2011 Hall of Fame
Owen E Connell-Craftsman, Retailer, Auto Dealer
Connell is remembered for his iconic hardware store, where you could find just about anything, but he started out as a tinsmith. He traveled by buggy working on anything made of tin such as tin roofs, tin buckets and cooking utensils. During the 1893 Oklahoma Run, Connell loaded his wagon and made several trips to Oklahoma selling general merchandise. Connell opened his first store in Trimble, MO in 1902 selling hardware, buggies and Hupmobiles, becoming one of the area’s first auto dealers. In 1917 he established Connell Hardware at 222 E Third Street where it would remain for over seven decades. Connell’s four sons each opened independent hardware stores in other towns, although the firms continued to purchase merchandise as a group. Connell retired in 1940 and sold the store to his sons Carl and Jack along with son-in-law U.E. Ritchey. Following World War II, they found it difficult to find harnesses needed by local farmers, although they had all the hardware needed. So, they secured leather from a Des Moines company and had a local cobbler named McGuire make harnesses for customers. Connell Hardware sold in 1986 and closed a few years thereafter with an auction to liquidate merchandise.
Charles N Stucker-Clothier
Stucker Clothing is remembered for exceptional service. An after-hours call would open the store. Stucker was a Cameron native, born on a nearby farm in 1873. Graduated from Cameron High School, he then earned a degree from Missouri Wesleyan College in Cameron. After working in his father’s feed business, at J. B. Russell Lumber, and a local grocery, he partnered with James Muenker to open Stucker and Muenker Cash Clothiers. He bought Muenker’s interest in 1923 and moved the store to 110 E Third Street where it remained for 64 years. Martin O’Neal began working at Stucker’s in 1918 and purchased the business in 1931 after failing health forced Stucker to retire the year prior. Brothers Jack and Charles O’Neal joined Martin and operated the store until 1980 when it sold. The store closed in 1987. Martin O’Neal died in 1989 and Jack died in 2002.
In 1909, George left Ireland to join his brother, Lionel, who had immigrated from England and founded the Cameron Dairy in 1904. Lionel was a pioneer in milk pasteurization and shipped hundreds of gallons to Kansas City daily. In 1909, Lionel started a small ice cream plant adjoining the milk processing facility. Horse carts picked up fresh cream each day from nearby farms. Lionel and George bought the Missouri Dairy of Kansas City and renamed it Chapman Dairy which became a major milk supplier for North Missouri and surrounding states. The Chapman Dairy collected, processed and transported enough milk to fill a passenger train car with ten-gallon milk cans 365 days a year. From Cameron, the milk went to the Chapman Dairy facility in Kansas City where it was delivered throughout the metro area. In 1911, when Lionel accepted a position in Kansas City, George became manager and later owner. In 1927, George’s son, Arthur, known as “Dink,” became a refrigeration engineer. Dink helped install and maintain refrigeration equipment at the ice cream plant and opened his own appliance store in downtown Cameron in 1950. The milk processing plant was discontinued in 1926, but Chapman Ice Cream, the “Cream of Quality,” became increasingly well known throughout the region as an exclusive wholesale firm and it continued until 1970. Dink’s appliance store operated for 25 years.