2007 Hall of Fame
Charles Ira (C.I.) Ford - Developer, Founder, Banker, Patron
Ford was a Massachusetts farmer whose family moved to Cameron in 1866. He acquired some 250 acres south of the railroad and sold the land as building lots in subdivisions named after him. Ford Street also honors his achievements, but Ford is best known for his generosity. In 1907 he bought two lots at 3rd & Walnut and donated them to the YMCA under the condition that the “Y” would erect a $10,000 building within three years. But, a few months later, Ford contributed the entire $15,000 needed to construct the building himself and the “Y” opened in 1907 using the top floor for “Y” activities and renting retail space below to provide income. The new “Y” even included a library with 3,500 volumes.
Ford also helped found Missouri Wesleyan College by donating his farmstead and several acres of land. His barn became South Hall serving as a library and gymnasium while Ford Hall became a chapel.
Ford served as the first president of the Farmers Bank and as Cameron mayor while a corner of his farm became Evergreen Cemetery. A contemporary account described Ford as Cameron’s “generous gentleman”. He died in 1914.
Major Albert T. Baubie - Merchant, Veteran, Postmaster, Entrepreneur
Called the “Father of Cameron”, Baubie was born in Windsor, Canada in 1829 and became a steamboat clerk, Indian trader, railroad agent and bookkeeper. He purchased the Ray and Somerville Mercantile Store just before it was moved as one of the three buildings of Somerville to Cameron in 1855. The merchandise acquired included a barrel of whiskey which Baubie reportedly dispensed to spectators on hand to watch as oxen pulled the buildings. His new store at 3rd & Walnut contained the post office, so Baubie became Cameron’s first postmaster. When the railroad came through Cameron in 1858, he added ticket and freight agent to his resume.
Baubie joined the Union Army during the Civil War and rose to the rank of Major, a title he bore throughout his life. The Army offered him the permanent rank of Captain after the war, but he declined and returned to Cameron where, in 1867, he helped incorporate the town and was appointed the City’s first mayor, a post he had to later resign when he moved outside the city limits into DeKalb County. Baubie established Cameron’s first lumberyard and eventually owned four more.
After an 1870 fire, Baubie saw the need for insurance protection and established the community’s first insurance agency. One year later, another fire destroyed most of the business district and one-third of the town’s residences, but he was a good salesman and his policies covered 75% of the $160,000 loss. Baubie died in 1890 and a stained glass window in St. Munchin Catholic Church bears his name.
Samuel McCorkle - Trader, Planter, Designer, Namesake
McCorkle began his ventures by planting an apple orchard and supplying apples to local Indian tribes. The apple trade turned into a trading post and, with partners, McCorkle laid out the plan for the three-block town of Somerville in 1854. The site was along the proposed route of a planned railroad and the partners began construction of several buildings. When the partners learned that the grade at Somerville was too steep for trains to stop and start, the group moved the three largest buildings 1 ½ miles west using eight oxen to what is now 3rd & Walnut Streets.
McCorkle then laid out the plan for a new town, which he named Cameron in honor of his wife, Malinda, and her family. Malinda’s father, Elisha, was a veteran of the War of 1812 and a notable Clay County judge. McCorkle’s plan included a square block in the heart of the town which became McCorkle Park. McCorkle died July 26, 1856, just one year after he helped found Cameron.
William Gordon McDaniel - Trustee, Namesake, Trader
McDaniel joined forces with Samuel McCorkle to establish a trading post in 1854 included in the town of Somerville which was named after the Ray and Somerville Mercantile, one of the new ventures in the infant community. McDaniel, McCorkle and their peers anticipated a railroad stop, but the steep grade prevented it, so the group gathered up oxen and moved their buildings west to what became Cameron. When McDaniel’s wife, Amanda, died in 1841, he established the 20-acre McDaniel Cemetery, and, as a City Trustee, he sold the first cemetery plots. The site also contains the bodies of the McCorkle family and was given to the City in 1950. The north border of the cemetery contains the unmarked graves of black slaves.