Sarah Elizabeth Cheek Yow

Sarah Elizabeth Cheek Yow

Sarah Elizabeth Cheek Yow 1849-1931

Sarah Elizabeth Cheek Yow was my great grandmother on my father, Raymond Yow’s side. She was said to be full blooded Cherokee, which I have tried unsuccessfully to document. She was born in Marble Hill MO. She had 10 siblings that I know about. Of course, in those days birth certificates were not legally required.

She was a tiny woman compared to her husband, Louis Calvin Yow.

SOME YOW'SShe outlived ‘Cal’ by over 15 yrs. At some point in time she went to live with her son Fred Yow, pictured on the right in the above photo holding a child, probably his daughter. Fred had moved to Arkansas and that is where Sarah lived until her death in Clay County, Arkansas in 1931. (Cal had died in 1915)

According to her death certificate, her body was brought to Cape by train and buried in the City Cemetery (now known as Fairmount). However, the sexton of Fairmount had no record of her burial location. This was quite puzzling and it took me on a search to find out the truth of the matter. For months I followed every lead I could come up with but to no avail. The sexton had shown me where Louis Calvin Yow was buried (even though there was no marker, he had old records showing the location). He also told me that there was someone buried on each side of him, but neither of them was his wife, Sarah. *

Older family members told me that she was buried with Louis Calvin. So, somebody is wrong I thought.

But, finally, the truth was discovered. There was a family member still living who remembered that Sarah was buried with Louis Calvin, but not beside him. She was buried at his feet. Mystery solved.

One of the family members said that she may have been buried at his feet in death but that she definitely WAS NOT AT HIS FEET in life. 🙂 (I knew I liked that woman)

Thanks to my brothers, there is now a tombstone at the grave with both Louis Calvin & Sarah listed on it. I know I have a photo of it somewhere but I can’t find it. If I do find it, I will update this post with the photo.

*Legend has it that Indians were not allowed to be buried in white cemeteries, so some members of the family went in to the cemetery at night and buried Sarah there. I don’t know if this is in fact true but I do know that I was told in Marble Hill (when I was still searching for Sarah) that I would not find any tombstones for anyone of Indian heritage because it was not allowed. Others have said that Indians did not want to be buried in white cemeteries. They preferred to just walk off and die somewhere.

Whatever the reason(s) were, the only tombstones I found for Indians in the Marble Hill area were for Indian women who had married prominent white men.

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8 Responses to Sarah Elizabeth Cheek Yow

  1. Terry Hopkins says:

    ANOTHER GREAT Story!….Thanks for adding a human story to picture.

    • darlajune says:

      Thank you Terry! I so appreciate all your comments. It encourages me to keep digging.

      On Tue, Oct 22, 2013 at 7:18 PM, Sprigg Street Memories, Cape Girardeau,

  2. Pingback: My GGG Grandfather?? | Sprigg Street Memories, Cape Girardeau, Missouri, 1960's

  3. Janie K. says:

    Hi there! I am part of this Yow line and have been told throughout the years as well that we have Cherokee/Cherokowoa??? blood. I was told that we are related to Geronimo but I have not yet made that connection. I would love to share! My email is, I would love to hear from you.

  4. jessica says:

    One of my grandmothers was Patience Cheek sister to yours.She married a Welker.

  5. Kati says:

    Studying up my history and discovering I’m related to Sarah Elizabeth Cheek Yow too, through their daughter Martha Catherine Yow Keeton. She could be one of the unknown women in your picture. Do you know when the picture was taken? Maybe the middle aged lady is Martha and the little girl could be her daughter, Edna Rosetta Keeton???

    • darlajune says:

      I remember Aunt Martha. I knew her when I was a little girl. I don’t think that is her in this photo but I could be wrong. Thanks for the comment.

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