Cameron, Missouri

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Cameron is a city in Clinton and DeKalb Counties in the U.S. state of Missouri. The population was 8,312 at the 2000 census.

The Clinton County portion of Cameron is part of the Kansas City, MO–KS Metropolitan Statistical Area, while the DeKalb County portion is part of the St. Joseph, MO–KS Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

History

One of the first settlers was Isaac Baldwin in 1830 who, according to town history, operated a “house of entertainment” in the community and sold whiskey for 25 cents a gallon and for $20 would take people 40 miles to St. Joseph, Missouri in 48 hours.[3]

The town was between the second and third largest cities in Missouri prior to the American Civil War. The route connecting them was called the "Hound Dog Trail."

Another event during the pre-Civil War period has made it into a major stopping point of Mormons visiting historical sites of the early era of the church including Far West 10 miles to the south, where church founder Joseph Smith, Jr. surrendered after the Hauns Mill Massacre 10 miles to the east during the Mormon War.

In 1854 Samuel McCorkle platted the town of Somerville. When the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad (a line whose founders included the father of Mark Twain and which was to deliver the first mail of the Pony Express) proposed coming through the area, the line said the area around Somerville was too steep for the rail so he platted a new community 1.5 miles to the west in what is now "Olde Towne" Cameron. The town platted in 1855 was named for maiden name of his wife Malinda Cameron. McCorkle Park is still Cameron's centerpiece park.

During the 1860s as fierce competition raged for the starting point of the First Transcontinental Railroad there was competition to get the Hannibal & St. Joseph (which at the time was the farthest west railroad connected to the main rail network) to cross the Missouri River. Omaha, Nebraska was to win the fight when the Union Pacific started the railroad west from there. However there was no bridge connecting it to the rest of the network.

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