Ms. Arndt, you should contact the City of St. Louis, who is now the owner of the cemetery. They are required by law to maintain records of interments. The good news is that is not long ago. He is buried in Section B4P, Lot 85, Grave #85. He was buried in July 19, 1977, according to cemetery records. Here is a link to an image of a map of the cemetery:
      https://images.app.goo.gl/A7DsYsNxxMScpKgW7

  7. I am looking for a relative buried in City Cemetery, owned by City Hospital in St Louis MO. She died in 1854. Any help for me? Her spouse and young family lived in Wisconsin. Wondering why she would have been in Missouri. Maybe a disease or something?

    • Ms. Harvey, there have been several City Cemeteries owned by the City of St. Louis over the last two centuries. In the 1850s, it could have been the cemetery that is now Benton Park. Do you know her name? There were fairly accurate records of deaths recorded in St. Louis.

  8. I am looking for help regarding Gustav Ostermann, said to have died in St. Louis the week before Oct. 5, 1876. Per a translated obituary in German, he was now “at rest at Picker’s Cemetery in St. Louis, where Alfons and Raisin von Zorboni, the old count and his youngest daughter, Alexander Pfeiffer, Caroline Lindermann and a few other members of the German stage also have their last sleep.” I searched through the St. Louis death records… the nearest to possibly him I found was a “Fred Sturmann” that fits the bill. Gustav was associated with the German National Theater. I just wanted to make sure I have him in the right cemetery. Can you please help me? Or direct me to where ever or whomever I need to consult? Thank you so much!!

    • Jen, the short answer is that it is very complicated and there are multiple cemeteries where you ancestor could be buried. If he was buried in Picker’s Cemetery in St. Louis in 1876, that refers to a cemetery that dug up and removed in the early Twentieth Century, and was replaced by Roosevelt High School. The remains of upwards of 35,000 bodies were moved to multiple cemeteries, including what is now Gatewood Gardens, but not all. I live two blocks away from the former location of “Old” Picker’s Cemetery, and there have always been stories in the neighborhood that they did not remove all of the bodies. For more about this story, and other possible cemeteries where your ancestor could have been reburied, consult this document:
      http://www.zioncemeterystl.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Old-Pickers-Cemetery_mmc.pdf
      It may be very difficult to locate him, but there is still a chance.

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