Koch Tubercular Hospital Cemetery

Koch Tubercular Hospital was built and operated by the City of St. Louis (with on-again, off-again financial assistance from the State of Missouri). It was located 15 miles south of St. Louis city limits, in present-day Oakville, Missouri (Koch Road and Robert Koch Hospital Road still exist and may be viewed in Google Maps).

The hospital was originally known as the Quarantine-Smallpox Hospital, and its initial occupants suffered from yellow fever, diphtheria, typhoid fever, and leprosy as well as smallpox. In 1910, it was renamed Robert Koch Hospital, and its focus turned to tuberculosis, which by that time was claiming more St. Louis residents than all other infectious diseases combined. The hospital’s namesake was a noted German physician and microbiologist who identified the causative agents of cholera, anthrax, and tuberculosis. The hospital provided free medical care to victims of the disease, and as a result maintained long waiting lists of anxious prospective patients throughout its existence.

While some deceased patients were buried in the hospital cemetery in marked graves, many who died during epidemics were buried en masse in a number of sinkholes on the property. Many persons who were formally buried received wooden markers, which were unfortunately subject to weathering or theft for use as firewood. A fire in the late 1880s also destroyed some records of the hospital and cemetery.

Some records of the hospital cemetery do still exist, however, and can be searched in Ancestry Library Edition (Ancestry LE). Use the Card Catalog to select this record collection:

U.S., Find a Grave Index, 1600s-Current Results

You can search for specific individuals, or you can do a general search for persons interred there:

SEARCH—CEMETERY Koch Tubercular (Exact)

Combining cemetery search with year of death reveals that burials (or records of burials, in any event) began occurring on a regular basis in 1863.

Search results generally include:

    Death Date
    Burial or Cremation Place
    Has Bio? Y or N (on the Find a Grave page)
    Link (to the Find a Grave page)

Search results may also include:

    Birth Date (usually just year)
    Birth Place (usually just state or country)

You can use Ancestry LE at Central Library or any of our branches.

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