Cameron is a city in Clinton, DeKalb and Caldwell counties in the U.S. state of Missouri. The population was 9,933 at the 2010 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. 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 claimed 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 the 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. Kansas City, Missouri was able to convince the railroad to bypass its rivals in St. Joseph, Leavenworth, Kansas, Atchison, Kansas and Parkville, Missouri to create the “Cameron Branch” of the railroad.
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