Peculiar, Missouri

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Peculiar is a city in Cass County, Missouri, United States. The population was 2,604 at the 2000 census. The town motto is, appropriately enough, "Where the 'odds' are with you."



Early settlers of the town came to Western Missouri by riverboat from Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Peculiar also had families coming from Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia.[3] On July 29, 1868, the county surveyor, Robert Cass, platted Peculiar and was filed as "The Town of Peculiar".[3]

Peculiar received its name when the first postmaster, Edgar Thomson, had his first choice, Excelsior, rejected because it already existed in Atchison County, Missouri. Several other choices were also rejected. The story goes that the annoyed Thomson wrote to the Postmaster General himself to complain saying, among other things, "We don't care what name you give us so long as it is sort of 'peculiar'." Thomson submitted the name "Peculiar" and the name was approved. The post office was established on June 22, 1868.[4]

In 1953 Peculiar was incorporated and became a fourth class city of the state of Missouri.[3]

The city celebrated its centenary in July 1968. The celebrations continued for nine days and included an antique show and sale, a Lions Club championship rodeo, and an open class Western horse show.[5]


Peculiar is governed by a Mayor / Board Of Aldermen type system. The mayor is elected to a two year term. The Board Of Aldermen is composed of six members. Two members are elected from each of the three wards in the city. One alderman is elected each year for each ward to serve a two year term.[6]


Peculiar is located at 38°43′15″N 94°27′24″W / 38.72083°N 94.45667°W / 38.72083; -94.45667 (38.720896, -94.456733) at an elevation of 991 ft. [7]

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