The Pitman Cemetery in Cottleville, the resting place of one of St. Charles’ Revolutionary War Veterans, is getting a facelift. Jacob’s Ladder (stonesdoneright.com), a well-known cemetery restoration company has started the process of restoring Pitman to its former elegance. Penny Pitman, a descendant of Thomas Pitman, the brother of John Pitman, the Revolutionary War Veteran, spearheaded the effort to restore and fix the stones. She contacted other family members and interested parties and received support from the City of Cottleville, Pitman Funeral Homes, Jim Pitman, and Eric Pitman.
The cemetery had fallen in disrepair over the course of 200 years. About 12 years ago the Saint Charles Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution cleared out the brush and reset some of the stones with the help of Ida and Carl Gerdiman, well known grave restorationists. The Boone-Duden Historical Society helped clean up and restore some of the stones also.
When Lombardo Homes bought the property for the Legacy at Patriot’s Ridge Subdivision, Scott Lewis, Historian for the City of Cottleville, explained to them the significance of the cemetery. Lombardo decided to place a very nice ornamental fence around the cemetery and a beautiful front entrance gate. All through construction, the Lombardo Homes removed brush, cut down dead trees, mowed the grass and took care of the cemetery. The local Saint Charles Chapter of the DAR annually cleans the cemetery with the help of Lombardo Homes and the City of Cottleville. Because of the efforts of Scott Lewis, the importance of the area was not forgotten.
“We are fortunate that individuals and groups like the DAR, Boone-Duden Historical Society and the City of Cottleville have kept track of these early settlers, who included Revolutionary War veterans, and preserved their graves. This is a family burying ground that might have been destroyed without that attention,” said Penny Pitman.
It is believed that about 30 people are buried in the cemetery according to Boone-Duden Historical Society, including some enslaved people. John Pitman served during the Revolutionary War under George Rogers Clark and fought with Daniel Boone at the battle of Boonesborough. He served as St. Charles County Representative to the Missouri Constitutional Convention for statehood, and served as first tobacco commissioner. He had come here with his family in 1811 from Kentucky following along the same pattern as did Daniel Boone and his family.
The Pitman Cemetery is one of 12 cemeteries featured in a countywide Missouri Bicentennial Virtual Cemetery Tour.
Members of the Pitman Family working in the cemetery in 2016. (LR): Sherri Jaudes, Penny Pitman, Tim Pitman, Trish Pitman.
One of the marker stones being restored.