Cameron

Submitted by Phyllis Slater.

The area now known as Cameron was first settled in 1788 by the Himes brothers, Joseph, Christopher and John, who built a blockhouse in defense of Indians. Another early settler was Robert Rush who establised a blacksmith shop near Cameron. The location was referred to as "Rush's Fork of the Road". The village grew by leaps and bounds with the opening of the B & O Railway in 1852. At that time there were several merchants and a doctor. Soon more businesses opened with banks, a school, churches, and many fine homes. It wasn't until 1858 the town was laid out with designated streets and alleys and the name Cameron, in honor of Samuel Cameron, was given the village.

In 1858 brothers Oliver and Marshall Jackson and friend Dr. S.B. Stidger purchased several acres of land, laid out streets and sold plots for building. The railroad brought many jobs, people moved into the area and it soon became home town for many, and farmers went there to trade.

The first school occupied a log building with one room. After the Methodist Espiscopal Church was built the school was moved into it. Circuit riders providing spiritual guidance moved into the area and soon several permanent church buildings were erected. The Methodist Episcopal 1841: the Presbyterian 1867; St Martin's Catholic 1870; Christian Church 1895 among those first. The free school system was established in 1866, the first grade school building was erected in 1891 on land purchased from David McConaughey, it was added to several times. By 1908 it was a high school

In 1861 the town was incorporated but that charter lapsed and it was re-incorporated in 1879 and city elections were held soon after with the first Mayor being Obadiah Moore. In 1880 the population was 498. Just when everything was going great disaster struck in the form of a fire believed to have started in a livery stable, quickly it spread throughout the town destroying everything in its path. From 9 June, 1894 through 12 June, the fire raged with fire fighters coming from Benwood, McMechen, and other towns but many fighters were hampered from arriving because of a train derailment. But the citizens took over at once rebuilding and with careful construction it became even a better little town.

It is still a thriving town with several merchants, a bank, schools, and several churches.

Wheeling News-Register, July 1980
Tri-County Researcher, 1988

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