by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
If you are looking for the Historic Slaughter Family Cemetery, it is located in the northeast corner of Swan Lake Memorial Gardens, 3105 S. Slaughter Road.
Josiah and Elizabeth (Koger) Slaughter were married on April 19, 1826 in Patrick County, Virginia. According to the 1840 U. S. Census, they were living in Sni-A-Bar Township with their six children. Their daughters were Sarah (Cox), Mary Jane (Harris), Sinea E. (Potts) and Elizabeth M. (Gibson),
The two middle girls married cousins and moved a few miles south to the Stony Point area. They lived on adjoining farms on Harris Potts Road. The Slaughter’s younger son, William Ryland moved to Salisbury, Missouri.
The older son, John Henry married Mary Jane Bowman in 1867. He purchased land adjoining his parent’s property and to the south.
The Historic Slaughter Family plot is probably on the land owned by Josiah, as the first grave in the cemetery was that of Mary Koger, his mother-in-law who died in 1845. Josiah, Elizabeth, Sinia and Levi Potts, John, Mary Jane, and their two infant children are buried at the cemetery.
Also buried there are Robert and Melinda (Stringer) King. They were the parents of Sarah Catherine King, better known as Kate Quantrill, wife of William Clarke Quantrill.
Kate was only 14-years old when she met Quantrill. He and his raiders, numbering some 100 men. were camped at a small spring on her family’s farm (northeast of Blue Springs). She left with him, and they lived mainly in tents for the brief time they were together. After one of the groups more infamous raids, when they burned Lawrence, Kansas, Quantrill left and went to Kentucky. Kate went to St. Louis. When Quantrill was shot, Kate joined him in Kentucky and was with him when he died. They were married only three and a half years. Kate was seventeen. Like Quantrill, she had taken his middle name, Clarke, to avoid being recognized during the war.
In the 1870 U. S. Census, Kate Clarke was living in St. Louis. She was 22- years old and her listed occupation was “whore.”
She ran a high-end business in Old St. Louis for several “successful” years. After the birth of a son, she moved to Oklahoma where she purchased a “ligament” hotel which she ran for many more years. Kate was married three or perhaps four more times.
Eventually Kate returned to Jackson County and lived with a nephew, Authur Dealy until she was quite elderly. She was put in the Jackson County Home for the Aged, commonly known as the Old Folks Home or the Poor Farm.
A newspaper article mentioned she was buried in an unmarked grave at the Maple Hill Cemetery in Kansas. A marker was place there within the last 25 years.
In 1971, a marker appeared at the Slaughter Cemetery, next to the graves of her parents. It was erected by Arthur Dealy and Fred Ford, a neighbor of Dealy.
According to their story, when Kate died a local mortician with the Ketterlin Funeral Home had contracted to bury paupers from the Poor Farm in Maple Hill Cemetery. The body was embalmed, but the mortician suddenly moved to the Ozarks and left the funeral home full of embalmed bodies.
A month passed before Kate’s family was notified. When Dealy learned she had not been buried, he and Ford retrieved the body and brought it to the Slaughter Cemetery to be laid to rest by her parents.
The more one reads about Kate King, the more confused you might become. Was she ever married to Quantrill? While she did live with a nephew near the end of her life, some say it wasn’t Dealy. In fact, some writers do not believe they were even related. In all likelihood, she is buried in Kansas, but then again….
You can visit the Old Slaughter Cemetery and see her memorial gravesite.
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