Charles A. Leibrandt, Jr. - Jeweler, Merchant, Originator
The Leibrandt family figures prominently in Cameron’s history beginning with the immigration of Dr. C.A. Leibrandt to America from Germany in 1829. He studied medicine in Philadelphia and Charleston, South Carolina. Dr. Leibrandt married in Columbus, Ohio and migrated west, settling in Cameron in 1865 with a town population of less than 200. He reportedly received a $20 gold piece from Jesse James for treating the outlaw’s wounds. Dr. Leibrandt was the third physician to practice in Cameron between 1865 and 1900 when he passed away at the age of 93. His 1890 Master Regulator Clock remains in the store, still running and on time. It was used by trainmen and citizens to set their timepieces and the City once furnished a light in the window all night because of the clock’s value to the community.
Dr. Leibrandt’s son, Charles, Jr. (Charlie), learned the jewelry trade in Plattsburg when he was just 17 and opened a store in Cameron in 1873 on the south side of Third Street. Three years later he moved to his own building where Leibrandt Jewelry has been located ever since.
Charlie’s store sold more than just jewelry. Other merchandise included Crown organs, pianos, musical instruments, Victrolas, White sewing machines, ladies beaded and leather purses plus glamorous hat pins of the day. Restored paintings of musical instruments on the upper store façade date to the 1890s.
After 49 years in business, Charlie passed away March 20, 1923 with his son, George taking over the business. George was active in the community and an avid fisherman who taught the sport to many youngsters. Leibrandt Jewelry remains the oldest Cameron business operated continuously by the same family.