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Sappington Cemetery State Historic Site

Sappington Cemetery State Historic Site
County Road AA
Nelson Missouri 65347


Sunrise to sunset.
(660) 837-3330
lat: 39.0329375 long: -93.0070952

Dr. John Sappington (1776-1856) a prominent pioneer physician of Saline County, Missouri, established this family cemetery in 1831. The two-acre cemetery contains 110 known graves and is enclosed by a stone wall topped with an iron picket fence constructed in 1859. The cemetery contains the graves of two Missouri governors; Meredith Miles Marmaduke (1791-1864) and Claiborne Fox Jackson (1806-1862)

Dr. Sappington refined and began mass-marketing quinine in pill form to treat malarial fevers by 1832. He wrote in 1844, The Theory and Treatment of Fevers, the first medical treatise published west of the Mississippi River.

Dr. Sappington was a power broker in the Missouri Democrat Party. His political dynasty expanded substantially when two son-in-laws-Meredith Miles Marmaduke and Claiborne Fox Jackson and one grandson John Sappington Marmaduke each became Missouri governors. An educational trust fund established by the Doctor continues to provide scholarships to local students.

The architecture and symbolism of the cemetery reflects the concepts of the afterlife held in the 19th century.

The facility is administered by Arrow Rock State Historic Site and is located on Route AA Spur five miles southwest of Arrow Rock.

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