Brown's Chapel Cemetery
AKA Bourn Cemetery
Flat Creek Township
Pettis County, Missouri
This is mostly a lost cemetery. Fewer people than I have fingers can take you to the general area. Partially destroyed by change of creek flow. Surviving markers now considered lost. (GCW 2004)
We have two recordings. The earliest, Mrs Young's first, and then Mrs. Carter's which was about 15 years later. As expected, they don't agree except generally on the number of markers, Mrs Carter finding more footmarkers implies a more wintry recording. (GCW 2004)
Vesta L. Young DeRiso has donated the recording her mother made that appears below. She explains, "My ggg-grandfather, John Brown, was one of the very first settlers in the county, arriving around 1833. He had land in Flat Creek Township. Some part of that land was later called Wingate Farm. When I was a girl, my mother took me to the family cemetery on that land. We went down a dirt road, across a wooden bridge, long gone, and into woods. The farmer met us there. He said many of the graves were gone, and the creek had changed and washed out a lot of them. He would rebury bones as he found them. I don't remember there being any legible grave markers at that time."
"In going through some of my mother's papers, I found this list of the cemetery at Brown's Chapel (the members of which were later incorporated into the New Bethel Methodist Church). I don't know whether it is listed anywhere else under another name, but it should be called Brown's Chapel Cemetery (Wingate Farm). These names and dates were taken from gravestones in 1950, when she went back to the cemetery with her father, George Vest Elliott. There might have been other graves, but these were the only stones legible in 1950."
Mrs. DeRiso quotes her mother: "When John Brown lived in Missouri, he owned a large acreage at Brown Springs. This was the name of his estate. There was nothing there then. Brown's Chapel was built on his land. Later, a narrow gauge railroad crossed his land and a post office named Valda, Missouri, was established. It no longer exists. The spring still flows, however. This is about 8 miles south of Sedalia via R. 65 on a road just north of New Bethel church"
Updated by Justin Watkins. From Sedalia, take Hwy 65 south about 5 miles to Hwy F, also known as Anderson Road. Go east 1.1 miles to Bethlehem Baptist Church on the south side of the road. Go south immediately after the church on Wingate Rd. Proceed about 1 mile. The road drops down toward Spring Fork Creek, as it loops back to the northeast. In the flat meadow, the road bends to head east. The cemetery is in the forest 50 feet south of the road.