Cemetery History

Up to the year 1800, the cemetery was just wilderness, forestland, a couple of miles from the tiny French settlement of La Charrette. In 1799 Jerimiah Groshong obtained the land as part of a Spanish Land Grant. By 1800, Groshong had transferred the land grant to David Bryan, first cousin of Rebecca (Bryan) Boone. David Bryan built his home on the property and farmed the land. [David Bryan was a son of Rebecca's uncle, James Bryan. After David's mother died, he was raised by Daniel and Rebecca.] According to Hazel Atterbury Spraker in her 1922 book, The Boone Family, David established the cemetery in 1803, however we have found no record of burials before Rebecca Boone's in 1813.

Marthasville was described in the gazetteer of Missouri in 1883 as; "First settled in 1801 by Colonel Daniel Boone and his son-in-law, Flanders Calloway, and known then as Calloway's Post, located near the Missouri River, in the southeastern part of Warren County, 20 miles southeast of Warrenton, the county seat, 5 miles north of Washington, on the MP Ry., 60 miles west of St. Louis, and one and one-half miles north of Marthasville Landing, on the Missouri River, the most convenient shipping point."

In March of 1813, Daniel and his wife, Rebecca, were camping, with a few other family members, at a sugar camp about five miles up Charette Creek, from Callaway's Post (present Marthasville), where they often stayed with their daughter, Jemima, and son-in-law, Flanders Callaway. Each year about the first of March, Daniel and Rebecca set up camp at the "Sugar Groves" to make maple sugar for the family. It was a happy time which all enjoyed.

Flanders Callaway house Rebecca became ill. It is thought to have been a particularly cold wet springtime and she may have contracted pneumonia. She rode her horse back down Charette Creek to Jemima's home where she was put to bed and died on March 18th, at the age of seventy-four. Her funeral was held at Jemima's home, then she was laid to rest in a little hilltop cemetery, overlooking Teuque Creek, on the nearby farm of David Bryan. Her burial place was chosen by Daniel. He marked off his own grave there beside her and told his family to be sure they put him there with her when his time came.

In the years that followed, according to family members and Daniel Boone himself, Daniel lived much of the time with Jemima and Flanders at Marthasville so he could be near his beloved Becky's last resting place. Some reported that he would wander away from the farm and later be found sitting beside her grave at the cemetery. They had been married for nearly 57 years. She was his lifelong companion who had gone through all the good and bad times at his side. Daniel missed Rebecca desperately and his health started to decline after her death. He became feeble and sickly and his devoted daughter, Jemima, took care of him.

Daniel had lived at the home of his youngest son, Lt. Colonel Nathan Boone, at Femme Osage, about 12 miles from Marthasville. In September, 1820, he sent word to Nathan that he wanted to come back to the Femme Osage farm. He had asked in the past but Jemima felt he wasn't able to travel and refused to let him go. This last time, she relented and Nathan brought a buggy to Jemima's and took him home. Nathan said that for a few days, he seemed fine and in good spirits, happy to be back, but on the 25th he became so ill that he had to be put to bed. Col. Boone passed away about sunrise of the next morning, the 26th, with his family gathered around him. Jemima had been sent for and was there as well. She and Nathan were at his bedside when he peacefully passed away.

Bryan - Boone Cemetery No one had to think about what should be done - they knew what Daniel wanted. Nathan took his father's body, by wagon, back to Jemima's farm at Marthasville. They laid him out in the Callaway house but so many people showed up for the funeral, that his coffin was moved to the family barn, to make room for them. His grandson-in-law, Rev. James Craig, preached his funeral. When the time arrived, a long sad processional, led by James Bryan, riding horseback and carrying an American flag, delivered Daniel Boone's earthly remains to the little Bryan cemetery to rest beside his Becky, as he had requested.

July 17, 1845
Kentucky Arrived to Disinter the bodies of Daniel and Rebecca Boone

On July 17, 1845, twenty-five years after Daniel Boone died, three men arrived in the Marthasville area, saying they had permission from Colonel Boone's children and from the Missouri State Legislature to disinter the bodies of both Daniel and Rebecca and take them to the Kentucky state capitol of Frankfort, to be reburied in their new cemetery. Records indicate that a committee formed in Kentucky for this purpose had written 3 letters to Nathan Boone asking for permission. However those letters apparently never reached Nathan. They were returned, probably because they were sent to Nathan at St. Charles, Missouri and before 1845 Nathan and his family had moved to Ash Grove, near Springfield, Missouri. Although many have searched, there appears at this time to be no existing record showing that the Missouri State Legislature gave permission. We do not conclusively know that any permission was given.

Flower buds in the snowWe may never know for sure if ALL of Daniel Boone's mortal remains still lie in the grave at the Bryan / Boone Cemetery, but we are sure that large parts of the skeletal remains from the grave that was opened were left behind. Therefore, it is possible that some of Colonel Daniel Boone's remains were taken to Kentucky but we know some were left behind. Our 101 year old local historian, Mr. Ralph Gregory, put it best when he said, "Kentucky may have some of his bones, but Missouri has the most important part - his heart."

Were Daniel Boone's Remains Taken To Kentucky?

Friends of Daniel Boone's Burial Site in Missouri