2008 Hall of Fame
Col. F. Michael Tiernan - Engineer, Surveyor, Lawyer
Tiernan was Cameron’s first lawyer, but his claim to fame involves the railroad. In 1847, Cameronite George Smith, who later became Lt. Governor, successfully petitioned the Missouri Legislature to establish a Hannibal-to-St. Joseph rail line, but there was no capital to build it nor even lay out the route. Tiernan and his company of volunteer engineers surveyed the entire 206-mile route in just 80 days stimulating the sale of railroad stock. In 1862, Congress gave railroads an incentive by giving them alternate sections of land on each side of the tracks. That was enough to get things rolling, and the line was completed to Cameron on November 7, 1858. The first train arrived at Cameron February 13, 1859.
The Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad achieved a number of firsts: It was first to cross the entire state of Missouri and it was the first to use mail cars with mail sorted in transit speeding delivery.
Tiernan also helped form the original town company along with Samuel McCorkle and others establishing Cameron.
Silas Hunter Corn - Soldier, Lawyer, Businessman, Teacher
Corn was born in 1840 in Ohio where he joined the Ohio Volunteer Infantry as a Union soldier in the Civil War. He was captured by Rebel forces during the Battle of Vicksburg, Mississippi and spent five months as a POW in Confederate prisons for which he received a military pension. He later blamed poor health on his captivity, despite living nearly nine decades.
After the war, Corn received a law degree from Western and Union College in Cleveland, Ohio and began practicing law in West Virginia. In 1869 he followed his two brothers to Cameron, established a law practice and partnered with L. E. Burr to form a hardware and implement business known as Burr and Corn. In 1878, Corn was one of the charter directors of Farmers Bank at Third & Main which was reorganized in 1934 as Farmers State Bank.
In 1881 Burr & Corn built a three-story brick building on the southeast corner of Third & Chestnut with an elevator big enough to hoist a loaded freight wagon to the top floor. The second story provided an apartment and space for his law office. Also in 1881, Corn built a home at 712 South Walnut in which he lived until his death in 1929.
In 1883, Corn joined eight other prominent Cameron businessmen to establish the Cameron Institute which later became Missouri Wesleyan College and which closed in 1930. Corn served on the founding board and taught commercial law for ten years at the college. Both of Corn’s daughters received degrees from Wesleyan and one taught Latin, rhetoric and composition there. Five generations of the Corn family are buried in the family plot at Graceland Cemetery in Cameron.
George W. Stoner - Mayor, Activist, Agent
Stoner was born on January 13, 1835 to German parents and moved to Cameron in 1868. He became a renowned real estate agent and sold property in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. He was a strong supporter of educational and religious initiatives and is remembered as a community activist. Stoner’s son, W.J., became mayor of Cameron and was drum major in the Cameron Military Band, a precursor of today’s Municipal Band.
Stoner died on November 15, 1925 at the age of 90.
W. G. Sloan - Craftsman, Mason, Banker
Twenty-year-old W.G. Sloan, a Canadian marble craftsman, ventured to Cameron in 1872 and opened Sloan Marble Works on the west side of McCorkle Park. He traveled the countryside by horse and buggy to sell the area’s first gravestones which were mostly marble slabs. He is recorded as saying “I would make a sale, return to the shop and carve the inscription, haul the stone to the cemetery and set it. Then I’d have to collect my money.”
Sloan attained American citizenship and became active in the Presbyterian Church as well as the Masonic Lodge. He also served as director and vice president of the Farmers Bank.
Around 1885, Sloan began stocking granite and became the territory’s first agent for premium brands such as Ruby Red and Rock of Ages. He had as many as ten employees during peak seasons prior to Memorial Day. A journeyman stonecutter earned about two dollars for a ten-hour day, six days per week, which is two or three times the wage of a common laborer. Many of Sloan’s workers were itinerant craftsman who taught his sons, Craig and Roy, the skills of stone carving. Gravestones were hauled to cemeteries by horse and wagon.
Many of Sloan’s enduring monuments are notable. The 28-foot tall Tuggle Monuments in Packard Cemetery were manufactured in 1887 by Italian artisans in Vermont , shipped by rail to Cameron, and hauled to the cemetery in a log wagon pulled by a steam engine. Farmer Jonathan Tuggle’s will specified that $10,000 be spent for monuments for himself and his wife, Polly.
Another Sloan enterprise was the 1888 monument in the Liberty, Missouri cemetery for General Alexander W. Doniphan who commanded U.S. troops in the 1848 Mexican-American War. However, most unusual is the pair of ornate stone columns in the Plattsburg cemetery for Mr. & Mrs. H.A. Shafer. Mr. Shafer was apparently proud of his six-foot, six-inch stature which is engraved on his stone of that same height. That of his 5-7 wife is shown on her shorter version. W.G. retired in 1922.
W.G.’s descendent, Harold Sloan, observed that the grave of Jesse James in Kearney was unmarked and that the original stone had been chipped away by souvenir hunters. With permission of the outlaw’s relatives, he replaced it with a granite marker imbedded in concrete.
Nathan Goodrich - Namesake, Financier, Educator
N.S. Goodrich moved to Cameron in 1867 and took an interest in education. He served 50 years on the Cameron School Board, and his beneficiaries named Goodrich Auditorium in his honor.
Goodrich helped form the Cameron Building and Loan Association in 1887 and served as its president from 1888 until 1902. It became Cameron Savings and Loan in 1946. The institution’s first financial statement on December 31, 1908 showed a balance of $17,120. Its original office was in the “Telephone Building” at 309 N. Main St. Goodrich spread the financial wealth and helped form the Farmers Bank of Missouri (later Farmers State Bank) in 1878.