Sunday, January 30, 2011

Union Mission Cemetery

While out looking for cemeteries some friends and I came across a sign on the highway that said "Cemetery". It wasn't on our list of the ones we had planned to visit but we are not the type to pass one up that so gladly volunteers. I am so glad we visited this one.

Union Mission, the first mission in Oklahoma, was organized and established in 1820 among the Osage by the United Foreign Missionary Society (Presbyterian Dutch Reformed). The first school in Oklahoma was opened in 1821 at Union Mission (about 5 miles northeast of Maizie in Wagoner County), with four French-Osage children as the first pupils. (Credits)

This is an overview of the main burial ground.
(1820 - 1835)
Was placed on the
National Registry of
Historic Places
Sept 10, 1971 by the United
States Department of
the Interior.

Union Mission Chapter
National Society
Daughters of the
American Revolution

Union Mission was established in 1820 by the
United Foreign Missionary Society as a
mission to the Osage. It was in existence only 15
years but occupies a unique position in
Oklahoma history. It was the pioneer
institution in bringing Christianity and aspects
of western civilization such as education to
Oklahoma. Here was the site of the first
church, the first school, and the first protestant
wedding. The Union Mission Chapter
National Society Daughters of the American
Revolution feels a pride and obligation to
commemorate the brave spirits who labored

November 7, 1992

Persons listed in the "Union Mission Journal"
as having died at this site between 1822 - 1825
and according to tradition who are buried
in Union Mission Cemetery, baby of Abraham
and Phoebe Beach Redfield - February 8, 1822,
Osage woman - October 17, 1822, Osage infant
October 19, 1822, Infant child of Mr and Mrs.
Fuller - March 9 , 1823, Robert Bake - August 20, 1823,
Charlotte Vaille, Child September 6, 1824,
Jane Redfield, Child - September 9, 1824,
Epaphras Chapman, First Missionary to the Osage -
January 17, 1825.

Inside this structure is the following.
The side panel reads:

Teachers College

This is the top portion.
Memory of
Rev. Epaphras Chapman
who died Jan 1825
Aged 32
First Missionary to the
Stay amoung the heathers, the Lord reigneth.

I found the following in excerpt in "The Christian spectator, Volume 7".

You can read more about Rev. Chapman and the Mission at the following links.
American missionary register, Volume 6 By United Foreign Missionary Society
The Missionary herald, Volume 17 by American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions

"We honor their
memory, we call
their names, they
live again."
Choutea Family Graves
Originally located southwest of
cemetery. Desecrated by
vandals, markers discarded
by farmers late 1900. Rescued
and moved for permanent
memorialization Dec 2001.
Dedicated Apr 4, 2002. Joint
project of: Jean Pierre Choteau
descendants, Union Mission
Chapter Daughters of the
American Revolution, Alphs
Co. Thunderbird Younth
Academy and Oklahoma
Historical Society.

Calvin Coverdell, Bert &
Arlene Nelson, Bill Kemp,
Rainbow Concrete Co and
Witt Monument Co.

Wife of
JA Cheawteaw
Born April 14, 1825
Feb 1, 1856

Daughter of
James & Minerva
was born
??? 20, 1819

Note: Minerva Rogers  married James Augustus Chouteau, son of Auguste Chorteau and Rosalie Lambert. 
James and Henry Chouteau were names listed on the Osage Treaty  of June 2, 1825.

The following were all field stone markers with name plaques placed in front of them.

Charlotte Osage 1823 - 1824 Adopted orphan of George Requa
Osage Infant Died 1822
Osage Woman Died 1822
Moses Osage 1823 - 1824 Baby of Rev. Chapman

Harriett Wooley Montgomery Died 1834

Note: Rev. Montgomery died of either fever or cholera. Harriet, his third wife, died Aug. 27, 1834 at Union Mission also of fever.

Sarah Requa Died 1825 Wife of George Requa
Requa Baby 1825 - 1825 Baby of Sarah and George Requa
Requa Baby 1833 - 1833 Child of Susan and William Requa
Susan Comstock Requa Died 1833

Note: Sarah Clapp was George Requa first wife.
Note: Susan was the first wife of Rev. William Comb Requa

Redfield Child 1827 - 1834 Child of Phoebe and Abraham Redfield
Redfield Child 1831 - 1834 Child of Phoebe and Abraham Redfield
Redfield Child 1829 - 1834 Child of Phoebe and Abraham Redfield
Redfield Child 1833 - 1834 Child of Phoebe and Abraham Redfield
Redfield Child 1822 - 1822 Child of Phoebe and; Abraham Redfield
Redfield Baby 1825 - 1826 Child of Phoebe and Abraham Redfield
Jane Redfield 1823 - 1824 Child of Phoebe and Abraham Redfield

Robert Bake Died 1823
Richard Howard Died 1826 Hired Laborer

Fuller Baby 1823 - 1823 Child of Mr. and Mrs. Fuller
Freed Infant Slave
Charles McCoy 1829 - 1831 Child of Isaac McCoy

Vaill Child 2 1/2 years old
Charlotte Vaill 1823 - 1824

Across the road from this Union Mission Cemetery stands this marker.
On these Premises...
Union Mission
The first mission in Oklahoma
was founded in 1820
by Rev Eraphras Chapman

The First Press
was established and the fist
book printed in 1835

Erected by
Oklahoma Library Association 1935

More information on Rev. Samuel Worcester can be found at the following links.
The life and Labors of Rev. Samuel Worcester, D. D.: former pastor ..., Volume 1
Creating Cherokee Print: Samuel Austin Worcester’s Impact on the Syllabary
Find A Grave


  1. What a great find!! Just goes to show all of us to not pass up a cemetery sign :)

  2. Very interesting. I am still glad you climbed up those steps and not me tho!

  3. Great stuff!!! So interesting.

  4. I discovered this cemetery the same way. I really appreciated finding your blog and the research you did! Glad to discover I'm not the only one who brakes for cemetery signs! ;-)

  5. This cemetery and the old mission, as is Mazie, are in Mayes County, not Wagoner County. I live 2 1/4 miles south of the spot.

  6. The Chouteau family headstones are not originally from Union Mission Cemetery. To the south (and west?) was the Chouteau Family Cemetery, now on private land. From what I've read, the Chouteau Family Cemetery was forgotten and a landowner was clearing land and wound up tossing the headstones in a pile with other stone and rock. The stones are the one in the best condition and place by the Mayes County Historical Society as monuments to the family. The quote the book HISTORICAL HIGHLIGHTS OF MAYES COUNTY,"Chouteau Family: Time and circumstances have not only erased the history of this place but little remains to be seen now." 1977.

  7. Thank you for putting this site on. We just found the cemetery and markers today--not by accident, I'm sure. What a "find." Descendants of Sequoyah and very familiar with Cherokee history, but did not know this existed. Blessings to all the keepers of the flame (our history.

  8. I lived for several years on the back side of this section of land. I would go to the cemetery and sit for hours because of its peacefulness. The Chouteau family graves were on the other side of the railroad bed and were desecrated as well as the stones scattered. The railroad cut through the middle of the cemeteries. When I first went to the cemetery in 1984 there were no permanent markers of any kind, just two recognizable limestone rocks with J R and D R as well as the Osage woman and child. There were rocks to mark graves but no writing on them. It is a very interesting piece of history.