Sappington Cemetery State Historic Site

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.

Contact Information

Michael Dickey - Natural Resource Manager I
Reservations and Information:
(660) 837-3330

State Highway Aa, Nelson, Missouri 65347, United States

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Other Information

  • Hours Open

    Sunrise to sunset.
  • Seasons Open

    Year round. Entry road may be closed during periods of heavy snow and ice.
  • Prices and Fees

  • Accessibility

    The cemetery is not ADA accessible but can be viewed in its entirety from the parking lot. An interpretive panel is adjacent to the parking lot.

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