4947 West Florissant Avenue
Saint Louis, MO
Upon completion of the Expedition, William
Clark was appointed Brigadier General of Militia and Superintendent of
Indian Affairs for the Louisiana Territory by President Thomas Jefferson. This
position included dealing with the population growth of the new territory,
ambitious government officials, scheming businessmen, and relations with Native
Americans. Clark held this post for nearly 30 years and he made Saint Louis his
home. Clark married twice, having five children by his first wife, and after a
brief illness, died on September 1, 1838, at the age of 69 in the home of his
son on Broadway near the St. Louis riverfront. Following a grand funeral
procession that was over a mile long, Clark was buried with Masonic and military
honors outside the city, on the farm of his nephew, Colonel John O'Fallon.
Today the gravesite is incorporated within the boundaries of Bellefontaine
Cemetery. A son by his second wife, Jefferson Kearny, bequeathed money for a monument
over the grave, which was erected in 1904. This elaborate granite obelisk also
features a bust of the explorer and an inscription that reads: "SOLDIER, EXPLORER, STATESMAN AND PATRIOT. HIS
LIFE IS WRITTEN IN THE HISTORY OF HIS COUNTRY." The cemetery is also
the final resting site for other famous people including influential Senator
Thomas Hart Benton, Anheuser Busch Brewery founder Adolphus Busch, bridge
builder James Eads, kindergarten innovator Susan Blow, and poet Sara Teasdale.
Maps and information on self guided tours of the grounds are available at the
office to guide visitors to the notable gravesites.
Cemetery and William Clark's grave
cemetery gates are open daily 8 am - 5 pm
office is open Monday - Friday: 8 am - 4 pm.
There is no charge to visit Bellefontaine Cemetery.
Visitors can pick up a self-guided tour book of nearly fifty significant
gravesites at the cemetery office during business hours. A white line down
the center of the roadways makes taking the tour easy.
is located in north St. Louis.
the downtown area, Take I-70 west to Exit 245B (West Florissant Avenue)
Proceed one-sixth of a mile north to the cemetery.
Learn more about the
St. Louis area.