Father Dickson Cemetery
The resting place of underground railroad pioneer Moses Dickson. After travelling the south and settling in the St. Louis area, he organized he Knights of Liberty who played a vital role in the Underground Railroad in St. Louis, MO. He was also an ordained minister.
Father Dickson Cemetary
Backstory and Context
Father Dickson Cemetery was established in 1903 and named after Moses Dickson. On October 6, 2021, the cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Father Dickson Cemetery was established on August 30, 1903, and is 12.36 acres purchased from the Sappington family. The International Order of the Twelve Knights and Daughters of Tabor members established the Father Dickson Cemetery Association in 1903. Father Dickson’s remains were relocated to the cemetery in 1903, and a midnight service was held.
Initially, ownership of the cemetery grounds was in the hands of shareholders Fred Authenreith, W.D. Turner, R.L. Johnston, and T. R. Appel. The property would be sold when Fred Authenreith passed away. Fred Authenreith was buried at Father Dickson Cemetery. The property changed hands many times before landing with the DiLiberto family. Under the ownership of the DiLiberto family, the cemetery records would be donated to the St. Louis County Library.
The DiLiberto family would struggle to maintain the grounds at Father Dickson Cemetery. Over the years, they would attempt to sell the property, and once the Friends of Father Dickson Cemetery group was established, they would often butt heads with the group over the maintenance of the grounds.
In 1988, the Friends of Father Dickson Cemetery group was established. To this day, the group has been instrumental in the maintenance and preservation of the cemetery, and in 2021 Father Dickson Cemetery became a registered historic site.
“Annual Clean up of FDC.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 25 May 2000, p. 119, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/98791461/annual-clean-up-of-fdc/.
“Cleaning up Father Dickson Cemetery Part 2.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 11 Aug. 1971, p. 86, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/98789671/cleaning-up-father-dickson-cemetery/.
“Colored Lodges to Dedicate Cemetery.” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, 25 Aug. 1903, p. 9, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/98783611/father-dickson-remains-relocated-to/.
“DiLiberto Family Ready to Sell Father Dickson Cemetery Part 1.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 3 Oct. 1988, p. 59, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/98789775/diliberto-family-ready-to-sell-father/.
“DiLiberto’s Acquire Father Dickson Cemetery in 1969, Closed It in 1970.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 12 Aug. 1971, p. 62, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/98788816/dilibertos-acquire-father-dickson/.
“Early Users Give Thumbs Up To Trail Extension.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 1 Nov. 2006, p. B004, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/98792025/fdc-trail-extension-part-1/.
“Enslaved Persons Who Built Historic Hawken Home Buried at Father Dickson.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 2 Mar. 1955, p. 54, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/98787415/enslaved-persons-who-built-historic/.
“Family Ready to Sell Father Dickson Cemetery Part 2.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 3 Oct. 1988, p. 64, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/98789983/family-ready-to-sell-father-dickson/.
“Father Dickson Cemetery Is Formally Dedicated.” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, 31 Aug. 1903, p. 12, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/98783917/father-dickson-cemetery-is-formally/.
“Father Dickson Cemetery Volunteers Help Maintain Property.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 20 Apr. 1997, p. 39, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/98790983/father-dickson-cemetery-volunteers-help/.
“Father Moses Dickson Cemetery Offers Records.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 4 Apr. 2002, p. 115, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/98791783/fdc-records-donated-to-stl-county/.
“FDC and Bellefontaine Mentioned Together.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 25 Mar. 2002, p. 87, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/98791935/fdc-and-bellefontaine-mentioned-together/.
“FDC Clean up History PART 2--Mention of Committee.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 22 Oct. 2001, p. 91, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/98791604/fdc-clean-up-history-part-2-mention-of/.
“Groups Are Trying to Save History Buried in Old Black Cemeteries.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 22 Oct. 2001, p. 90, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/98791544/fdc-clean-up-focus-on-history/.
“Mes. DiLiberto Has Dispute with Father Dickson Cemetery Association.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 22 Sept. 1972, p. 58, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/98788275/mes-diliberto-has-dispute-with-father/.
“New Incorporations.” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, 2 July 1903, p. 2, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/98784167/father-dickson-shareholders/.
“Plans to Clean up Father Dickson Cemetery Part 1.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 11 Aug. 1971, p. 85, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/98789521/plans-to-clean-up-father-dickson/.
“Rheumatism Fatal to Political Leader and Hotel Man of County.” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, 18 Sept. 1909, p. 4, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/98783471/obituary-for-autenrieth-director-of/.