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Name:  Gatewood Gardens Cemetery
Address:  7212 Gravois Ave and 7135 Gravois Ave
Year:  1862
Religious Group:  German Evangelical
Ethnic Group:  German
Property Type Codes:  Other
Ward:  12
Neighborhood:  6
Gatewood Gardens Cemetery began with a small congregation of Germans in 1832. They organized the German Evangelical Church and held services in a small schoolroom on Fourth Street, just south of Washington Avenue in 1834. Two years later a gentleman named George Wendelin Wall arrived in St. Louis and became the pastor of the now named German Independent Protestant Evangelical Church of The Holy Ghost. In four years Pastor Wall was able to raise enough money to purchase the First German Church on August 9, 1840. He remained the pastor for three years before a new pastor took over the congregation.

Frederick Picker began his ministry in October of 1843, and by the time he retired in January of 1855 he had accomplished many things. He averaged 420 baptisms and 225 weddings a year, and was instrumental in purchasing ground for a cemetery located on a 20-acre lot. The cemetery was located in the Kansas-Wyoming-Louisiana-Arsenal area in South St. Louis. It opened in 1845 and was called the Holy Ghost Evangelical and Reformed Cemetery. Many victims of the great cholera epidemic of 1849 were interred there and the last recorded burial in this cemetery was in 1901. The cemetery acquired the nickname, "Picker´s Cemetery," and was commonly called such by the people of the congregation as well as the surrounding areas.

In 1862 the German Protestant Church bought a new cemetery, and called it the Independent Evangelical Protestant Cemetery. It is located at Gravios and Hampton and like the old German cemetery took the name of pastor Picker. IT became known as New Picker´s Cemetery. This cemetery truly became Picker´s new cemetery, when all the burials at the original cemetery were moved to this location by 1916.

An additional plot of land was purchased across the street (Gravios) and New Picker´s Cemetery became Old Picker´s, while the new plot became New Picker´s. The Cemetery remained in the hands of the congregation for many years before eventually being purchased by another church in 1978. This began the downward steps of the cemetery. In 1981 the cemetery would begins its trip through different individual ownership, and the cemetery´s next 15 years would be in continual decline. At this time the cemetery´s name was also changed to Memorial Gardens, and later it would be changed to its current name. When the City of St. Louis seized Gatewood Gardens Cemetery in 1996, the owners owed back taxes totaling more than $234,000. In the past six years there have been many improvements on the land and the records of the cemetery.



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